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St. Patrick’s: The legacy of America’s parish church, in a book


Jeffrey Bruno

St. Patrick's Cathedral standing tall as a beacon of Faith and Mercy in the heart of NYC.

Daniel Esparza - published on 03/05/16 - updated on 11/22/23

An impeccable edition, which includes reissues of 19th-century memorabilia, celebrates the recently concluded renovations of New York’s cathedral.

What would you say if, going through a coffee table book, you found a loose stamp of Robert Francis Kennedy’s burial Mass, a report of a cathedral debt fund from 1910 or a Roman missal dated back to 1941?

All of that (and much more) is included in a book that Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, prepared to celebrate the exhausting renovation process of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral – a massive task that took almost four years, from May 2012 to December 2015.

Since its opening in 1879, St. Patrick’s Cathedral has provided the faithful of New York (and the world, considering the sheer number of tourists visiting the revered church on a daily basis) a place to find God amidst the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.

Published by Éditions Du Signe, this remarkable coffee table book compiles the story not only of the building itself but of its builders, visitors, contributors and the faithful who gather under its marble-white pointed arches. The story is told by Cardinal Dolan himself, but also by distinguished invited authors, including Dr. Henry Kissinger and Stephen Colbert among others.

When Pope Francis visited NYC in 2015, he celebrated Mass at Madison Square Garden. As a bonus of sorts, the book includes a copy of the Liturgy of the Hours with Pope Francis from that very same visit to the city.

The book is a guided tour across more than a hundred years of images, taking the readers from astounding photos of intricate Gothic architectural details, through impeccably reproduced never-before-seen documents of the Archdiocese of New York, to the newest pics of the cathedral’s renovation. As a bonus of sorts, it includes a copy of the Liturgy of the Hours with Pope Francis from his September 2015 visit to the city.

This is, indeed, as they say at the cathedral’s gift shop, just like “taking home with you a piece of America’s parish church.” You can buy the book online here, or, even better, while visiting St. Patrick’s on your next visit to the Big Apple.

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