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Old Saint Mary's Cathedral Celebrates 150th Anniversary

The oldest cathedral in San Francisco Chinatown commemorates its 150th anniversary last week from, January 20 to January 23.
( [email protected] ) Jan 24, 2005 04:36 PM EST

Old Saint Mary's Cathedral in Chinatown celebrating its 150th anniversary win a four- day event held from January 20-23.

The Old Saint Mary's Cathedral is the first Catholic cathedral built in California. The cathedral, which is the largest brick building in San Francisco, was built in 1854.

In 1902, they began to evangelize Chinese so that at the time they got the first Chinese members in America. In addition, they set up a Chinese school to help Chinese education. Famous students from the Chinese school include Police Chief Yuwen Fan and Ex-Police Chief Baian Liu.

In 1909, St. Mary's church was rebuilt, making it the second most-recongized historical building until 1968.

Unfortunately, the church was damaged in the 1989 earthquake. Since then, People have collect no less than US$6,000,000 to rebuild the cathedral. The first restoration project began at the end of 2002, and resumed January of last year. The next maintenance effort will repair the church tower, replace the organ, and install disabled persons passage-ways. The budget is estimated to be around US$8,800,000.

Pastor Charles Kullmann said that the church approximately has 300 register members. Because they did not offer education for the youth, the church has seen a decrease in younger attendants. However, the gaps have been filled by many tourists who do attend the Mass. An average of 600 people attended each of the Masses held during the three day-long anniversary celebration.

Mass began the afternoon of January 20. The mayor and the city parliament were invited to attend the Mass. During the Mass, Police Chief Yuwen Fan was commended for his countless contributions to the church.

During the event, the New Century Chamber Orchestra performed Saturday evening. Chinese Pastor Huang lead the Mass on Sunday.

Additional activities included, tree planting- ceremonies, lunch, games and raffle-ticket contests.