Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Charlotte

Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Charlotte

The Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Charlotte is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Charlotte and is the seat of its prelate bishop. It is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.


In 1843 Mount Holly's St. Joseph Church was built. It was followed in 1852 by St. Peter Church. These church building were required to accommodate the increase in the number of Catholics in the region.

The land was in the control of the Benedictine monks from Belmont Abbey, North Carolina when John Henry Phelan of Beaumont, Texas, donated funds to have a church built in Charlotte in memory of his parents. Work on St Patrick church began on St. Patrick's Day, 1938.

Architectural features

Frank Frimmer, an Austrian native known for remodeling Old World churches, designed and supervised construction of the church, with its gray stucco face, 400-seat nave, balcony and 77-foot (23.7m) tall tower. The altar contained relics of St. Jucundius and St. Justina, and two side chapels were crafted as shrines honoring Mary and Joseph. Stained glass windows, designed in Syracuse, New York, depicted the Annunciation, St. Patrick, Joseph's deathbed scene, David with his lyre, St. Cecilia and some events in the life of Jesus.

[Cathedral Facade: []


On September 4 1939, Bishop Eugene J. McGuinness of Raleigh consecrated the church under the patronage of St. Patrick. It became the first church in North Carolina to be consecrated immediately upon completion and in 1942 became a parish, with Goldsboro-native Monsignor Arthur R. Freeman as pastor.A rectory and convent were completed in 1941, and a Catholic grade school was built on the property in 1930 was expanded in 1943 to include high school grades.

Establishment of new diocese

During the next few decades, the influx of Catholics added to the need for ministerial presence in Charlotte, and three parishes grew from St. Patrick: St. Ann, St. Gabriel and St. Vincent de Paul.

On January 12 1972, Pope Paul VI established the Diocese of Charlotte, and St. Patrick Church was designated the cathedral church. Msgr. Richard Allen, pastor at the time, was appointed the first rector.


The cathedral experienced a major renovation in 1979. The original character of the building, including memorials and windows, was preserved while the church was brought up to current liturgical standards. A new altar was constructed from the original, and artwork of local and religious significance was added. A new locally built pipe organ was also installed in the balcony.The cathedral remained closed for six months. On June 10 Bishop Michael J. Begley of Charlotte presided over the celebration of the church's reopening.

The majority of renovative efforts to restore St. Patrick Cathedral to its original condition were completed by Easter of 1996, yet work has continued. The altar, baptismal font, statues and ambo were given new prominence, and a hardwood floor was installed. The dark oak wainscoting from the 1979 renovation was removed to brighten up the cathedral and make it appear as it did in 1939.Most recently, Stations of the Cross brought in from Maggie Valley, NC and a Celtic cross were added outside.

Father Paul Q. Gary has served as rector of St. Patrick Cathedral since July 1996.

References and External Links

* [] The Cathedral of St. Patrick's website

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