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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

History in the Cathedral

My latest UB story takes an up-close look at the Mortuary Chapel in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. I love doing this behind-the-scenes pieces. Just good fun. Here's a little taste:

History fills cathedral chapel

By Wendy A. Hoke

CLEVELAND-In the early 1990s, a well-dressed man walked through the wrought-iron gates of the Mortuary Chapel on the north side of the transept in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. He walked out with the encased bones of St. Christina, an early Christian martyr and one of the only complete saintly skeleton relics in the United States.

Fortunately, the box of bones was quickly found sitting in a church parking lot, undamaged. Today, the remains of St. Christina are safely tucked under the chapel’s altar, encased in bulletproof glass and surrounded by the burial vaults of six former bishops.

The Mortuary Chapel is the final resting place for Archbishops Joseph Schrembs and Edward F. Hoban and Bishops Amadeus Rappe, Richard Gilmour, Ignatius F. Horstmann, John P. Farrelly, Clarence G. Issenman and Auxiliary Bishop John R. Hagan.

This small, but ornate sacred space tells the story of its inhabitants, their Catholic faith and, through them, the history of the diocese.

Read more online.

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