Over a decade of planning, fundraising, and a year of construction has culminated in a beautiful space that will enhance the learning experience at Cathedral for generations to come.
On September 26, 2020, we celebrated, blessed and dedicated the new North Building – the first new academic building to Cathedral’s campus in 53 years. A small group was present, socially distanced and masked, while the majority of “attendees” participated from the comfort of their homes as we livestreamed this historic event.
During the dedication ceremony, Fr. Tom Knoblach ’79, previous Cathedral Board Chair and Building Committee Member, offered these words of thanks to the Cathedral Community:
If I stopped there, I would have said the most important thing. I am honored and humbled to say just a few words on behalf of so many people: the Members of the Corporation and the Board of Directors; the Building Committee, the Fundraising Committee and our advancement team; the students, families, faculty, and staff of Cathedral High School; the thousands of alumni of the school across its 136-year history of Catholic education on this site; and because we are a people of hope, even to put words into the mouths of the generations who will follow us in walking these halls and learning in this space. And those words, first and last, are Thank You.
It may sound dramatic but it is really true this is a historic moment, the culmination in steel and stone, wood and glass, of a vision to provide space for 21st-century education to augment the campus and enhance opportunities in the physical sciences, engineering, art, and collaborative learning. Housed here also are new administration spaces; a stunning vista overlooking the Mississippi River and also a view that overlooks the North Gym; and especially distinctive in this Catholic school, a chapel for prayer, worship, and inspiration in the presence of Jesus Christ, Who will dwell in our midst.
2020 has been a year to remember, of course, and the challenges we all face together with a pandemic and racism and natural disasters and the disruption of so much we take for granted as routines of life make this accomplishment even more remarkable. This 2020 cornerstone can remind each of us, and future generations, of the resilience, perseverance, and capacity to overcome obstacles to achieve a goal that at times may seem simply impossible, and to recognize the hand of God helping us when human resources fail.
May it inspire us with hope to keep pursuing what is right, and true, and good, wherever life takes us from this place.
From an idea first put forth by Mike Mullin, past President of Cathedral, and developed by boards, committees, faculty and staff, our architects ATS&R, and put together piece by piece by craftspeople under the direction and tireless labor of McGough Construction, we stand before the product of nearly a decade of thought, dialogue, research, and just plain hard work. The building’s strength speaks for itself. But also visible here is the story of partnership and legacy so many friends of Cathedral have united their time, their resources, their donations and pledges, and above all their belief in what Cathedral means to our community, to build a future for all who will come after us, and build upon the foundations of those who preceded us. The building is great; the relationships and generosity, even more so.
To say the obvious, all of this takes money; and I join all of us to recognize you, our many donors. Words are inadequate to recognize what you have made possible by your gifts, large and small, and the labor and sacrifices those dollars represent. Like the pilings beneath us, your contributions may not be visible; but they hold it all together.
My first words will be my last words, and meant from the heart: Thank you.”