St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral Becomes Basillica

St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, located in downtown Manhattan since its construction in 1808, officially became a basilica this past Sunday.   The honor was bestowed upon the cathedral during afternoon vespers led by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan.

According to an article found in The New York Times, the decision was made foremost as an acknowledgment of the church’s history.  Various generations of Irish, Italian, Hispanic and Asian immigrants have found a home in the Cathedral, the building also playing a part in defending parishioners from 19th-century anti-Catholic mobs.

Archbishop Dolan justified the new title as such: “The title basilica is awarded to a church because of its historical, spiritual, cultural and artistic value,” he said. “This is still a living, breathing, loving, embracing, serving parish.”