Spokane’s Our Lady of Lourdes is a beautiful example of Italian Romanesque Architecture, mostly brick with granite accents. The facade is framed by two square towers that reach a height of 164 ft.
In August of 1881, Jesuit Father Joseph Cataldo converted a carpenter’s shop into the Church of St. Joseph, the first Catholic church in Spokane. Only five people attended the first Mass in that wooden shed which measured just fifteen by twenty-two feet.
Five years later, a large brick church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes replaced the original structure, and a school opened under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Names. The cornerstone for the present church was laid in 1903. In 1906, the new school was completed. In 1913, Our Lady of Lourdes became the Cathedral for the newly created Diocese of Spokane.
The interior was renovated in 1971 when the altar was moved closer to the congregation in response to the II Vatican council. The old marble high altar, topped by a Calvary scene, remains in the apse. The cathedral has two organs, a W. W. Kimball pipe organ in the loft and the Druffel Memorial organ located in the transept. The stained glass windows are from Bavaria.
Sadly, I didn’t make it back during the day for interior photos, but if I’m back in the area I’ll be sure to update this post.
The cathedral as seen from Spokane’s Riverfront Park, which we’ll visit next.
Find the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes along W Riverside Ave in downtown Spokane. Visit their website for mass schedules.
Great photos Jon. We’ll be passing through Spokane in a couple of weeks, so will try to stop off and take a look
A couple of other great spots are the Riverfront Park and Manito Park – those posts coming up soon. Thanks for reading, Steve!