SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's Catholic community is preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Special guests include a representative from the Vatican, former bishops of the Salt Lake Diocese and other religious and community leaders.
The Cathedral of the Madeleine is sacred ground to Utah's more than 300,000 Catholics. It is also a place where many civic events have taken place over the decades, and it remains one of Salt Lake City's most notable landmarks.
On its 100th anniversary, Utah's Catholics mark with reverence a symbol of their faith, their sacred house of worship.
"This is a very important part of the aspect of our celebration, that the cathedral represents the presence of God in our midst," said the Most Rev. John C. Wester, bishop of the Catholic Dioceses of Salt Lake City.
Bishop Wester insists this is not just a celebration of "bricks and mortar."
"We know that the Church is living stones, and that we are the people of God, and that the people of God are the Church. And so, Jesus is the cornerstone, the one who holds us all together," he explained.
And, he says, the cathedral is more than "the seat of the Catholic Bishop," the head of the Church's governing body in Utah, on certain occasions it is a place for all.
Every year, the Cathedral becomes a venue for the arts; children dance and sing, orchestras and musical groups play."I hope that its ministries to Catholics and to people of other faiths, and to the larger Utah community, will grow and thrive and develop and be vibrant for the future," said Rev. Monsignor M. Francis Mannion, of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake. The first big event is a Civic Service this Sunday, Aug.9, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine at 7:30 p.m. It includes guests speakers President Thomas S. Monson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon; and the Mexican Consul.