Cathedral Stories

Residents and out-of-towners alike have personal connections to Saint John’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Thousands of people visit each and every year.  The memories they share connect them forever to Saint John’s only cathedral.

Forestell/Sheehan/Gormley/Reardon/McGrath/McLaughlin Family

Forestell/Sheehan/Gormley/Reardon/McGrath/McLaughlin Family, Saint John, NB

Over the decades, several generations of the Sheehan family have lived in the same house just around the corner from the Cathedral.

Elinor (Forestell) Sheehan remembered moving there with her parents when she was a girl of 15 years. After being married at the Cathedral, she and her husband set up housekeeping at the house on Cliff Street and raised a family of their own there. One of their daughters still lives in the family home. The Sheehan, Forestell, Gormley, Reardon, McGrath, and McLaughlin families have deep roots and generations of connections to the Cathedral.

Elinor Sheehan was a Cathedral parishioner and active volunteer until she passed away at the age of 92 in 2015. One of her sisters entered the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception in 1959. Her sister-in-law, Margaret "Mardie" (Sheehan) Gormley resided at the house on Cliff Street for more than 93 years until her death in 2018. Their grandparents ran a bakery on Richmond Street just down from the Cathedral. Elinor’s and Mardie's nephew, Monsignor Brian Sheehan of this diocese, once served as Rector of the Cathedral. Michael Gormley was the first non-Austrian to conduct the Vienna Boys Choir.

O’Reilly Family, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

O’Reilly Family, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Our father was in the Merchant Marines during WWII. We knew he had died in 1941 "somewhere in Canada" and had been buried in a St. Joseph's Cemetery “somewhere in Canada.” Along with our mother who passed away in 1991, we spent years wondering where he had been laid to rest and, if he had had a Catholic burial. After much research, we traveled from Ireland to Saint John and found his gravesite! Msgr. Henneberry took us to his gravesite at St. Joseph's Cemetery and told us his funeral had been at the Cathedral!

Doreen McGuire

Doreen McGuire, McAdam, NB

My parents, born in Ireland, were married here in the Cathedral. The first of their 11 children was baptized here! I was a teacher at a Catholic school in this neighbourhood; two of my sisters graduated from the nursing school at St. Joseph's Hospital; and I entered the Sisters of Charity community. Our family has many wonderful connections to this cathedral and this neighbourhood!

Cathedral in background

Bill Brenan, Saint John, NB

I grew up on Castle St. in the shadow of our great Cathedral, our CYO, our schools and hospital. I was an altar boy there in the 1940s. My parents were married there in 1930 and both were buried from the Cathedral. My maternal grandparents, Fred Fuller and Ann Murphy, were married there in 1904, and both were buried from the Cathedral. My sister was married at the Cathedral in 1961. Our lives revolved around the Cathedral and the wonderful priests and sisters who guided us along the way.

Cathedral

Bernie Murphy, Sudbury, ON

My father grew up in this diocese and studied with the Redemptorists at St. Peter’s Church. I was born in Saint John and was raised in St. John the Baptist Parish. Our family spent a lot of time in and around the Cathedral. My wife and I visited the Cathedral Visitors Information Centre in 2016. We learned so much history and information about the Cathedral, its builders and plans for the restoration! This brought back so many memories and reminded us why we should reconnect to restore this magnificent church!

Inside Church

Elizabeth Kelly, Saint John, NB

Growing up in the Cathedral Neighbourhood my family went to the Cathedral every Sunday morning. Sisters, brothers, cousins, children and grandchildren have all been baptized in this spiritual place. I myself was baptized, confirmed and celebrated my First Communion there. Every Sunday going to the cathedral as a child meant sitting with my sisters and brothers and cousins and being surround by strong community. To me and my family it is a special place and I hope one day my children get married there like me, my parents and their parents before them.

Stained Glass in Cathedral

Graham O’Toole, Sudbury, ON

I was born in Saint John along with my three siblings. We were all baptized at the Cathedral - the same Cathedral where my parents were married. When I was 12 we moved to Ontario for my father’s work but I have never lost a strong sense of connection to the Cathedral and the city of Saint John.

