Saint Patrick’s church has been sitting between 4th and 5th streets on Mission St. since 1851. Really now, that’s impressive. While I personally am not Catholic, I visited the church website, St Patrick’s San Francisco and was very happily moved by the Dali Lama quote they’ve got resting on their services page. I’ll reproduce, due to the non-specific nature of it, and the sheer truth that rings in it. Beautiful.
“May I become at all times both now and forever. A protector for those without protection; A guide for those who have lost their way; A ship for those with oceans to cross; A bridge for those with rivers to cross; A sanctuary for those in danger; A lamp for those without light; A place of rugs for those who lack shelter; And a servant to all in need. – The Dalai Lama”
I find it incredible to reflect on history and note all the historical events that have occurred under the auspices of said old building, as well as amazing to reflect on the history leading up to it. For example, this building has stood through the entire past 100 years, and then some.
This building was completed in 1851, and I think designed by John Sullivan. The church rested on new land for the United States. Just a few years earlier, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified – Mar 10, 1848. This treaty reflected an agreement, an agreement brought on by war. The Mexican-American war. The spoils of this conflict brought us California and New Mexico. Five years later, for a sum of ten million, we purchased what we know now as Arizona. This was widely viewed as a gesture of recompense to Mexico. Remember, in 1853 – 10 million is equivalent to roughly 246.5 million today.
Here’s a fascinating article on churches and cathedrals in San Francisco, focusing on St. Mary’s – which was given to the Paulists in 1984. Interestingly, it was the first church in the WORLD to be called Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception… Pope Pius IX had just defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception seventeen days earlier. It was also the first church built in California as a Cathedral. Haydn’s Mass #3 Played during the dedication, Christmas Eve 1854…and people literally hung from the rafters of the nearly finished place of worship for service. It was the tallest building West of the Mississippi, and the stones for it were cut and quarried in China. The cornerstone was laid in 1853, @ the corner of present day Grant Ave [formerly DuPont Street], and California Streets. It’s still there, 155 years later.
I am amazed and delighted by all the wonderful historical photographs this blog author has placed into their work. St. Mary’s Cathedral is a 5 minute walk around the corner for me, so it’s relevant to learn about ones neighborhood and surrounding areas I feel…
photo: me [Omar Amer] – via iPhone.