The Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 1866—1925 : The "Old" Cathedral
During the 1870s several fires ravaged the frame structures of the Gulch [Helena] which prompted the Catholic population to look toward a more substantial building for their church. Also a larger church was needed for the growing community. A building committee met 16 August 1874 The plans called for a brick structure with cut granite facings, upon a stone foundation, 43 by 95 feet, outside dimensions, and a rear addition 18 by 22 feet, for sacristy purposes. The new church located on the corner of Warren and South Ewing Streets was enclosed and under roof by late September, with inside work finished during the winter months. It was blessed on Palm Sunday, 9 April 1876. The total cost of the structure and furnishings was $28,413, over one/third of the amount being contributed by non—Catholics. (Palladino, p. 342) The Church of the Sacred Hearts was designated the Cathedral of the new Montana Territory diocese.
The second photo of the Cathedral features members of the congregation, several Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth who had ministered in Helena since 1869, and a Jesuit priest. This photo was taken shortly after 1876 while the old frame bishop's house was still nestled on the north side. By 1886 it had been replaced with a brick 3—story house for Bishop Brondel.
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Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and MaryCathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Cathedral of the Sacred HeartsCathedral of the Sacred Hearts