My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Welcome to the historic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. I hope that you enjoy your visit and may you carry home an appreciation of why this cathedral is such a special place to the people of our city and diocese.
How the world, our nation and the City of Albany have changed since Albany’s first Bishop, John McCloskey, opened the Cathedral doors to the public on November 21, 1852.
The Cathedral is today both the Mother Church of our diocese and a parish church with a congregation hailing from all around the Capital District. The parish operates a major social service outreach program that daily ministers to people in need. The Cathedral hosts major liturgical celebrations and diocesan gatherings as well as a variety of cultural events throughout the year.
During your visit you will see results of our efforts to restore and to renew this glorious structure as a jewel of the city and as the center of the Church at Albany. The South Tower has yet to be rebuilt and much of the brown stone on the exterior of the Cathedral needs to be replaced with new red sandstone imported from England. We have also refurbished the Cathedral’s majestic interior space, to facilitate a renewal of its mission as the center of the Church, a dynamic gathering place for all of God’s people to worship, to celebrate all that is noble in the human spirit.
The Cathedral possesses great potential to be a major part of a renaissance for the City of Albany. It is my hope that as you go from here you will tell others about the Cathedral and our efforts to preserve it.
If you would like to assist our efforts to preserve the Cathedral and be kept informed about the restoration and renewal project, consider joining Friends of the Cathedral, which is dedicated to the care and preservation of the Cathedral.
I pray that the Cathedral’s soaring towers will stand as a beacon of hope and as a house of prayer, welcoming God’s people for centuries to come.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop of Albany