Cathedral of Saint Joseph
2305 West Main Street
Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, 65109
The Cathedral of Saint Joseph is the mother church for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City in Missouri. The cathedral serves as the parish church for the bishop.
The cathedral sits on a 25-acre (100,000 m2) site that also includes a Carmelite monastery, the Alphonse J. Schwartze Memorial Catholic Center, St. Joseph Cathedral School, and the Cathedral of Saint Joseph parish offices, which were formerly a convent that housed the Sisters of Mercy.
The Diocese of Jefferson City was a new diocese in the state of Missouri that was created in 1956 from territory taken from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the Diocese of Kansas City, and the Diocese of Saint Joseph. From the time of the creation of the diocese, St. Peter's Church in downtown Jefferson City served as the Mother Church for the diocese until the new cathedral could be designed and completed.
The first Mass took place at midnight on December 25, 1968. The first diocesan priest was ordained in 1969. The first bishop ordained and installed in the cathedral was Bishop McAuliffe, also in 1969.
The cathedral church is built of reinforced concrete and steel, with an exterior facade of Indiana limestone. The interior of the church, which seats 950 people, has 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2) of terrazzo flooring. The church's diameter is 157 feet (48 m), and its main aisle runs 88 feet (27 m) from the glass doors to the altar. The cathedral's ceiling, at a height of 72 feet (22 m), is made of Douglas fir, supported by sixteen laminated wood beams that are about 60 feet (18 m) long. The beams meet at a steel ring, in the center, that is about nine feet in diameter. The ring creates an oculus, from which the spire rises to a height of 29 feet (8.8 m). The outer roof is made of copper, with sixteen gables in a design which signifies a crown.
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