SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Monday marked the 136th year of the Dedication of the Cathedral of St. Peter in downtown Scranton. The dedication happened on September 28th, 1864 by Bishop William O’Hara, Scranton’s first Bishop.
Construction began in 1865 on the building, which was previously home to a former parish church, St. Vincent de Paul.
The name change came from Christ’s words to Peter, from Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock, I will build my church.”
“1865, just to put it in historic context, that was a long time ago. That’s the year the Civil War ended and President Lincoln was assassinated. So this beautiful edifice has been here for a long time, and many Catholics have come to worship here. It’s a place of treasure in the hearts of local Catholics not just in Scranton but in the whole Diocese of Scranton,” Monsignor Dale Rupert, the pastor at St. Peter’s Cathedral, said.
A dozen candles were lit along the Cathedrals walls in honor of the Dedication Anniversary, as is tradition.
Rupert calls the church “a beacon of light in these dark times,” as it has been the past 135 years through the country’s ups and downs.
About 30 people were in attendance and the mass was streamed online.