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Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle at 6363 9th Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33710 US - Frequently Asked Questions about the Cathedral Renovation

Frequently Asked Questions about the Cathedral Renovation

Current outside and inside views of the Cathedral, followed by artistic renderings of how the Cathedral will look after renovation.
Why does the Cathedral need a renovation?
The Cathedral was built in 1963. Almost fifty 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. Over time, as public expressions of worship change, there is a consequent shift in the demands on the physical space used for the Church’s liturgy. With this renovation, a delicate balance can be achieved through a selection of designs and appointments that respect and protect the Church’s ancient artistic heritage and, at the same time, effectively serve the requirements of contemporary worship.  
Why don’t we just repair the problems?
Merely repairing the Cathedral is inadequate because it would not encompass the many structural elements that are beyond repair and need partial or total replacement. Repair might have been more cost effective in the short run, but it would ultimately be more expensive long term. There also would be numerous disruptions to Cathedral life due to continual repairs and operational emergencies.
Why are we renovating instead of building a new Cathedral?
Renovating the present Cathedral is the most cost-efficient choice. By renovating, we will be able to utilize many of the existing architectural features – enhancing them with modern structural changes in order to make the Cathedral a temple to the glory of God and serve as a diocesan model for the liturgical life of the Church.

Was the Cathedral always a cathedral?
St. Jude’s Church was solemnly dedicated on Pentecost Sunday on June 2, 1963, but it wasn’t until the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg was established on June 17, 1968, that the Parish of St. Jude was elevated to cathedral status for the newly formed diocese by Pope Paul VI. St. Jude Parish officially became the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle with the appointment and installation of Bishop Charles B. McLaughlin of North Carolina as the first Bishop of St. Petersburg on May 8, 1968. The Cathedral church is the church that is the site of the bishop’s cathedra, or chair, the sign of his teaching office and pastoral power in the particular church and also a sign of the unity of believers in the faith that the bishop proclaims as shepherd of the Lord’s flock. 
Where will Masses be held while the Cathedral is under construction?
Diocesan-wide events will be hosted at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Clearwater (map and directions) unless otherwise announced. Daily and Sunday Masses for the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle will be moved to the Cathedral’s Parish Center or Chapel.
How are the renovations being funded?
The money for the Cathedral renovation will come from the sale of excess diocesan properties from the diocesan real estate trust. The trust was formed when the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg was established on June 17, 1967, with territory from the Diocese of St. Augustine and the Diocese of Miami. The terms of the trust restrict the use of funds to diocesan real estate projects exclusively.
How long will the renovation take?
The project began on June, 4, 2012, and is expected to last 12 months.
Who is in charge of the renovation?
The Cathedral Renovation project began in the fall of 2008 under the direction of Bishop Robert Lynch. Under the bishop’s guidance, a Steering Committee - comprised of diocesan members, clergy and staff, met regularly with a liturgical consultant, architect, acoustical consultant and contractor to develop a vision and plan to renovate the Cathedral. A Steering Committee - parishioners from the diocese, several priests and diocesan staff - was formed to guide the project. Committee members gathered in December 2008 at the diocese’s Bethany Center for a two-day retreat. The event, facilitated by the project’s liturgical consultant, introduced the committee members to the spiritual process of renovating a church. Members saw slides, read literature and had discussions – all focusing on Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture and Worship, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ guidelines for renovating and building churches.

From the moment of its inception, the Steering Committee was focused on maintaining the integrity and beauty of the Cathedral, listening to all viewpoints and keeping the project a spiritual and holy endeavor. Since 2009, the Steering Committee has held information sessions from small meetings with parish leaders to large gatherings of parishioners as well as programs with members of the diocese, clergy, Prebyteral Council, Diocesan Pastoral and Finance councils and DCLAA&E. Committee members listened to concerns, discussed recommendations and prayed about their decisions every step of the way.


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