“We will have the finest Church in Canada”
February 20, 2017
When John T. McNally was appointed Bishop of Hamilton he recognized the need for a new Cathedral to serve the growing Diocese. Announcing the Cathedral project, he said, “We want it beautiful, as well as useful. Blending use with beauty has great re‐ sults, for a beautiful Cathedral is not only the Seat of the Bishop ruling, teaching, and dispensing of God’s spiritual gifts, but it is a great, silent, irresistible agency for the in‐ fluencing of souls of people through the ministry of exalted art.” Local architects Hut‐ ton & Souter together with the Pigott Construction Company were retained to design and build the Cathedral. Canadian and European craftspeople were employed to fashion its artistic beauty. These same people travelled to Hamilton with their handi‐ work to oversee installation in the Cathedral. In 1933 this exquisite Gothic structure was blessed and given the name “Christ the King” ‐ the first Cathedral in the world with this name after Pope Pius XI instituted a feast by the same name in 1925. At the height of the depression, the Cathedral cost $1 million dollars to build. In the early Spring of 1981 a near tragic arsonist’s fire caused considerable damage to the interior of the Cathedral. Bishop Paul F. Reding decided to refurbish and enhance the Cathe‐ dral with renovations to its interior in order that the Cathedral might conform to the liturgical directives emanating from the Second Vatican Council. On November 21st, 1982 Bishop Reding presided over the solemn dedication of the newly renovated Ca‐ thedral—nearly 50 years after it originally opened—what you see now is the result of that careful work. The Cathedral was not only preserved, but improved lighting, sound, and structure have enhanced the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.