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Mary Foster, Halifax, NS

I’ve had a love for the Cathedral ever since I first stepped foot in it. I would go to the cathedral for special occasions when I visited my grandparents. My-great-great grandparents arrived in Saint John in the early 1900s, from Ireland. My grandparents live just down the street from their parents’ original house. My family moved from Saint John to Halifax before I was born but my grandparents stayed because of the wonderful community. Every visit with my grandparents meant a visit to the Cathedral. It was always a treat getting to see all the beautiful stained glass, high ceilings and that breathtaking altar. There is something truly special about that magnificent Cathedral.

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George Rogan, Saint John, NB

In the 1940s my parents would go to mission masses at the Cathedral. The church would be filled with people from all over the diocese. The Cathedral was the great gathering place.

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O’Brien Family, Waterloo, ON

My family moved to Saint John from Co. Cork, Ireland in the1950s. After we graduated college, my sisters and brothers and I moved to different parts of Canada and the United States. Two of my brothers live in Boston and my sister and I are in Ontario. Each year we make a trip back to Saint John to visit the cathedral where so many important family events were held.

Cathedral Artwork

Jack Burns, Saint John, NB

I remember as a boy in the 50s the first time I went to the Cathedral, the first thing I really noticed was the Holy Family Chapel.

Inside Cathedral

Kathleen Miller, Quispamsis, NB

Our family has attended a lot of performances of Concerts in the Cathedral. Our favorite event is the Annual Irish Heritage Concert. We try to get the whole family to attend! Guaranteed great music and great people.

Cathedral Stories

Anna McAdams, Saint John, NB

Every year there is a retreat held at the Cathedral for the youth of the diocese before they are confirmed. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the young people and families to prepare for this special occasion. Three of our grandchildren have participated in this annual event and we pray it continues for many generations to come!

Special Traditions

I love the special traditions that only happen at the cathedral. My father, myself and my son are all Knights of Columbus. We love participating in the special traditions that take place at the Cathedral.

Cathedral Stories

Bardsley Family, Saint John, Rothesay, St. Andrews, Fredericton, NB

One of our Bardsley ancestors – a great-great uncle, we think - carved the Last Supper sculpture on the front of the cathedral. It was carved of white Vermont marble and it’s right over the east front entrance of the cathedral. We reached out to all our Bardsley family relatives in New Brunswick and across Canada. There are lots of our Bardsley family members living in Boston and other places along the eastern seaboard of the United States and even some in Australia. We wanted to let them all know about our family’s connections as “Original Cathedral Builders” and reconnect them all with our family heritage.

Cathedral Stories

Shelby Brown, Boston, MA

The Cathedral is so special to our family, we visited from Boston and found our family history in the archives! The story my grandmother tells is that her great-grandfather helped with the construction of the cathedral. It’s amazing to think of all the hard labour that was put into this cathedral.

Cathedral Stories

Marie McCowan, Edmonton, AB

My family and I were visiting New Brunswick from Alberta last summer. While we were in Saint John we went to visit the Cathedral. We took a tour and we learned many things about Saint John’s beautiful Cathedral. My favorite thing in the Cathedral was the organ! I was amazed by how large it is. I wish you well in your restoration efforts!

Cathedral Stories

John Haddad, Toronto, ON

My parents immigrated to Saint John in 1950 from Lebanon. At the time, I was 10 years old. Shortly after we moved we started going to church at the Cathedral. It gave us a chance to feel part of the kind community here in Saint John. The Cathedral has always felt like a second home!

Penny Murphy, Oxford, NS

My grandparents lived in Saint John all their lives. My family would always spend the Christmas season at their house. I have great memories of Christmas Eve Mass in the Cathedral as a young girl. The Cathedral was a central part of my childhood Christmases!

