Day after day, St Patrick’s Cathedral welcomes members of our Melbourne community as well as countless visitors from afar, who marvel at the beautiful space created by several generations of the Melbourne Catholic community. The doors open wide—symbolise our Christian mission which invites people to gather, pray and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
The chief draw card might be the ascending basalt columns, the gleaming mosaics and marble which highlight architect William Wardell’s wonderful design. But for the Catholic community this building holds Archbishop Peter A Comensoli’s chair (Latin: cathedra) on the sanctuary, which represents his prayerful leadership of our sacramental celebrations and pastoral life. Our parishes are connected to, and look towards, the cathedral for spiritual inspiration and connection to the Church of Rome.
Our cathedral is dedicated to St Patrick, the pioneering Irish bishop who faithfully and courageously led the Church in Ireland and who initiated many changes to that society.
Our cathedral also enjoys a rare distinction in design. The windows in the nave, unlike the usual stained-glass style, are made of translucent alabaster that gives the body of the building a golden glow. The lay people who pray and celebrate the sacred mysteries at ‘St Pat’s’ are placed in a luminous clearing and bathed in a glorious tint. The dignity of their baptism, friendship with Christ and membership of his body is affirmed in this unique hue.
The central spire is no longer the tallest structure in the Melbourne cityscape, nevertheless, for the friends of Christ, everything we celebrate about God’s love for us in the cathedral is meant to be heard throughout our city and state.