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St. Mary Cathedral Parish at 219 Seymour Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933 US - Our Church History

Our Church History


Lansing was platted out as a city of Michigan in 1847.  Mass was celebrated for the first time in the log home of Thomas and Eleanora Saier. The Saiers later donated land on Chestnut Street for a church to be built.

It was begun in 1856 and dedicated in 1864.  In July, 1857, the Catholics in Lansing were placed under the care of the parish of the Annunciation at Corunna.  In 1866, Fr. Louis Van Driss became the first resident priest in Lansing. In 1872, a school was opened. In 1874, three Sisters of Charity came to staff the school. Fr. Lafayette Isadore Brancheau came in 1897. A new temporary church and hall were built in 1904 on Walnut Street.

The present cathedral was begun in 1911 and dedicated to Mary under the title of "Immaculate Conception" on December 8, 1913.  In 1937, St Mary Church became the Cathedral for the Diocese of Lansing.

A new parish center was built under the pastorate of Msgr. James A. Murray. It was dedicated by Bishop Kenneth J. Povish in July, 1995. On January 27, 1998, Msgr. James A. Murray was ordained Bishop for the Diocese of Kalamazoo and Msgr. Michael D. Murphy became rector of the Cathedral Parish.

On June 21, 2009 Holy Cross Parish in Lansing closed and merged with St. Mary Cathedral.   Effective July 1, 2009 Msgr. Murphy retired and Msgr. Bernard Reilly was named rector for St. Mary Cathedral.

In December 2012 the Cathedral Parish began a year long celebration for the 100th Anniversary of the consecration of this Cathedral building.  The cornerstone of the church was laid on July 4, 1911.  The Cathedral was consecrated on December 8, 1913. Monthly mini-celebrations are planned through December 2013. 

Bishops - Diocese of Lansing
1937 - 1965   Bishop Joseph H. Albers
1965 - 1976   Bishop Alexander Zaleski
1976 - 1996   Bishop Kenneth J. Povish
1996 - 2008   Bishop Carl F. Mengeling
2008 -            Bishop Earl Boyea


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