Cathedral History

Our Parish History

The Beginnings of the St. Joseph Cathedral Parish

written by Rev. Mr. James Gorski

Due to overcrowded conditions in St. Patrick’s church and a desire for a new church to be more centrally located in the city of Columbus, in the summer of 1866 Rev. Edward M. Fitzgerald, then pastor of St. Patrick’s took steps in the construction of a new church. Father Fitzgerald was encouraged by the generous donations made accumulating nearly $37,000 from around 250 individuals. From the more influential members of St. Patrick’s was chosen a building committee. The committee consisted of John Conahan, Theodore Leonard, treasurer, John Joyce, John D, Clarke, Thomas Bergin, William Naghten, secretary, John Caren, Michael Harding, William Wall, James Naughton, William Riches, John McCabe, Michael Hartman, John Duffy, Martin Whalen, Bernard NcNally and Michael Galvin.

A subcommittee was selected to examine and discuss favorable locations for the church. Many eligible sites were proposed , but the prevailing desire was to have the church erected on Broad Street. Two lots with a total frontage of 120 feet on Broad Street and a depth of 200 feet on Fifth Street were purchased from John Miller, through John Joyce, on April 1866 for a price of $13,500.  A meeting was held of the men of St. Patrick’s parish to determine the name of the new church. Rev. Fitzgerald left the choice to those in the meeting. A motion was made by J. D. Clark to adopt the name of St. Joseph, it was seconded and agreed to thus came the name of St. Joseph church on Broad and Fifth Street. Michael Harding was the architect that was requested to prepare plans and specifications for the church. It was projected to be 193 feet in length and 90 feet in width. The plans were modified slightly as to the superstructure as the work progressed but otherwise remained as first proposed. Mr. Harding staked out the foundation on June 6, 1866 and John McCabe, the contractor began to work of excavating the site. John Stoddard was then contracted for the masonry work. The work continued on the foundation until November 11, 1866 when the first cornerstone was laid.

Read More - Laying the Cornerstone to Saint Joseph Cathedral

Read More - Foundation Excavation

Read More - Christmas Day 1872

Read More - Cost of St. Joseph\'s Cathedral and Episcopal Residence