Cathedral Stories

James O’Donovan, Saint John, NB

My family attended Mass at the Cathedral throughout my childhood. When we were old enough my brothers and I trained as altar boys and served Mass at the Cathedral. The Cathedral was, and is, a large part my family’s life in Saint John.

Cathedral Stories

Ellen Sullivan, Georgetown, ON

I am originally from Saint John but I now live in Ontario. Whenever I think of home, the Cathedral is one of the first things that comes to mind. When I come back to visit Saint John in the summer I always love to take my children and show them the Cathedral that their grandparents were married in. Our family has so many memories of the Cathedral, especially going to Mass every Christmas and Easter.

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Allison White, Squamish, BC

My parents moved to Saint John from New York State a few years before I was born. I was baptized in the Cathedral. We attended Mass at the Cathedral throughout my childhood. My younger sister was married in the Cathedral. I no longer live in Saint John. I have since moved to British Columbia. Going to the Cathedral still feels like being home!

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Jane and Gregory Kerr, Saint John, NB

We visited Saint John on July 1st and went to Mass at the Cathedral that morning. We thought it would be a lovely way to honour Canada on her 150th anniversary. We were so glad we did this! We had hoped to take a tour of the cathedral but because it’s closed for repairs, we were happy to discover the Cathedral Visitors Information Centre cross the street where we discovered so much history and information about the restoration plans. What a great place to visit!

Cathedral Stories

Megan Arsenault, Miramichi, NB

I come from a large Acadian family that now lives in Miramichi, but my family originally comes from Saint John. My grandparents were married in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and I have several great aunts who are buried in Saint John and attended church at the Cathedral all their lives. Even though my family no longer lives in Saint John, I always feel a connection to the Cathedral whenever we come to visit.

Cathedral Stories

Marilee and Eugene Hunter, Boston, MA

New Brunswick has been on our vacation “bucket list” for more than 20 years. My husband and I drove from Boston last year to visit the province where his grandfather lived. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was a highlight of our trip! Thank you for restoring such a beautiful church.

Cathedral Stories

Martin and Linda Gallagher, Fredericton, NB

Our granddaughter was baptized in the Cathedral last year. Many family members were there for the beautiful celebration and we were so thrilled to see so many gorgeous stained glass windows. They were sparkling in the early afternoon sunlight.

Cathedral Stories

Susan and Paul Atkins, Richmond, VA

We visited from Virginia and as we were approaching the city of Saint John from our cruise ship, we saw so many church spires as we came into the harbor. It was such a thrill to visit the one Catholic church whose spire was like a beacon!

Hon. Erminie Cohen, Saint John, NB

“We ALL have a responsibility to preserve Saint John’s historic Cathedral neighbourhood. This isn’t a “Catholics-only” project. The Waterloo Village neighbourhood was once a thriving residential and commercial centre where people of ALL backgrounds lived and worked. It was a centre of education and world-class hospitals and health care. If your family has any connection at all to Saint John, this is YOUR heritage!”

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Peggy Kelly, Saint John, NB

I love to here come to the Concerts in the Cathedral with my family. The acoustics in the Cathedral are amazing.

Cathedral Stories

Margaret Walsh, Hampton, NB

My family has recently started a new Christmas tradition of going to the Concerts at the Cathedral performance in December. We began doing this the first year it started. We think it is one of the best concert venues in the city. We always look forward to getting to take a couple of hours and enjoy the concert in such a busy time of year. We hope that musical performances can continue to be held at the Cathedral for many years to come!

Cathedral Stories

Lucy Allan, Saint John, NB

What a beautiful garden area the Cathedral Visitors Information Centre has added to the Saint John City Centre! It’s so nice to have this addition to the South End!! We stopped by the Information Centre and took some great pictures of the Cathedral – what a historic place in Waterloo Village!

Cathedral Stories

Mark and Anne Ramsey, Boston, MA

My wife and I stayed overnight in Saint John on our way back home to Boston. As soon as we drove into the city we knew we had to go see the Cathedral with the large spire! We were disappointed that the church was closed to tours, but we learned many things about the rich history of Saint John that we didn’t know before at the Cathedral Visitors Centre. It was interesting to see some of the American touches that went into building the Cathedral, such as the Vermont marble.

