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The Lansing Ward History Project: 4th Ward

Posted on: May 23, 2019

St. Mary Cathedral

St Mary Cathedral

Inside St Mary CathedralCompleted and consecrated in 1913, St. Mary Cathedral has been the cathedral of the Diocese of Lansing since its establishment in 1937. This is the third church building used by the Roman Catholic parish since the 1860's. (Although Lansing’s Catholic population held services beginning at least a decade earlier, official designation as the city’s first parish dates to 1866.) Faced with Indiana limestone, the structure also includes wagon loads of local field stone hauled to the construction site by farm families. Surrounding buildings include a parish office/rectory facing Seymour St., and a church hall on the former site of St. Mary School (1902-1969) and the Diocesan Center, formerly St. Mary High School (1939-1963), facing Walnut St.  

Although the exterior has remained largely the same over time, the current interior decorations are the result of several renovations. Features of note include a marble carving of the Last Supper originally part of the 1913 high altar; vibrant, stained glass windows from Germany and painted Stations of the Cross from Czechoslovakia added in the 1920's; a Casavant pipe organ first installed in the 1950's; a textured bronze tabernacle added in the 1980's; and statues and other depictions of saints installed during various eras.

Source(s) consulted: 

CADL Local History Online 

Exterior (1918) 

Interior (c. early 1920s; no stained glass)

Michalek, George C. Living in Joyful Hope: A History of the Diocese of Lansing. [Lansing, Mich.: Diocese of Lansing], [2002].

St. Mary Cathedral Church History 

St. Mary Cathedral Self-Guided Tour and

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from 1913,0.625,0.523,0.332,0


 Rachael L. Drenovsky

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