In 1834, Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming stood on the crest of a hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and imagined a cathedral on the site. He had no land, no money, and no support, save that if an impoverished Irish congregation. Read the amazing story of how Fleming secured the land he wanted, raised the thousands of pounds required, and even quarried stone from the ground with his own bare hands. The massive project literally cost him his life, but even as the bishop’s strength faded, he was determined to say the first Mass in the cathedral. And he did so, on a frigid January day, in an empty shell of a building, amid scaffolding and sawdust.
Today the Basilica-Cathedral is a visual testament to the grit and determination of the people of St. John’s and the bishops who led them. Each magnificent work of art tells its own story. The Dead Christ – 2,000 pounds and carved from a single block of marble. This memorial to Bishop Scallan – was the bishop actually excommunicated? And the old high alter-taken apart in 1955, but the controversy lives on.
With a foreword by the most Reverend Martin W. Currie, D.D Archbishop of St John's