Cathedral Stories

Molly Parker, Saint John, NB

I work in Uptown Saint John and I decided to drop in to the Cathedral Visitors Centre on my lunch break. I was surprised by what I learned. I had no idea that the Sisters of Charity had been so involved in shaping the Province of New Brunswick.

Cathedral Stories

Charlotte O’Neill, Hampton, NB

I was confirmed by the Bishop four years ago. The Confirmation retreat Mass was the first Mass I had gone to at the Cathedral. I remember thinking how lovely and large it was. I hope we get to see it restored sometime soon because it really is a magnificent church!

Cathedral Stories

Sydni Jardine, Quispamsis, NB

Working for the Cathedral Restoration Project has made me realize just how great and supportive this community is. I’ve met so many interesting people while working in the Visitors Centre and have heard so many stories about the neighbourhood and the cathedral in the early days. It’s made me see how important it is to the people in this neighbourhood to restore the Cathedral and revitalize this neighbourhood.

Cathedral Stories

Avery Maxwell, Saint John, NB

I work in the uptown area and I dropped into the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre on one of my days off. It’s great that the Cathedral Restoration Project is not only focused on restoring the Cathedral but also working with businesses and the City on revitalizing the Cathedral neighbourhood. The landscaping at the Visitors Centre has already helped to brighten up the neighbourhood.

Cathedral Stories

Rory Casey, Saint John NB

My family has lived in the Cathedral neighbourhood for as long as I can remember. My siblings and I all went to St. Malachy’s High School and on Sunday our whole family went to Mass at the Cathedral. My siblings and I have fond memories of the graduation Masses that were held for the St. Malachy’s graduating students.

Cathedral Stories

Ryan, Ellen and Lily Jones, Seattle, WA

We came to Saint John from Washington State on the Anthem of the Seas Cruise Ship. We went to the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre and the tour guide was so informative. We learned many interesting things about Saint John’s lovely Cathedral. The Cathedral was the highlight of our visit to Saint John!

Cathedral Stories

Lori Baker, Kingston, ON

My family has moved out of Saint John and one of the things I miss the most is the Christmas Mass at the Cathedral. The Cathedral was always warm and filled with families. There’s a feeling we haven’t found anywhere else but at the Cathedral on Christmas Eve.

Evelyn Gibbon, Saint John, NB

My fondest Christmas memories are midnight mass at the cathedral with the whole family. We would all eat a big dinner and then venture out into the cold and sit in the warm cathedral taking in all the Christmas spirit. It is something I never miss. So many great memories connected to this joyous cathedral.

Cathedral Stories

Leslie Wilson, Saint John, NB

We’ve made Christmas midnight mass a family tradition for years. Now that our children have children of their own and live away, it’s a blessing that we’ve still managed to make it happen. Last Christmas, I received one of the most thoughtful gifts ever from our children. They sponsored a stone in memory of their grandparents who were married there, something they knew would mean the world to me.

Cathedral Stories

Mary-Ellen MacDonald, Sydney, NS

I visited the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre while passing through Saint John and I was amazed that such a beautiful church could be built in two years. The dedication of the Irish workers to bring the centre of the Catholic Diocese to Saint John is amazing. The Cathedral is a beautiful way for the Irish immigrants to show their dedication to their faith.

Cathedral Stories

William Grant, Saint John, NB

I am from Saint John and after visiting the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre I was surprised at the scale of the plans of the restoration project. Great plans to restore such an important part of our city’s history and heritage as well as the surrounding area!

Cathedral Stories

Elizabeth Mclean, Saint John, NB

I visited the Cathedral Visitor Centre a few weeks ago. I was surprised to learn how large the impact that the Sisters of Charity had on Saint John. I knew that they were involved in teaching and working in hospitals but I had no idea that they also help to set up important programs, some of which still survive today, such as Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Cathedral Stories

Hannah Leblanc, Saint John, NB

My family moved to Saint John from Montreal when I was about 11 years old. We started attending Mass at the Cathedral then. My younger sister was married at the Cathedral and her children were baptized and confirmed there. It is great to see my nephews become part of this wonderful community. I hope they can be part of it for many years to come!

