Masses are offered several times every day at the basilica. Check the website (below) for details.
Why to go: Pre-dating the Civil War, the cornerstone was laid in 1835 and the completed cathedral was dedicated in 1850. Its website says, “An heroic challenge was set by Bishop (Michael) Portier in laying foundations for a church 162 feet in length and 90 feet in width.” Over the years, Alabama Catholics tried to keep the promise of its original plan, “sometimes following the original plan, but also in response to circumstances such as the fire of 1954 that could have destroyed the whole structure.” There are strong midwestern ties to the cathedral basilica, too.
In 2001, exterior maintenance included repairs and facade cleaning. In 2003, interior restoration “included artistic enhancements by the Conrad Schmitt Company of New Berlin, Wis.” Among them were gold-leaf on the columns, repainting of the vaulted ceiling, which includes the fleur de lis and the shamrock, representing the French and Irish heritage of the Catholic population of Mobile, and new Carrara marble on the floor of the main aisle and the two side aisles.
Its original organ, completed in 1858, was destroyed in the 1954 fire. In 1957, a new organ, custom-built by Wicks Organ Company of Highland (Ill.) was installed. In 2000, the Wicks Company restored the organ console with new keyboards, pedalboard, key and pedal contacts, and drawknobs.
(Photo courtesy The Catholic Week of the Archdiocese of Mobile)
(Grand) Kid friendly: The basilica welcomes familiesInfo: Address — Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (office), 2 South Claiborne St., Mobile, AL 36602
Phone — 251/434-1565
Website — http://www.mobilecathedral.org
— Sharon Boehlefeld compiled this story.
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