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#311620 02/04/09 12:50 PM
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Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral afire this morning
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/ap_on_re_us/chicago_church_fire

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Lord have mercy !

At least the fire is out now.

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My sympathies to Holy Name Cathedral and the parishioners. But I must admit that I nearly had a heart attack - at first I thought it was our Saint Nicholas Cathedral, which is also a Chicago landmark.

Fr. Serge

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I was just there on Sunday! How terrible.

The priest luckily thought to rescue the Blessed Sacrament.

It is a beautiful cathedral. Wouldn't be too much of a shame if the fire caught that ugly little altar, though, I gotta say...

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Another extensive repair to be done after its recent partial closure for scheduled repairs and maintenance.

I pass by the Cathedral 3 times a week to pick my daughter up next door at the Loyola University Graduate School, the last time just last night.

His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George, was on TV and radio this morning giving a perliminary assessment on the extent of fire and water damage.

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I have only seen pictures of the inside of the cathedral taken before Vatican II, and televised masses from there in more recent years. It apparently had a beautiful altar area at one time. When I watched TV masses during the Bernadin years, it looked rather plain and - I guess the word I would be looking for would be - "Calvinized." That altar is ugly, or at least it appears that way on television. Perhaps this restoration will make it beautiful once again. I heard nothing about injuries or fire damage to the sanctuary, so prayers of thanksgiving for that.

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Holy Name Cathedral was a very impressive church prior to 1964. Then Cardinal Cody pretty much ordered the interior wrecked. All statues and paintings were removed and the stained glass windows were destroyed.

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Thanks. I wasn't sure when the building was "renovated." So it was before Cardinal Bernadin. Off-topic, but as an organist, I'm curious to know what kind of instrument was there before the current one. Do you have any information on that?

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Charles:

When my wife and I attended a wedding of a family friend at the Cathedral about 2 years ago, I heard organs playing.

These might be the musical intruments then and now:

http://www.holynamecathedral.org/music/instruments.htm

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Originally Posted by Amadeus
Charles:

When my wife and I attended a wedding of a family friend at the Cathedral about 2 years ago, I heard organs playing.

These might be the musical intruments then and now:

http://www.holynamecathedral.org/music/instruments.htm

Amado

Thanks. I was thinking of what was there before these instruments, both of which are fairly modern in construction and tonality.

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Charles:

My family arrived here in Chicago only in 1988!

At any rate, here's a photo of the Cathedral interior taken in 1958 (as indicated by the Cathedral's website) while Mass was in progress.

Would you be able to locate and identify the music instruments?

http://www.holynamecathedral.org/special/tours/HCMMay58.jpg

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Thanks for the photo. The place was really spectacular, wasn't it? I can contact the Chicago Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and get the answer.

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Amado,

How is that picture from 1958? There seems to be a freestanding altar, and the celebrant is celebrating the Mass ad populum. How does that square?

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That's exactly the thought that came to my mind when I first viewed the photo.

But the website says it is from May 1958!

http://www.holynamecathedral.org/special/tours/index.htm

Could it be 1968?

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Hopefully the damage was not too great and it's good the priest had the presence of mind to rescue the blessed sacrament.

Originally Posted by Lawrence
Holy Name Cathedral was a very impressive church prior to 1964. Then Cardinal Cody pretty much ordered the interior wrecked. All statues and paintings were removed and the stained glass windows were destroyed.

Wikipedia says the following

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As soon as the Second Vatican Council was concluded in the 1960s, Holy Name Cathedral proceeded with a massive renovation project to alter the cathedral interior. From Easter 1968 to 1969, Holy Name Cathedral was closed and masses were held in various locations including a nearby school gymnasium. Tragically, at this time all of the stained glass, oil paintings, and marble statuary was removed from the interior of the cathedral. The end result was a relatively plain room, dominated by a six-ton granite altar and Resurrection crucifix. At midnight on Christmas Eve of 1969, Holy Name Cathedral was reopened.

Having been inside I would have to say the interior was quite disappointing and drab. I would assume as a result of these changes.

Last edited by AMM; 02/04/09 08:22 PM.
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