Harold Gourdeau, Saint John, NB

The Cathedral is an important part of my family lives. We are a large Acadian family from Saint John. We have been going to the Cathedral for Mass on Sundays for as long as I can remember. As a family, we have spent our Christmas Eves and mornings, along with the Easter seasons, at the Cathedral. We have many fond memories of the Cathedral, like the Easter vigils. We hope to see it restored.

Cathedral Stories

Erin and Marcus Keys, Sackville, NB

We visited the Cathedral on July 1st for Canada’s 150th anniversary. It was a great way to celebrate 150 years of our great country. We learned about the history of the Cathedral and why it is important to restore it. It was a great way to reflect on Saint John’s rich history at a Provincial Heritage location on Canada’s historic day. Thanks for the Canadian flags!

Cathedral Stories

Doris O’Donnell

My friends and I came from Ontario to New Brunswick. We wanted to tour the Cathedral but it was closed. We still were able to learn a lot about it by visiting the Visitor’s Centre. They had information on the history of the Cathedral and the restoration inside. We also had our picture taken for their visitor’s wall. It made us feel a part of the project too! We wish you good luck with the restoration!

Cathedral Stories

Emily and Donnie Philips, Buffalo, NY

My family and I came to Saint John on a cruise ship last summer. I was amazed by the beautiful stained glass windows inside that Cathedral. The vibrant colours in the windows were beautiful with the sun shining through them. It gave them the appearance that they were glowing!

Cathedral Stories

Madison Rupert, Saint John, NB

My favorite thing about the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the great concerts they have. We try to attend as many as possible and love listening to music there.

Cathedral Stories

Alan Smith, Saint John, NB

I moved to Saint John shortly after I finished school and I have lived here ever since. My family and I go to the Cathedral on Sundays. My children were baptized in the Cathedral. We have spent some of our most important moments as a family at the Cathedral.

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Doreen Smith, Saint John, NB

I visited the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception the week before New Brunswick Day. I thought that before New Brunswick Day I should visit some important places in New Brunswick. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was a good candidate because it is a New Brunswick Provincial Heritage Place. I learned many new things about the importance of the Cathedral to New Brunswick.

Cathedral Stories

MacNeil family, Rothesay, NB

My family is new to the Diocese of Saint John but my son was confirmed in the spring. I volunteered to go on the retreat with his confirmation class. A soon as I walked into the Cathedral I could see why there are people working to restore it. It is a beautiful Church. We hope the restoration goes well!

Cathedral Stories

Lauren Colbert, Charlottesville, VA

I came to Saint John on the Norwegian Gem Cruise Ship. I got off the Pink Bus at the Visitor’s Centre and the staff there answered all of my questions. The pictures I saw of the inside of the Cathedral looked beautiful. I would love to come back and see inside.

Cathedral Stories

Eric White, Vancouver, BC

My parents moved to Saint John from New York State a few years before I was born. I was baptized in the Cathedral. We attended Mass at the Cathedral throughout my childhood. My younger sister was married in the Cathedral. I no longer live in Saint John. I have since moved to British Columbia. Whenever I go into the Cathedral feels like home!

Cathedral Stories

Nora Price, New York, NY

My husband and I visited Saint John on a cruise ship last year. We took a tour of the Cathedral which was very informative. Saint John’s Cathedral has many beautiful carvings and statues, along with the lovely stained glass windows inside the Church. The Cathedral was the highlight of our Saint John experience. We hope that all goes well with the restoration!

Cathedral Stories

Agnes Dubois, Saint John, NB

My family and I have been attending Mass at the Cathedral for many years now. I love to see the sun streaming through the stained-glass windows. They always remind me of the beautiful art and rich history we have right here in Saint John.

