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La Renovación y Restauración

Una fuga en el techo y otros problemas de mantenimiento postergados durante mucho tiempo, así como los códigos modernos sobre estabilidad sísmica y extinción de incendios, hicieron necesario hacer más que parches en la catedral. Se decidió que la catedral estaba atrasada para una renovación y restauración. Durante el primer siglo de la catedral, debido a los intentos de modernizar el aspecto de la catedral y mantenerse al día con los cambios en la liturgia después del Concilio Vaticano II, se realizaron muchos cambios estéticos en el interior. Tanto es así, que perdió por completo su cohesivo diseño victoriano. Por lo tanto, también se requería una restauración del motivo original de la catedral.


En un artículo de Anne Gonzalez de 1998, informa: “La Diócesis Católica Romana de Sacramento se ha embarcado en una evaluación de la catedral de 109 años de antigüedad en las calles 11 y K. El estudio, que estará listo a fines de septiembre, será el marco de una renovación de la iglesia y, en particular, de su distintiva cúpula de 115 pies de altura. El proyecto podría llevar muchos años de recaudación de fondos e investigación de un edificio cuya historia ha sido enterrada durante mucho tiempo por el tiempo, el clima, las modificaciones anteriores y la falta de registros precisos".  


Tomó cinco años de planificación y ejecución, $34 millones, y requirió que la parroquia adorara en las iglesias vecinas durante dos años, pero los resultados fueron sorprendentes y aseguraron que la catedral seguirá en pie por otro siglo y más.

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Beyer Blinder Belle Arquitectos y Planificadores LLP

Contratista general:

Harbison-Mahony-Higgins Builders, Inc.

Gerente de construcción:

Gestión de la construcción de Vanir

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West end y Vestíbulo

The Altar

White marble from China and black marble from Spain make up the fifth altar installed in the cathedral. Sealed in the back of the altar is a relic of St. Toribio Romo.

The Apostles

Part of Evergreene Studios artwork, the twelve Apostles are represented along the walls in the nave, and on both sides of the sanctuary.

The Baptismal Font & Well

Placed at the entrance of the cathedral to represent entry into the church through baptism demonstrates the importance of this sacrament. The font is a working fountain reflecting Psalm 42, "Like the deer that yearns for flowing water, so my soul is yearning for you my God."

Bishop Manogue Memorial

Bishop Thomas Grace (1896-1921) commissioned this memorial to the cathedral's founder, Bishop Patrick Manogue, which was originally placed near the altar and moved to the vestibule during the renovation.

Cathedra - The Bishop's Chair

A cathedra (Latin, "chair", from Greek, καθέδρα kathédra, "seat") or bishop's throne is the seat of a bishop. It is a symbol of the bishop's teaching authority in the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion churches.


Left: In 1808, Spanish Sea Captain Gabriel Moraga discovers and names the Sacramento River because "Es como el sagrado sacramento (This is like the Holy Sacrament)." Right: In 1850, Father Peter Anderson founded St. Rose of Lima church, the first church in Sacramento, after Peter Burnett, first governor of California, and a Catholic, gave Father Anderson a lot at 7th and K Streets.


Electric power came to Sacramento in 1895. Until then, the cathedral was illuminated by gas lights. No information on when electric chandeliers were added, but the ones hanging in the cathedral now were refurbished and revamped during the 2005 renovation, including the addition of an outer ring around the incandescent lights.

The Confessionals

The original confessionals were built for the cathedral by Burnett and Sons. A hundred years later, during the renovation, the same company used computers to seamlessly join old sections of the confessionals with new sections, expanding their size and function.

The Crucifix and Crown

The wood sculpted crucifix is thirteen feet tall, and the crown above it is fourteen feet wide. Together they weigh roughly 2,000 pounds, and are suspended with aircraft cables capable of carrying double the weight.

The Dome Restored

While no pictures of the original dome were found, descriptions in newspapers helped designers recreate an inspiring dome motif. Sixteen roundels, each five feet tall, tell the story of the Eucharist, with corresponding bible verses. The 24-foot oculus at the top allows indirect light to illuminate the digital photograph meant to resemble stained glass.

