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Sacramento, California: Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

About the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento:

Construction of the Cathedra was due to Father Patrick Manogue.  Patrick Manogue, born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1831, immigrated to the United States, and earned enough from prospecting gold in California to pay his tuition to Saint Sulpice Seminary in Paris. He was ordained a priest on December 21, 1861, and returned to California. In part because of Manogue’s experience in the west and his rugged build, Bishop Eugene O’Connell of the Grass Valley Diocese, chose Father Manogue to start a ministry in the Nevada Territory. In 1880, Father Manogue was appointed as coadjutor bishop of the Grass Valley Diocese, and succeeded Bishop O’Connell upon his retirement in 1884.

Bishop Manogue then petitioned the Holy See to change the diocese to Sacramento. Once Rome approved the change, the Bishop began his plans to build a cathedral by securing land close to the state capitol building, wanting people to see “Church and State, two important institutions, each pursuing the common good for society, but from different angles.”

While living in Paris, Manogue had admired the Eglise de la Trinité Church, which became the model for the new cathedral in the design by Bryan J. Klinch, an architect from San Francisco. The cornerstone was laid on June 12, 1887, and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament became the largest church west of the Mississippi River two years later.

Recent renovations include a new altar made up of white marble from China and black marble from Spain (the fifth altar installed in the cathedral). Sealed in the back of the altar is a relic of St. Toribio Romo, a martyr from the Cristero War.

The 20-foot high tower housing the tabernacle is made from the same marble imported from China and Spain that make up the Baptismal Font. Its design mimics other design elements of the cathedral, like the exterior dome. The tabernacle itself is from the 1930’s.

There several chapels in the Cathedral:

The Eucharistic Chapel, used for small Masses or events, or private meditation and prayer;

The Martyr’s Chapel, with a mural of the Risen Christ and Martyrs of the ancient Church and from around the world. The wood altar here and in Mary’s Chapel are from 1889 and were in storage after the 1939 redecorating. In 2005, they were reinstalled and painted to look like marble.

Mary’s Chapel, painted in the Byzantine style, this reredo represents all the saints of the Americas, and the visitation of our Lady of Guadalupe, the co-patron saint of Sacramento, to Saint Juan Diego. The blank space is there to remind us that any of us can become a saint.


Parish Life:

The Cathedral is a vibrant parish and you will find Masses offered in English and Spanish….plus there is a Chinese mass every Sunday. It is celebrated in Cantonese and Mandarin for the many local inhabitants of Chinese origin.


Finding the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, California:

Address:  1019 11th Street Sacramento, California 95814

Click here for the official website of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, California.

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