Cathedral Stories

May-Ann Lewis, Chester, VT

I visited the Cathedral at the end of last summer from Vermont. It is a lovely Church! The tour we had of the Cathedral was great. The organ looks magnificent! We also loved that they had a Visitor’s Centre with information. I hope the restoration is going well!

Cathedral Stories

Mary McCann, Hampton, NB

I do not live in Saint John but I always go with people from our parish for the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral. It’s great that people from all over the Diocese get together in the Cathedral for the blessing of the holy oils. The Chrism Mass is an important part of our annual tradition.

Cathedral Stories

Heather Tracy, Miramichi, NB

My family lives in Miramichi and has for many years. When our ancestors first came over from Ireland they lived in Saint John. Early family members of mine celebrated Mass at the Cathedral. I came down to see the Cathedral a few years ago, it is a lovely church! It is part of my family story. I hope to see it restored!

Cathedral Stories

Pat Hyland, Boston, MA

My family and I arrived today on the Norwegian Gem. We visited the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre and learned so much about the history of the Irish in New Brunswick. Our family came over from Ireland and settled in the States around the same time that the Irish immigrants in Saint John were building the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It was interesting to see the stories of the Irish immigrants in another part of the world.

Cathedral Stories

Bill Hayes, Saint John, NB

I graduated from St. Malachy’s High School and my daughter graduated from St. Mac’s a few years ago. I love the tradition of the graduation mass held at the Cathedral. I hope it continues for future generations of kids and their families.

Cathedral Stories

Jordyn and Fred Oliver, New York, NY

We traveled from New York for our summer vacation. We were amazed by the beauty of Saint John’s Cathedral. It reminds me of some of the churches we have in New York. It was interesting to see all the Irish heritage in Saint John. Good luck with the restoration! We hope to get to see it restored some day!

Stained Glass

Jason McCann, Camden, NJ

My family and I arrived in Saint John on the Carnival Sunshine Cruise Ship. Saint John has a stunning Cathedral! We traveled to Saint John from New Jersey. Seeing the beautiful Cathedral was one of the highlights of our cruise! We wish you good luck with the restoration!

Cathedral Stories

Eleanor Kelly, Saint John, NB

I have been going to the Cathedral since I was a little girl. The Cathedral is a large part of the lives of my family and friends. For as long as I can remember, all of my friends and their families attended the Cathedral on Sundays. We were all in the same catechism classes. I was married in the Cathedral and my children were baptized there.

Cathedral Stories

Annie Harrigan, Saint John, NB

My friends and I visited the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre on Canada Day. We got to learn about the Cathedral’s past and they also had Canada flags and pins to celebrate Canada 150. It was a great way to spend Canada Day morning!

Cathedral Stories

Janet Martin, Saint John, NB

I have been going to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for more than 30 years now. I love to be able to go into the Virgin’s Chapel to pray. It’s so peaceful.

Carol Wood, Saint John, NB

Of course, every Christian church has wonderful celebrations and masses from Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday, the holiest week in the Christian faith. There is something special about spending the Triduum at the Cathedral. We are so blessed to be connected to the Cathedral. We’ve been attending Mass here many years and love the traditions.

Cathedral Stories

Joan and Sam Silver, Montreal, QC

We stopped at the Cathedral while passing through Saint John. I was amazed at how large it was and how tall the spire was. We went into the Visitors Centre and we were able to see pictures of the inside and read about the Cathedral’s history. We will have to come back again when it is restored.

Cathedral Stories

Sam Boyle, Saint John, NB

My family and I have been attending Mass at the Cathedral for years. We love that we get to celebrate Mass in the same church where people have been celebrating Mass for 160 years! There is a rich history in the Cathedral. I hope that the restoration is a success.

Cathedral Stories

Sandra Lowe, Dobbs Ferry, NY

My husband and I visited Saint John on the Insignia Cruise Ship. It was a lovely city, but the highlight for us was the Cathedral! It was beautiful inside with all that carved wood! The tour was so informative with lots of local history. Great film and pictures in the Cathedral Visitors Centre Museum across the street.

