Cathedral undergoes massive renovation | Community Spirit
St. Petersburg, Florida -- The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg is undergoing a massive renovation that began in June 2012, and is expected to last until June 2013.
Built in 1963, the nearly 50-year-old Cathedral needed considerable repairs, replacements and renovations in order to remain the spiritual center for the 432,000 parishioners in the five-county Diocese of St. Petersburg.
The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle is located at 5815 - 5th Avenue North in the west side of St. Petersburg.
The project will include:
- Installation of a new roof
- Updating the air conditioning system (the air handlers within the Cathedral were replaced in 2012)
- Replacement of pews
- Installation of new floors
- Remodeled restrooms
- Installation of a permanent baptismal font
- Create an ambulatory, or aisle around the inside walls of the Cathedral, to allow people to move more freely and easily
- Replacement of doors
- Removal of the columns to provide a better view of the sanctuary
- Installation of various upgrades for improved accessibility
While the Cathedral is under construction, diocesan-wide events have been moved to St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Clearwater, unless otherwise announced. Masses and events for Cathedral of St. Jude parishioners have been moved to the Parish Center.
The decision to renovate the Cathedral began In December 2008, when the Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg, appointed a Steering Committee to develop a plan for the aging Cathedral. Three possibilities were analyzed: repair, construction of a new facility, and renovation of the existing Cathedral.
Renovation was considered the most cost-efficient of the three options.
Funding for the Cathedral renovation is coming from the sale of excess diocesan properties from the diocesan real estate trust. The trust was formed when the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg was established in June 1967, with territory from the Diocese of St. Augustine and the Diocese of Miami. The terms of the trust restrict the use of funds exclusively to diocesan real estate projects.
St. Jude’s Church was solemnly dedicated on June 2, 1963, but it wasn’t until May 1968 that it officially became the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle with the appointment and installation of Bishop Charles B. McLaughlin of North Carolina as the first Bishop of St. Petersburg.
This article was written with information from the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s website. For more information and current interior and exterior views of the Cathedral, including artistic renderings of how the Cathedral will look after renovation, go to: www.DOSP.org.