150th Anniversary Of The Cathedral Of The Immaculate Conception

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis

December 8, 2010 Updated Dec 8, 2010 at 11:45 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - A downtown Fort Wayne landmark celebrated its 150th anniversary Wednesday night.

Hundreds of parishioners from across Northeast Indiana attended the celebratory mass.

The anniversary coincides with Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception's dedication as a church on December 8th, 1860.

"Especially out here in the Midwest, I think 150 years is quite a milestone," said Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Director of Music Michael Dulac.

It should be noted that Dulac is especially dedicated. He travels two hours twice a week from Lansing, Michigan to work at the Cathedral.

Meanwhile, in 1860, it cost $63,000 to build the cathedral and if it were to be built today it would have cost nearly $1.5 million.

The leader of the Fort Wayne - South Bend Diocese, Bishop Kevin Rhoades lead Wednesday night's mass.

Fort Wayne - South Bend Diocese Bishop Emeritus John D'Arcy also participated in the service.

"It's a very special thing. This is a fantastic building. It's got the great acoustics, the great organ. Of course we hear the instruments in the background," said Wabash Resident & 150th Anniversary Choir Member Mike Bechtol.

During its history, nine bishops and 13 rectors have all made their mark with renovations at the cathedral.

Meanwhile, cathedrals are special places in the Catholic Church because the word cathedral means chair or throne.

So cathedrals are where the Bishop's Chair resides.

That's what makes a cathedral different than parishes.

Fort Wayne’s cathedral and another cathedral in South Bend are the diocese mother churches.

"To be here and work with everybody... it really touches your heart. It's a once in a lifetime experience," said Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Secretary & Fort Wayne Resident Patty Sosenheimer.

"The catholic church is over 2,000 years old so I'm still part of that church," added Decatur Resident Andy Huss.

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