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Encyclopedia > Saint Raphael's Cathedral, Madison, Wisconsin

Saint Raphael's Cathedral is the Cathedral parish for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison. The parish is located in downtown Madison, Wisconsin at 222 West Main Street. In March of 2005 the building was heavily damaged in a fire. While the parish community remains active, the future of the Cathedral remains uncertain. A cathedral is a Christian church building, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Anglican, Catholic and some Lutheran churches, which serves as the central church of a diocese, and thus as a bishops seat. ... A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. ... Arms of the Bishop of Madison The Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin is the Roman Catholic Diocese for the southwest corner of Wisconsin. ... Wisconsin State Capitol Flag Seal Nickname: Mad Town Location Location of Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin Government Municipality City Incorporated 1848 Mayor Dave Cieslewicz Geographical characteristics Area     City km²  (84. ...


In the early 1840's, immigrants from Ireland settled in what would later become Madison. They were soon organized into a parish named after the Archangel Raphael. On August 15, 1842 mass was offered for the first time by Father Martin Kundig. The land that the parish buildings and a later parking lot would be built upon was donated by Governor James Duane Doty. Doty was a close friend of Samuel Mazzuchelli. August 15 is the 227th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (228th in leap years), with 138 days remaining. ... 1842 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Mass is a property of a physical object that quantifies the amount of matter and energy it is equivalent to. ... Painting of James Duane Doty by George H. Patch James Duane Doty (November 5, 1799 – June 13, 1865) was a land speculater and politician in the United States who played a large role in the development of Wisconsin and Utah Territory. ... A young Fr. ...

From 1842 until 1853, the parish did not have a church of its own. Mass was often celebrated in homes and in the state capitol building. In 1853 Father Francis Etchmann began the process of building the current church building. The corner stone was laid in 1854. Archbishop John Michael Henni of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee dedicated the new building as the parish was under his jurisdiction at the time. In 1885 the present bells and spire were built. In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated bishop. ... As of 2003, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee covers the City of Milwaukee as well as Dodge, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties, Wisconsin. ...

On January 9, 1946 Pope Pius XII created the Diocese of Madison for an 11 county area in the southern and southwestern areas of the state. Territory was taken from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse to form the new diocese. St. Raphael's was then chosen as the Cathedral Parish for the Madison diocese. At the time of the parish's elevation to a Cathedral, Msgr. William Mahoney was the proud pastor. January 9 is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Pope Pius XII (Latin: ), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), reigned as the 260th pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and sovereign of Vatican City State from March 2, 1939 until his death. ... Interior of the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Milwaukee As of 2003, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee covers the City of Milwaukee as well as Dodge, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties, Wisconsin. ... The Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse was erected on March 3, 1868 by Pope Pius IX in western Wisconsin. ... Pope Pius XI blesses Bishop Stephen Alencastre as fifth Apostolic Vicar of the Hawaiian Islands in a Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace window. ...

Cathedral Fire

On March 14, 2005 St. Raphael's Cathedral was heavily damaged in a fire. The fire, which caused extensive damage to the church not only affected those families who attend the church, but as it is the mother church for the Diocese the loss of the Cathedral has affected the entire diocesan community. March 14 is the 73rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (74th in leap years) with 292 days remaining in the year. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The fire caused the roof to collapse into the building, however the walls and the steeple remained standing. There was further damage from the water as well, and there were fears that the refurbished steeple would collapse. The steeple was found to be stable in the days following the fire. The mosaics sustained smoke and water damage, and the stained glass windows were damaged but still in place.

In the days following the fire, the cause of the fire was determined to be arson. Forty one year old William J. "Billy" Connell was arrested for setting the fire and charged with burglary, arson, and bail jumping. Connell said that he had broken into the Cathedral using a crowbar, stole a bottle of wine, and then "messed around with some stuff." Connell chose to remain silent when a detective came to interview him. The fire had started in an office/storeroom under the spire, and the crowbar was found in that room. Connell has a history of mental problems, and had previously been in trouble with the law. Arsonists redirects here. ... Arsonists redirects here. ... The word bail as a legal term means: Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that persons appearance for trial. ...

No firm decisions have yet been made about the future of the Cathedral. Some favor rebuilding the Cathedral at the current location. When William Bullock was Bishop of Madison, he entertained the idea of building a new Cathedral on the city's west side. The reason for that was that he felt the building was too small. Even though the Cathedral was the first Catholic parish in the Madison area, when the structure was built it was not intended to be a Cathedral. The downtown location precludes a larger building, but moving to another location would allow that. There are also a number of other Catholic parishes within walking distance of the Cathedral building. Some favor rebuilding at the original site, and they cite the historical significance of the Cathedral parish as a reason for doing so.

Bishop Morlino has not made any decisions yet. He is currently considering where to establish a Pro-Cathedral, or temporary Cathedral until a permanent one can be established. In addition some work is being done to perserve the remaining mosaics and other features of the Cathedral until the building's future is decided. Morlino stated that he will make a final decision after consulting with the people of his diocese.

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