St. Patrick’s has remained a relevant and active institution within its community, into the 21st century. As the neighborhood reinvents itself around them, the cathedral stands as a wonderful example of a historic landmark that can honor its past even as it embraces its present.
As it has done throughout its history, St. Patrick’s actively engages with its ever-changing community in a number of ways. The parish currently offers mass in three languages, English, Spanish, and Chinese. They also hold an Irish language mass once a year, and march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. On any given day parishioners can also expect to find various faith formation, social justice, or plain old social events to participate in. The parish has also made an effort to connect with the wider community, offering activities like free outdoor concerts during the summer months.
The last few years in particular have been rife with developments, adding new chapters to the cathedral’s long and storied history. In 2010, the cathedral was designated a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI, in recognition of what Timothy Cardinal Dolan called its, “historical, spiritual, cultural, and artistic value.” That same year, the Cathedral school was closed due to low enrollment, sparking community activists who opposed the final closure of the oldest Catholic school in the diocese. However, a portion of the old school building is currently being repurposed, transformed into the Archbishop John Hughes Center for Faith Formation and Community Services.
Construction on the new center comes in the midst of the Bicentennial Celebration and its accompanying renovation of the cathedral complex, as well as a new merger with the neighboring Church of the Most Precious Blood. If you or your family ever belonged to these cultural and historical institutions, and would like to donate stories, photographs, or other memorabilia, the parish administration would love to hear from you!