21. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Catholic
91 Waterloo Street, Saint John
This Roman Catholic cathedral, started in 1853, is still a work in progress. The first Mass was celebrated by Bishop Connolly at Christmas in 1855. The spire, which towers 300 feet above sea level, was added in 1871. In July 1885, Bishop Sweeny solemnly dedicated the Cathedral. The chimes were also installed that year and rang for the first time on Christmas Day.
In 1940, a gradual series of renovations and restorations began, climaxing in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Cathedral. Since then a new Casavant organ, having some 3,000 pipes, the largest being 16 feet and the shortest less than an inch, was installed in 1955. The new main altar was consecrated in 1956.
The Cathedral is open every day. Among the treasures inside is a copy of Michelangelo’s Pieta (Mary holding the body of Christ after the Crucifixion), whose original is in St. Peter’s in Rome, along with statuary, wood carvings and stained glass windows.
Tours on request: call (506) 653-6820