Cathedral Stories

Jeffery McIntyre, Saint John, NB

I dropped by the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre a few days ago, I’m pleased that I did. I think it is important to preserve our city’s heritage. I am happy to see that the Cathedral restoration is not only focused on restoring the Cathedral, but also on reminding people why the building is important! While in the Visitor’s Centre I learned about the Cathedral’s history, like how it was built be Irish immigrants that came to Saint John. I also learned about the Sisters of Charity’s involvement. Thank you for helping to preserve Saint John’s heritage!

Cathedral Stories

Marianne Lynch, Saint John, NB

My extended family has been going to Mass at the Cathedral for many years now. We love that we get to spend time together as a family at Mass. It brings us closer together. The Cathedral is a lovely welcoming place for us to do this. We hope to continue our tradition for a long time to come!

Tim Burke, Saint John, NB

My parents were married in the Cathedral and all of their children, including myself, were baptized there. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception holds many memories for our family.

Cathedral Stories

May-Ann Lewis, Chester, VT

I visited the Cathedral at the end of last summer. What a beautiful Church! The tour we had of the Cathedral was great. We thought the organ was magnificent! We also loved that they had a Visitor’s Centre. Very informative. I hope the restoration is going well!

Cathedral Stories

Joslyn Leroy, Saint John, NB

My family and I started attending Mass at the Cathedral about five years ago. It is great to be able to celebrate Mass in a place with so much history attached to it! The stained glass windows are breathtaking.

Cathedral Stories

Brian Wright, Toronto ON

I was amazed by all of the impressive historic architecture that Saint John has in the centre of town. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a highlight! It’s a great example of Gothic architecture with its arches and high ceilings! I see why the Cathedral is so important to restore!

Cathedral Stories

Vernon O’Connor, Saint John, NB

My wife and I were married at the Cathedral. Brothers and sister were married there, too. We have attended mass at the Cathedral as a family for many years now. The Cathedral, and the time we spend there, means a lot to our family!

Cathedral Stories

Elsie Cassidy, Saint John, NB

One of my favorite memories growing up in Saint John was the joy of going to Mother’s Day mass with my mother and grandmother. It was something special just us girls would do together. I plan to carry on the tradition if I have a daughter of my own.

The Cathedral is an important part of my family lives. We are a large Acadian family from Saint John. We have been going to the Cathedral for Mass on Sundays for as long as I can remember. As a family, we have spent our Christmas Eves and mornings, along with the Easter seasons, at the Cathedral. We have many fond memories of the Cathedral, like the Easter vigils. We hope to see it restored.

Cathedral Stories

Alex Quinn, Winnipeg, MB

My friend and I were visiting the Maritimes. We were walking and saw the flags in the Visitor’s Centre and decided to go in and have a look around. Lots of great information about the Cathedral and why it needs to be restored. I had no idea that Saint John had such strong Irish connections. My ancestors are Irish and I found my family name on the Cathedral Families Wall. I am going to research if there is any relation between my family and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

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Maureen Magee, Saint John, NB

My siblings, most of my cousins and I were baptized, confirmed and married in the Cathedral. I love to see my nieces and nephews continuing the tradition by being baptized and confirmed in the Cathedral. I love to attend these ceremonies. The Cathedral is a place where my family gets together to celebrate important milestones in our lives!

Cathedral Stories

Patrick Connolly, Boston, MA

My family is originally from Saint John but I live in Boston now. On one of my visits home I went into the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre. I found our family’s name on the Cathedral Families Wall!

Cathedral Stories

Rory Casey, Saint John, NB

My family has lived in the Cathedral neighbourhood for as long as I can remember. I went to St. Malachy’s High School and on Sunday our whole family went to Mass at the Cathedral.

