Looking at an aerial photo of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception standing with spired arms raised to the heavens, I saw carved in stone the prophetic mission of the Christian Church. Standing between The Empire State Plaza and the Mansion Hill/South End District, our Cathedral marks the Catholic presence in our state’s capital city of Albany.
Like the Hebrew prophets standing between “the widow and orphan” and the kings of Israel, we are to be a voice for those who are living in poverty, the homeless and hungry, and people suffering from prejudice and hate. Like the prophet Nathan who challenged King David, we must speak transforming words of justice that call people in power to conversion of heart. This is how we may support our governing officials in their service to the people of our State and together raise the dignity of every human being.
This Cathedral Church was built by Irish immigrants during the mid-19th century when the anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic “Know-Nothing” Party flourished. This is our history, this therefore must be our calling. A call to be with the grace of God and the strength of the Holy Spirit, a people girded with justice and crowned with respect and a community where human dignity thrives in all people.
Fyodor Dostoevsky in his novel, “The Idiot” wrote, “Beauty will save the world”. Cathedral Churches have also been sacred places of great beauty in architecture, sculpture, liturgy, art, and music. Reflecting the whole cosmos in stone, glass and light, cathedrals have inspired awe in people leading believer and spiritual seeker into the presence of the holy, immanent, and transcendent living God of Jesus Christ.
Prophetic call, beauty and social justice are the hallmarks of a Christian community. Please join us in this endeavor whether as a visitor, seeker or committed Christian, and gather with us for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the presence of our crucified and risen Christ.
Welcome among us as we gather under the great neo-gothic arches of the Cathedral Church of the Immaculate Conception.
The Very Rev’d. David Wm. Mickiewicz
Rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception