(pictured above: Cathedral of Saint Andrew after 1901 fire with second spire and transepts added (left) and cathedral current day (right).)

July 4 not only marks the celebration of our country’s independence, but is also the anniversary of the re-dedication of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in 1903 and an official feast day for the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Following a devastating fire in 1901, the cathedral was restored, expanded and then re-dedicated and consecrated during celebrations on July 4, 1903 involving thousands of Grand Rapids citizens and parishioners as well as bishops, priests, local officials, and the apostolic delegate to the United States.

Hidden above the ceiling that you see in the cathedral today are the original massive wooden beams, still charred from that major fire in 1901 which was caused by lightning.

The solemnity will be celebrated at the 12:05 p.m. Mass (with music) at the cathedral on Saturday, July 4.

Read a historical account of the cathedral re-dedication and consecration (from “The Catholic Church in the Grand River Valley 1833-1950” by John W. McGee.)

Read a history of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.