Cathedral

CathedralCentenary Browse the St Carthage’s
Cathedral Gallery

Historical Dates of Interest

St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore, NSW

St Carthage’s Cathedral is Lismore’s most notable building. It was designed in the Gothic Revival style of the nineteenth century, a church style which remained popular well into the twentieth century.
The architect was Herbert Wardell, son of William Wilkinson Wardell (1823-1899) who was an architectural associate of Augustus Welby Pugin, the ‘father’ of the English Gothic Revival.
W. W. Wardell emigrated with his family to Australia in 1858 and was commissioned as the architect of many secular and ecclesiastical buildings including St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, and the rebuilt St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.
With the addition of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Adelaide and Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo, by virtue of the quality of its design, composition and intactness, St Carthage’s Cathedral is held to be one of the six finest Catholic cathedrals in Australia.

Some moments of significance…

5 May 1887 The new Diocese of Grafton is separated from the Diocese of Armidale  by Pope Leo XIII, and the parish priest of Lismore, Jeremiah Doyle (1849-1909) is appointed as its first Bishop.
11 Sept 1887 Bishop Doyle establishes St Mary’s Church, Lismore as his Pro-Cathedral.
17 March 1892 Bishop Doyle announces plans to build a Cathedral dedicated to St Carthage of Lismore in Ireland, and entrusts its design to the architects Messrs Wardell and Denning of Sydney.
4 October 1892 Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, lays the foundation stone. However, the financial recession of the 1890’s delays construction for 12 years.
13 June 1900 By decree of Pope Leo XXIII the name of the Diocese is changed from Grafton to Lismore.
September 1904 Construction of the brick foundations commences, at a depth of 5 metres (16ft).
1 January 1905 The timber St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral and the adjacent Convent of the Presentation Sisters are destroyed by fire. On 31 May Bishop Doyle lays the first brick of the walls of the new Cathedral.
24 June 1907 Bishop Doyle celebrates the first Mass in the unfinished sanctuary, on the 33rd anniversary of his ordination as a priest.
15 August 1907 Cardinal Moran returns for the Solemn Opening of the Cathedral.
4 June 1909 Bishop Doyle dies and is succeeded by Bishop John Carroll.
23 June 1912 The Cathedral organ by Dodd of Adelaide is blessed.
15 Aug 1919 The Solemn Dedication of the Cathedral and the consecration of the High Altar of Caleula marble, and the altars of the chapels of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady.
5 May 1887 The new Diocese of Grafton is separated from the Diocese of Armidale  by Pope Leo XIII, and the parish priest of Lismore, Jeremiah Doyle (1849-1909) is appointed as its first Bishop.
11 Sept 1887 Bishop Doyle establishes St Mary’s Church, Lismore as his Pro-Cathedral.
17 March 1892 Bishop Doyle announces plans to build a Cathedral dedicated to St Carthage of Lismore in Ireland, and entrusts its design to the architects Messrs Wardell and Denning of Sydney.
4 October 1892 Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, lays the foundation stone. However, the financial recession of the 1890’s delays construction for 12 years.
13 June 1900 By decree of Pope Leo XXIII the name of the Diocese is changed from Grafton to Lismore.
September 1904 Construction of the brick foundations commences, at a depth of 5 metres (16ft).
1 January 1905 The timber St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral and the adjacent Convent of the Presentation Sisters are destroyed by fire. On 31 May Bishop Doyle lays the first brick of the walls of the new Cathedral.
24 June 1907 Bishop Doyle celebrates the first Mass in the unfinished sanctuary, on the 33rd anniversary of his ordination as a priest.
15 August 1907 Cardinal Moran returns for the Solemn Opening of the Cathedral.
4 June 1909 Bishop Doyle dies and is succeeded by Bishop John Carroll.
23 June 1912 The Cathedral organ by Dodd of Adelaide is blessed.
15 Aug 1919 The Solemn Dedication of the Cathedral and the consecration of the High Altar of Caleula marble, and the altars of the chapels of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady.
22 June 1933 Bishop Carroll writes to Herbert Wardell referring to his hope that “the mosaic floor for the sanctuary” will be fulfilled. “I am anxious that it should in every way be in keeping with the whole Cathedral, which every day seems to grow more beautiful.” The sanctuary floor finally becomes a reality in 2015.
20 June 1937 The mosaic Shrine in honour of St Patrick, in the south transept, is dedicated by Bishop Carroll. St Patrick was declared the Principal Patron of the Diocese of Lismore by Pope Benedict XV in 1915.
1977-1978 The sanctuary modified to better accommodate renewed liturgical forms following the Second Vatican Council.
2 December 2003 Bishop Jarrett commissions Australian architectural historian Brian Andrews to survey the cathedral interior and develop a renovation plan, respecting the integrity of the Wardell building, in continuity with the vision and achievement of Bishop Doyle, and to provide more permanently for the celebration of the renewed liturgy. The Andrews report forms the basis for the work completed in December 2015.
9 October 2007 Two months after its centenary celebrations, the building suffers extensive damage to its roof and stained glass by large wind-driven hailstones. Older windows restored and releaded; six new stained glass windows by artist Kevin Little installed in the nave and south transept 2006-2011.
2010-2011 Entire Cathedral re-roofed with 66,000 Newfoundland slates; the external walls and copings repaired and cleaned. The six sandstone gable crosses replaced.
6 June 2011 The hanging Rood blessed and installed in the chancel arch. The figures carved by the Monastic Sisters of Bethlehem, Mougères, France are mounted on a cross made by craftsman Jim Muldoon of Grafton.
April-December 2015 April-December 2015    Marble paving in Cosmati design laid in the nave, baptistry and chancel. Eagle lectern installed as the ambo, made in 1903 by J & R Lamb, New York.  A new altar of Carrara marble is erected beneath the hanging Rood. It is supported on eight columns of green onyx sourced from Pakistan, in total weighs 2.5 tonnes, the work of Remuzzi Marmi, Bergamo, Italy. The bronze reliquary chest under the altar is designed and cast by Talleres de Arte Granda, Madrid. The altar is solemnly dedicated on 22 February 2016.

 

 

TNCHDA026