Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral
Impressions of a recent photo walk.
By John Patota
A small group of us, with cameras ready, made the short trip to the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh, North Carolina recently. One of the best photo walks I’ve been on. Be sure to subscribe to my Blog so you can know about the next one.
No matter your religious beliefs, entering the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral makes a lasting impact. From polished marble floors to the towering copper dome, everything you see is on a grand scale, welcoming the visitor to walk around and marvel at the old world craftsmanship.
Even before you enter the oversized wooden doors, the size of the cathedral is stunning. The bell tower, with its 50 sand-mold bells, is the highest point of the Church. One bell was salvaged from the small Chapel that stood on the site, in a remarkable, but not the only, tribute to the past.
A small wooden Chapel built in 1890, providing needed shelter to the homeless, stood on the site at one time. An orphanage was also established there before it closed in the 1970s. Later, it became the home to Cardinal Gibbons High School, until the Diocese decided to build what we see today.
Inside, hand-blown stained glass held together with lead is everywhere. Because the Cathedral is laid out on an East-West axis, the sun always filters through the glass giving it a look that seems timeless. Built for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the 1920s, these too found a new home in Raleigh, like the original bell. Also of note is the pews made from North Carolina oak.
Then there’s the pipe organ. Precisely designed to be in harmony with the Cathedral’s interior, its 3,737 pipes, made of tin and lead, range in length from 32 feet to ¾ of an inch. We did not hear the pipe organ on our visit, but vowed to return another day to experience the organ fill the church with what must be a frabjous (wonderful, elegant, superb) sound.
Another lasting memory was the 27 life-size statues placed on each side of the Cathedral, framed by classical arches. They depict Saints of the Church, each hand carved and painted in Italy.
The Church, located at 715 Nazareth Street in Raleigh, is open to visitors from 11 a..m to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. To see more photos, visit: Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral Photo Walk