New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan to celebrate Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, to mark 150 years of its dedication

21 Aug 2023

From Thursday to Sunday of this week, the Archdiocese of Armagh will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first dedication of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, which took place on 24 August 1873.
Archbishop Eamon Martin has invited the people of Ireland and around the world, whose ancestors  contributed so much to the construction of the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Patrick, to join in joyful prayers of thanksgiving on this special anniversary.  The Primate of All Ireland also invites all those who wish, to attend the celebrations together with the faith community of the Archdiocese of Armagh, representing the many generations who have passed through the doors of the Cathedral over the past century and a half.
This week, on Thursday, 24 August, an outdoor ‘Celebration for Families’ will take place in the Shambles Yard, Armagh, (at the main gates of the Cathedral) between 5.00pm to 7.00pm.  This will include music and entertainment for all families throughout the Archdiocese and beyond.  At 7.10pm groups and organisations from across the Archdiocese will follow bands in procession from the Shambles Yard to the Cathedral for Evening Prayer at 7.30 pm.   Representatives of different groups and parishes from across the diocese will be involved.  During the Evening Prayer, a specially commissioned icon of Saint Patrick, written by the Redemptoristine Sisters in Drumcondra, Dublin, will be unveiled and dedicated; a print of the icon will be presented to each parish of the Archdiocese after the ceremony. Community and other Church leaders, and representatives from other dioceses will be in attendance on the evening.  Archbishop Martin will lead the Evening Prayer accompanied by the Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Bishop Michael Router, and retired Archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal Seán Brady.
On Sunday, 27 August, Cardinal Timothy Dolan from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, will be the main celebrant and preacher at a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Cathedral at 11.00 am.   The Mass will be a celebration, giving praise and thanks to God for the faith expressed within the Cathedral since it was first dedicated in 1873.  All are welcome to attend the Mass.
150 years of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh
The foundation stone of the Cathedral was laid by Archbishop and Primate William Crolly on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1840, but all building work was later suspended due to the famine and funds raised were distributed for the relief of the poor.  Work on the Cathedral resumed after Easter in 1854 under the leadership of Primate Joseph Dixon, but it was Primate Daniel McGettigan who oversaw the completion of the building and declared Sunday 24 August 1873 as the day of opening and dedication.  Massive crowds from all over Ireland, and beyond, attended the opening.
An exhibition of thoughts about the Cathedral by local primary school children has been in place in the Cathedral ambulatory since June and will remain until after this weekend’s celebrations.
The Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and Archive is hosting a free exhibition of historical documents and artefacts covering the building of the cathedral.  This will run until the end of August, Monday to Friday from 10:00am until 4:00pm, with introductory talks on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:45am.

  • Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland