In Your Midst

From the Desk of the Pastor

March 2005

Dear Friends,


Architect Stephen Lee's vision of the entrance to the new Pastoral Care Center.

One year ago at this time we launched the Cathedral’s Centennial Campaign, setting an ambitious goal of $6 million to convert the cathedral convent into a Pastoral Care Center, to make significant upgrades to the kitchen and hall of Cathedral Place and the Cathedral Bookstore, to create an outdoor courtyard between the cathedral and the rectory (making the rectory, at long last, accessible to persons with disabilities), and to fund endowments for The Hunthausen Fund, Catholic school scholarships, and the maintenance and preservation of the cathedral. Amazingly, in scarcely more than six month’s time we more than met our goal. As of this writing, pledges of more than $6.8 million have been received and they are still coming in!

The wonderful part of all this, of course, is that while construction costs are more or less fixed, the funding of the endowments is open-ended. Every gift given at this point will go directly to the funding of the three endowments.

You, our generous parishioners and friends, have every right to feel a deep sense of pride in what you have accomplished in this Centennial Campaign. I think of it as something of a miracle.

And now we get to see the results! By the time you read this letter the design process for construction will be complete, the lengthy and complex permit process with the City of Seattle will be history, and construction will already be underway on the convent building. The actual work will take approximately eight months to complete but it won’t be long before you will begin to see some significant changes to the building on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Columbia Street!

The work on Cathedral Place Hall, the new courtyard area, and the Cathedral Bookstore is scheduled to take place this summer.

Current plans are for the blessing and dedication to take place in November of this year.

So, we have some busy and exciting days ahead of us! As I anticipate this, I can’t help but be aware of the fact that exactly one-hundred years ago – in 1905 – this parish was beginning another ambitious construction project: the building of St. James Cathedral. It is reassuring to know that we stand on the shoulders of the brave souls of one-hundred years ago who started something truly great on this holy hilltop. How blessed we are to be able to continue their work!

Father Michael G. Ryan
Cathedral Pastor


Other articles in the March 2005 issue:

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