How Tucson Catholic Cathedral Inspires Faithful Through Artforms

by Sister Delores Vogt on April 26, 2011

As the Roman Catholic Church anticipates the beatification of yet another person of faith (John Paul II) on May 1, 2011, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share photos of sacred and significant saintly artforms represented in recent extensive renovations of St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson, AZ.  A beautiful, peace-filled place of prayer, the Cathedral’s impressive statues of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Katherine Drexel, St. Juan Diego and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha  (more contemporary witnesses of holiness) inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Tucson and are at home in this glowing gold house of God. (Photos: Sister Louise Hembrecht)

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were present for the rededication of St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson AZ which now houses statues of St. Juan Diego and Blessed Kateri Tekakawitha.

Interesting fact: On March 22, 1896 Bishop Peter Bourgade laid the cornerstone of the new St. Augustine Cathedral at 192 Stone Avenue. He bought the square block in 1885 for $400.

Renovations also include:

  •  the Cathedral’s historic painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe in its new home near the retablo that houses St. Juan Diego and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.
  • a mural of the Good Shepherd tending His sheep high on the back wall of the sanctuary.
  • a Pamplona crucifix carbon dated to the mid-12th century and painstakingly restored by art conservators Tohono O’odham Tim Lewis and Maltide Rubio over a 6 month period which hangs on the back wall of the sanctuary. (Watch this refurbishing video.)

All you holy saints of God pray for us.

4 thoughts on “How Tucson Catholic Cathedral Inspires Faithful Through Artforms”

  1. Sister Anne Marie Lom says:

    Thank you for posting these very inspiring and sacred images. How wonderful that contemporary images are being used and the long tradition of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Franciscan heritage is being honored.

  2. Scriach says:

    Our Cathedral in Tucson is like an entirely new place of worship. Each piece of art is so carefully planned to make the whole breath-taking when you enter. The restorers of the Pamploma Cross also work here at San Xavier Mission each winter. Tim Lewis is a member of the tribe and he was trained by the conservators who came for the restoration of San Xavier. That's how he met Matilde. They invited me to stop by while they were working on the cross and shared pictures of the process. It is very fascinating to watch them work so meticulously and reverently. This is not work for them but “ministry”.
    When I first saw the restored Cathedral I was pleasantly surprised to see the modern Saints at the side altars. These statues are very lifelike. If you come to Tucson, be sure to visit our Cathedral.
    Sister Carla

  3. Srosangela says:

    How very beautiful and inspiring is the restoration of the Cathedral with the modern day saints. It makes me wish I could visit!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ssharon says:

    May Crownings have always been yearly inspirational happenings from the days in Zanesville, Ohio where the Main Street of town was blocked off and young & old marched from the top of Main Street, St. Nicholas School to 5th. Street at St. Thomas Church or vise versa saying the Rosary and then ending with the Crowning of Mary and Benediction. After coming to the Convent, year after year on mission this devotion carried through either at the school or parish. May Mary be praised forever in the hearts of all!

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