Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist – Rochester, MN

Date of Review: I attended the Feast of the Holy Innocents Mass at 1210pm on December 28th, 2020 (a weekday mass).

Architecture: Built in the modern style, this church embodies why the period’s architecture was the second worst thing about America in the 1950s, after racism. The church was built from 1950-1957, and was elevated to Co-Cathedral status in 2018 by Pope Francis to reflect that Rochester is now the clearly most significant city in the diocese.

Celebrant(s): There was a priest assisted by a deacon who celebrated the mass. The Deacon proclaimed the Gospel, and the priest gave a succinct homily on the importance of caring for children (in the spirit of the Feast day). The priest specifically mentioned migrant children, neglected children, the pain of miscarriage and infertility, and abortion.

Congregation: Wow. 48 people for a daily mass, some of whom were medical personnel taking a brief respite from a challenging time, I’m sure. The congregation recited the Angelus prior to the mass.

Decor: The 1950s were not great, for anyone naive enough to believe so, I refer you to the picture below. The font (above) was nice, and that is about the extent of the redeeming qualities of this church.

Location: Downtown Rochester, right next to the Mayo Clinic, it is very convenient for the economic hub of Rochester, and those individuals going to the Mayo who may want to offer some prayers. Top notch, though obviously built as a parish church, not a Cathedral.

Musicians: Weekday mass, so no musicians.

Volunteers: Strictest COVID protocols I’ve encountered, including sign-in/contact tracing information at the door, but the volunteers were polite.

Overall: Location – the church isn’t remarkable, and the celebrants were good but not great, nonetheless, it is near a lot of activity in the center of Rochester.


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