April Hooley, Washington, DC

My family arrived today on the Serenade of the Seas. What a lovely Cathedral the City of Saint John has! We saw the steeple from Kings Square and decided to walk up and see it. It is too bad that we couldn’t go inside. The Visitors Centre provided us with information about the Cathedral. There were many pictures of the inside so that we could see what it looks like. We had a nice visit and we hope that you are able to restore it!

Cathedral Stories

Jack McMillan, Saint John, NB

I have lived in Saint John all my life. I visited the Visitor’s Centre one day to see what it was. I knew very little about the Cathedral Restoration Project and why the Cathedral needs to be restored. Lots of great information and history there!

Cathedral Stories

Ellen Jackson and Amanda Parks, Laval, QC

We visited Saint John New Brunswick with plans to tour the cathedral. Unfortunately, it’s been closed for repairs so we were unable to take a tour. But we were so happy to find the Visitors Interpretive Centre directly across the street which has so much information about the history of the church and its original builders and the plans to restore it. The young ladies who were there were so helpful telling us all about this beautiful church in the middle of this historic city! Thank you, Nicole and Sydni!

Cathedral Stories

Maud Flynn, Saint John, NB

My family has been going to the Cathedral for many years. One of my brother’s and my best memories of the Cathedral is Christmas Eve Mass. We got to stay up later then we were usually allowed and we got to see all of our aunts and cousins who met us for Midnight Mass. It was such great family time and the Cathedral always looks so beautiful at Christmas!

Cathedral Stories

Jennifer Ryan, Moose Jaw, SK

I came to Saint John to see the Church that my great-great-grandfather helped build. I was disappointed that the church is closed, but the guides at the Cathedral Visitors Center were very informative and helpful. I found my family name on the Cathedral Families Wall.

Cathedral Stories

Mary Ellis, Saint John, NB

I visited the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre while on a walking tour of Waterloo Street. We learned lots about the history of the Cathedral and the people who built it.

Cathedral Stories

Jackie Wilson, Orlando, FL

My friends and I visited Saint John on the Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Ship. We love to go see churches wherever we travel. The Cathedral in Saint John is now one of my favorites! Gorgeous Gothic architecture and beautiful stained glass windows!

Max Lee, Saint John, NB

I love the addition of the Cathedral Visitor’s Centre to Waterloo Street. I think that it is important that people learn about the history and contributions of the Cathedral to our city and province. I also like the beautiful garden in front of the Visitors Centre. Great to have more green space on Waterloo!

Cathedral Stories

Amy Howard, Saint John’s, NL

My family and I decided to do a road trip around the Maritime provinces for our summer vacation this year. On Canada Day, we were in Saint John, NB. We noticed all of the Canada flags around the Cathedral Visitor’s Center and decided to go in and look around. We were very happy we did! We learned a lot about the history of the Cathedral and its importance to New Brunswick. The Cathedral Visitor’s Centre was a great place to spend Canada’s 150th anniversary. Thanks for the complimentary Canada flags and pins.

Cathedral Stories

Mia, Andrew, Nick and Fred McLeod, Charleston, WV

My family and I visited Saint John on the Serenade of the Seas Cruise Ship. We were glad to find there was Mass at noon (thanks for Tweeting this!!) and then walked over the Visitor’s Centre to learn more about the Church. Lots of info about the Cathedral and this part of Canada.

Cathedral Stories

Bettie and John Andrews, Guelph, ON

We visited the Cathedral in Saint Johnon our way through New Brunswick. We thought that the Cathedral was gorgeous! We stopped in at the Visitors Centre and discovered a lot about the history and the restoration project.

Cathedral Stories

Mary Weir, Portland, ME

I visited the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and took a tour last summer. What a stunning example of Gothic architecture.

Edith Butler

Edith Butler, Paquetville, NB

Cathedral Connects Us Across Generations & Cultures

It’s so important to maintain that chord that connects people from generation to generation and from town to town and culture to culture. We are all connected to each other in one way or in many. The Cathedral is one of the places that showcases that truth better than any other in New Brunswick. La cathédrale de St-Jean fait partie de notre histoire. (Honorary Patron, Cathedral Restoration Project)

 

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