WelCom May 2023
Sacred Heart Cathedral is no stranger to change.
In her 122-year history, the mother church of the Wellington Archdiocese has been altered in shape and colour and furnishing, as well as in response to liturgical reforms.
There has been change for safety, change for growth and change for aesthetics.
Change and life go together.
The removal of the earthquake-risk bell towers (pictured below) was in 1942. The re-shaping of the sanctuary in the late 1960s followed reforms called for by the Second Vatican Council.
The 1930s photo of the Cathedral interior, as well as showing the original sanctuary, captures the side altars honouring St Joseph (left) and Our Lady (right). These were removed in the 1950s together with the paintings above them.
Major change in the 1980s brought strengthening to the outside walls, the construction of the Foyer, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Courtyard, Connolly Hall, and interior redecorating.
Change now underway, following the Cathedral’s closure in 2018, includes necessary earthquake strengthening, deferred maintenance, restoration of the historic Hobday Organ and some original stonework.
Throughout these many interruptions in her lifetime, Sacred Heart Cathedral has preserved outstanding acoustics. This feature has caught the attention or orchestras, recording artists and choirs both local and national and their support has helped meet the considerable costs involved.
But it is the Catholic community that benefits most from having a Cathedral that is not only secure and functional, but a landmark historically linked to the beginning of the Archdiocese.
As the current changes near completion, contributions are more urgently sought to enable our Cathedral to be reopened debt free.