The Eucharistic Chapel

This space was where the original altars were located, until Vatican II moved the altar to the center of the assembly. This space was largely wasted until the renovation when designers added the Eucharistic Chapel surrounding the tabernacle. It is used for small Masses or events, or private meditation and prayer.

The Martyr's Chapel (South Side)

The mural is of the Risen Christ and Martyr's of the ancient Church and from around the world. The devotional crucifix is deliberately placed for people to touch it. The wood altar here and in Mary's Chapel are from 1889 and were in storage after the 1939 redecorating. In 2005, they were reinstalled and painted to look like marble.

Mary's Chapel (North Side)

Painted in the Byzantine style, this reredo represents all the saints of the Americas, and the visitation of our Lady of Guadalupe, the co-patron saint of Sacramento, to Saint Juan Diego. The blank space is there to remind us that any of us can become a saint.

The Organ

The organ is the third one to grace the cathedral. The first was built by J.C. and H.S. Odell for the St. Rose of Lima church, and was installed in the cathedral ten years later. It was replaced by a Schlicker organ in 1977. That one was rebuilt and nearly doubled in size during the 2005 renovation.


On the top of the four columns are the pendatives, which are curved triangles of vaulting formed by the intersection of a dome with its supporting arches, painted with representations of the four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. On the columns, representations of the sacraments - Baptism, Holy Orders, Marriage, Confirmation, Anointing the Sick, Confession, and Communion.

The Sanctuary Lamp

The lamp signifying Christ's presence was installed in the Cathedral in 1903 but was taken out in the renovation of 1939 and eventually disappeared from the building. During the 2005 renovation, it was bought back for $5000 from a Sacramento resident who had possession of it.

The Sistine Madonna

A gift from benefactor Jane Stanford in 1891, it is one of two copies made of Raphael Sanzio's The Sistine Madonna, also called the Madonna di San Sisto, an altarpiece commissioned in 1512 by Pope Julius II for the church of San Sisto, Piacenza.

Stained Glass Windows

While the windows in the transepts and in the east end are original, the windows in the nave are the forth installment, and the windows in balcony were installed around the cathedral's centennial.

Stations of the Cross

Beginning on the north side and continuing around to the south side of the nave are the Stations of the Cross. The frames are original and the art was part of the Evergreene Studios work during the 2005 renovation.

The Statues of the Saints

The position of each statue has changed over the years, but they are original to the cathedral, and have been restored. As well as the Blessed Mother and Sacred Heart on either side of the east end, there is also St. Patrick, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

The Tabernacle

The 20-foot high tower housing the tabernacle is made from the same marble imported from China and Spain that make up the Baptismal Font. Its design mimics other design elements of the cathedral, like the exterior dome. The tabernacle itself is from the 1930's.

Tromp L'oeil

The style of "tricking the eye" is found throughout the cathedral, most of which was done by Evergreene Studios during the 2005 renovation. Some of it, however, is original, like the angels and caps over the main stained glass window on the east end.

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"Los visitantes de la Catedral del Santísimo Sacramento sin duda seguirán siendo cautivados por su tamaño, belleza y proporciones. Pero su arquitectura y decoración solo pretenden señalar a hombres y mujeres los misterios más profundos que simbolizan. Aquí Dios "plantea Su tienda entre" nosotros mientras reúne a su pueblo; despierta y profundiza su fe a través de la Palabra y los Sacramentos; y los acompaña a través de las transiciones de la vida. La Catedral del Santísimo Sacramento da testimonio silencioso del poder de la fe y el triunfo de la esperanza en la capital de California".

                                         ~Padre Steven M. Avella~


"Las cruces en la parte superior de la Catedral varían de seis a dos metros y medio de altura, y hay siete de ellas.

¡Son muchas cruces y mucho pan de oro! Pero también es una declaración importante para el centro de Sacramento sobre la vida, la muerte y el misterio de la Eucaristía. Esas cruces son un recordatorio para todos los que pasamos por debajo de que Dios nos ama y murió por nosotros; que la cruz cristiana da sentido a los dolores y penas de la vida a pesar de la tentación de tantos de desistir; que el amor y la belleza ganan al final a pesar del odio y el horror en el que nos metemos los humanos. Esa es la buena noticia del Evangelio, que trasciende los estilos de cualquier época".                                              

~Padre James Murphy~