Date of Review: I attended the Christmas Day Mass at 8 am with Fr. Matthew Miller presiding.
Architecture: Italianate style Cathedral completed in 1957, replacing the diocese’s previous Cathedral, Sacred Heart Cathedral. Unlike many Cathedrals built in the 1950s, this one doesn’t reek of an attempt to capture modernity (and as such was done in an architectural style not commonly used in that era of Cathedrals).
Celebrant(s): Fr. Miller had the mass and gave an excellent homily on the importance of caring for children and the family.
Congregation: Not great attendance, but that seemed typical for many of the Cathedrals in Minnesota during the pandemic.
Decor: Relatively standard decor – the marble on the columns was nice relative to some smaller cathedrals, which may not have included that level of decor. The pulpit was also a nice design touch, when many smaller cathedrals don’t have a pronounced pulpit, but just a lectern.
Location: The best part of this cathedral is the location – on a hill overlooking Lake Superior. If you time it right, which I fortunately did, you arrive in the parking lot right around sunrise (which was ~750am) and can get some tremendous views. It would be nice to go back in the summer or on a less foggy day to see a different take on the below view of the lake, but this might be my favorite photo I took in 2020.
Musicians: The music was good but nothing stuck out as truly notable.
Volunteers: Volunteers were a little lacking, but some of that may be COVID protocols which limited the number of interactions. Unlike most Cathedrals where volunteers disinfected the pews afterwards, the congregants were asked to wipe down their seating area here.
Overall: Location, location, location. A great view, and a Cathedral which was done a lot better than many other 1950s era Cathedrals make this a must-stop. While I would have missed the above picture if I’d gone in the summer, I can imagine the area would be a little bit more lively and the nearby hiking trails of Gooseberry Falls would warrant a visit.