Sacred Heart Cathedral (Rochester, New York)

Sacred Heart Cathedral

Sacred Heart Cathedral in 2013
43°11′35.24″N 77°35′57.89″W / 43.1931222°N 77.5994139°W / 43.1931222; -77.5994139
Location 296 Flower City Park
Rochester, New York
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Founded 1911
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1925
Completed 1927
Materials Limestone
Diocese Rochester
Bishop(s) Most Rev. Salvatore Matano
Rector Rev. Kevin McKenna

The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral in Rochester, New York, USA. The recently renovated cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Rochester and seat of the diocesan bishop, as well as home to a parish community.[1] The present parish is known as the Cathedral Community at The Sacred Heart Cathedral.


The parish was founded in 1911. The cornerstone for the present church was laid in 1925 and the church completed in 1927. Originally serving as diocesan parish, the church became a full cathedral in 1952.[2]

2005 Renovation

An extensive and controversial $11 million renovation of the cathedral was completed in 2005.[3] According to the diocese, the renovation was undertaken not only for structural and aesthetic purposes but also to bring the cathedral into line with church regulations and norms for cathedral design.[4] The renovation was supervised by Father Richard S. Vosko, a liturgical design consultant and priest of the Diocese of Albany who has overseen the redesign and renovation of numerous churches and cathedrals around the country.[5][6]

Apart from structural repairs and improvements, the renovation comprised moving the altar from the front of the church to the center in order to foster a feeling of participation, removing a large statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hung on the wall in the sanctuary and replacing it with a new organ (the choir will now stand where the old altar was; fully visible), placing a new immersion baptismal font in the main aisle of the church so the community can share in baptisms, removing the pews and replacing them with padded chairs so as to allow flexible seating for public events and moving the tabernacle out of the sanctuary to a side chapel.[7]

The renovation was controversial and attempts by traditional parishioners to stop the renovations were not successful. Protestors were upset with the "radical" re-configuration deemed a "wreckovation", the unwarranted spending of substantial monies when the diocese is closing churches and schools, and the fact that the church would likely become a pilgrimage site if former Rochester bishop Fulton Sheen is canonized believing that the church should remain in the condition when he served.[8][9]


Coordinates: 43°11′35″N 77°37′58″W / 43.193123°N 77.632746°W / 43.193123; -77.632746

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