“A new, ecclesiastical look is given the downtown Orlando skyline with completion of St. James Roman Catholic Church.”
Illustration caption, Orlando Sentinel-Star, page 35, section 4, March 9, 1952.
Newspaper article announcing a new era for St. James Roman Catholic Church, “a monument to the faith of its founders and a magnificent addition to the busiest street in Orlando.”
The cornerstone of the Orange Avenue church was laid in 1888 br Fr. Swembergh.
The new church was dedicated on March 9, 1952.
St. James Roman Catholic Church, now known as Saint James Catholic Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese, is located on the corner of Orange Ave. and Robinson St. in downtown Orlando.
In 1978 downtown Orlando consisted of empty storefronts and an economic recession darkened the nation. It was at this critical point in the history of Orlando that Father David Page of St. James Cathedral envisioned expanding the church at the corner of Orange Avenue and Jefferson Street. Fr. Page, a community builder, wanted to create a gathering place for community life and social functions. He wanted people to feel connnected to their community parish. Tom Wilkes, a parishioner of St. James Cathedral, arrived at St. James just weeks before the church rectory was demolished to make room for the Community Life Center. He details the church's contribution to the city beautiful in this excerpt from an oral history interview on March 26, 2011.
Saint James Cathedral 1885-1985 centennial publication with pictorial directory of families.
"The Good News of St. James Cathedral: A Short History of the First 100 Years of a Catholic Parish" by Edward Hayes, who attended St. James and was a columnist for The Orlando Sentinel for many years is included in the directory.
Early church benefactors noted in the directory include Joseph Bumby, Mahlon Gore, A. M. Hyer, E. P. Hyer, J. Perey Keating, J. H. Livingston, M. R. Marks, J. B. Parramore, C.H. Spellman, Anna Churchill, Catherine Lansing, Nat Pointz, Maria Reilly, J.M. O"Connell, Charles Green, J. F. Lanaghan, Peter Mack, J. W. Keller, C.F. Howes, G. Kennedy, C. H. Shattuck, J. Campin, M. Massey, John G. Sinclair, E. R. Gunby, L. O. Garrett and brothers, N. H. Brown and C. A. Boone.
Use the index to locate people, organizations and locations. Note: the directory does not have page numbers. The index numbers refer to the pdf page numbers.