Dear Friends in Christ,
Here are a few things that you may or may not know about the history our Cathedral of St. Peter.
The first Mass was celebrated in St. Peter’s on September 13, 1818, and it has been a place of worship for many immigrant Catholics including those from France, Haiti and Ireland.
In the 1830s, the first group of religious sisters to live and work in Delaware — the Daughters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Md., — arrived to set up an orphanage and school at St. Peter’s.
In 1868, St. Peter’s was chosen as the seat of the new Diocese of Wilmington and given the title of pro-cathedral. After decades of extensive remodeling, including the addition of a cathedra and a distinctive barrel-domed roof, St. Peter’s was consecrated a cathedral in 1905.
The Cathedral of St. Peter has some of the most beautiful Bavarian stained-glass windows in the country, and there are 45 angels depicted in the artwork of the Cathedral.
It is my home parish, as it was for my nine predecessors.
Today, the Cathedral of St. Peter continues to be the seat of Catholicism for the quarter-million Catholics of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The school, established so long ago by the Daughters of Charity, still serves the educational needs of area students. The parish St. Vincent de Paul Society helps those in need in its urban neighborhood.
Worshipers still come to regularly receive the sacraments in this uniquely beautiful and historic church. As the spiritual home of all Catholics in our diocese, the Cathedral hosts important events such as memorial Masses, consecrations, and ordinations.
The weekend of Aug. 12-13, we will have our annual special collection to assist with the Cathedral’s maintenance and ministerial needs. Your generosity can help assure that our Cathedral will be able to continue to be a place of worship and beauty for all of us, and those who follow us.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Rev. William E. Koenig
Tenth Bishop of Wilmington
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