Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle at 6363 9th Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33710 US - Background about the Cathedral Renovations
Background about the Cathedral Renovations
The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle was built in 1963. Being 50 years old, the Cathedral needs considerable repairs, replacements and renovations in order to remain the spiritual center for the 432,000 parishioners who faithfully worship in the five-county Diocese of St. Petersburg.
In December 2008, Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg, appointed a Steering Committee to develop a plan for the renovation of the Cathedral. Three possibilities were analyzed: repair, construction of a new facility, and renovation of the existing Cathedral.
Merely repairing the Cathedral was considered inadequate because it would not encompass the many structural elements that were beyond repair and needed partial or total replacement. This alternative would have been cost-effective in the short run, but it would ultimately be more expensive than the other options over the long run in addition to causing numerous disruptions to Cathedral life due to continual repairs and operational emergencies.
Building a new Cathedral would have been considerably more expensive than a complete renovation of the existing facility and so was ruled out as an option.
Renovating the present Cathedral building was found to be the most cost-efficient of the three options. By renovating, we will be able to enhance the existing architectural features with modern structural changes in order to help make the Cathedral a temple to and for the glory of God and to serve as a diocesan model for the liturgical life of the Church.
After review by the Real Estate Advisory Board of the Diocese, specific parcels of vacant and excess land owned by the Diocese in the Diocesan Real Estate Trust have been sold to fund this project. The trust was formed from territory from the Diocese of St. Augustine and the Diocese of Miami when the Diocese of St. Petersburg was established on June 17, 1968. The terms of the trust restrict the use of funds to diocesan real estate projects exclusively.
The Cathedral Renovations Steering Committee has had regular meetings and discussions with the Diocesan Pastoral Council members, diocesan priests, and Cathedral parishioners to discuss ideas and concerns about the renovation. Under the direction of Bishop Lynch, the Steering Committee worked with a liturgical consultant, architect, contractor, and diocesan staff to create a beautiful vision for our Cathedral.
The project will encompass long-deferred maintenance, needed replacements, enhancements, and renovations. These include:
- Installation of a new roof
- Updating the air conditioning system (the air handlers within the Cathedral were replaced in 2012)
- Replacement of pews
- Installation of new floors
- Remodeled restrooms
- Installation of a permanent baptismal font
- Create an ambulatory, or aisle around the inside walls of the Cathedral, to allow people to move more freely and easily
- Replacement of doors
- Removal of the columns to provide a better view of the sanctuary
- Installation of various upgrades for improved accessibility
Renovations are scheduled to begin in June 2012. The estimated date of completion is June 2013. While the Cathedral is under construction, diocesan-wide events will be moved to St. Catherine of Siena Parish (map and directions) in Clearwater unless otherwise announced. Masses and events for Cathedral of St. Jude parishioners will be moved to the Parish Center.