In Your Midst


Summer 2000

In This Issue:
Since St. James received its first copies of House of God, Gate of Heaven during Holy Week in April, the book has been met with critical success and a letter from the Pope!

On April 20th, a headline on the cover of the Seattle Times’ Arts section read: “Book shows St. James Cathedral’s restoration and its soul.” In a full-page article on May 16th in the Tacoma News Tribune, the book was called “a towering chronicle.” House of God, Gate of Heaven was presented, along with a letter from Father Ryan, to Pope John Paul II in Rome. David Brazier and his young friend Christopher Strano were on a pilgrimage in May with Archbishop Alex J. Brunett and delivered the book to The Holy Father at a private audience at the Vatican. The Pope responded with a thank you letter praising the book.

In his vision of a documentation of St. James’ extraordinary gathering of people in faith, Father Ryan called on several writers with deep roots in our community to tell the tale of St. James. Expert critics and everyday parishioners have since applauded those authors for their work. In the St. James book nationally acclaimed novelist Robert Clark gives us the intimate story of his conversion at St. James in a section titled, “Labor of Faith”; David Brewster, noted Seattle journalist and civic leader, writes of the Cathedral’s impact on Seattle in “The Heart of the City”; historian David Buerge offers the story of the Cathedral's remarkable history in “Amidst a Cloud of Witnesses”; and Stephen Lee, project architect for the 1994 renovation, provides an essay titled “Under the Great Central Dome.” This section is accompanied with architectural drawings and breathtaking photographs of the renovation in progress. The book is available in the Cathedral bookstore.

Jackie O’Ryan is the director of public affairs at Catholic Community Services of Western Washington and a parishioner at St. James Cathedral. She also is the editor and designer of House of God, Gate of Heaven.

May 3, 2000
Feast of Saints Phillip and James


The young man who presents this gift book to you, Christopher Strano, brings along with it the prayerful greetings of the entire family of parishioners at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.

House of God, Gate of Heaven tells the story of St. James Cathedral parish: our life of prayer as well as our life of service in the midst of a large American city. As a community of believers we try to live by the Last Supper words of Jesus which are inscribed at the base of the dome high about the altar of the Cathedral, “I am in your midst as one who serves.”

We offer this book to Your Holiness in sincere gratitude for the gift to the Church of your Apostolic ministry, as we assure you both of our deep esteem and of the daily support of our prayers.

May this Year of the Great Jubilee continue to be for the Church and for Your Holiness a time of unparalleled blessings and graces.

Sincerely in the Lord Jesus,

Father Michael G. Ryan

His Holiness
Pope John Paul II
Vatican City State

The response:

From the Vatican, May 24, 2000

Dear Father Ryan,

The Holy Father wishes me to express his gratitude for your kind letter and the gift of an illustrated history of St. James Cathedral Parish. He very much appreciates your devoted sentiments.

His Holiness will remember you and your parishioners in his prayers. Invoking upon you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ, he cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Monsignor Pedro Lopez Quintana

The Reverend Michael G. Ryan
St. James Cathedral
804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, WA  98104-1296

Back To In Your Midst Page