Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Basilica-Cathedral of Saint James

Diocese of Brooklyn.

The first St. James (parish) church—the present structure was completed in 1902—was built on the same location that the basilica cathedral occupies today. At its opening it held the distinction of being the only Catholic church in all of Long Island, today it is the third oldest Catholic church in New York City. The church was formally dedicated on August of 1823.

In 1853, the Diocese of Brooklyn was carved out from the Archdiocese of New York, and Bishop John Loughlin was appointed by the Holy See as its first bishop. The new bishop selected St. James to be his pro-cathedral with the expectation that a new, more suitable cathedral would be built. The hoped for new cathedral was never erected, and the pro-cathedral became the permanent seat of the Bishops of Brooklyn.

On May 6, 1982, during the 160th anniversary year of its founding, the Cathedral of Saint James was designating a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II.