Archive for March, 2006|Monthly archive page

How is a cathedral different from a parish church?

Our cathedral is a parish church, but it is much more. A church designated as the cathedral is the mother church of the whole diocese. It is called a cathedral because it houses the cathedra or bishop’s chair. This cathedra symbolizes the bishop’s authority to teach, sanctify and govern the church. From it he presides over his diocese. In addition, the Ceremonial for Bishops points out that the cathedral is to be the model for the entire diocese. In other words, it should be the ideal parish, one that the bishop would want every parish in his diocese to emulate. Even the building itself and the celebrations held within should be models for the rest of the diocese.

Fr. Tim McGuire


Important Steps

So far, most of the postings on this weblog have been written by our pastor, Fr. Tim McGuire. Today, though, I wanted to share a few of my own thoughts about our recent activities.

As a member of the Building Committee, I participated in meetings we had during the past two weekends with members of each of the six parishes that will be combined to form Triumph of the Cross Parish. These were meetings with the architects to give parishioners a chance to share directly about their parish traditions and potential items from their churches that could be used in the new church and cathedral to help remember and pass on their history. In all, some 200 people came to the meetings and shared their ideas. Each of the meetings was different and reflected some of the differences among the parishes and their parishioners. It was clear that the people have strong connections to their parishes and that the Church is an important part of their lives. Our challenge as a building committee representing the parishes – and particularly the challenge of the architects – is to ensure that we honor the history and traditions of the parishes as we build the new church and form a new Catholic community. It’s not just the job of the pastor, but an opportunity and a responsibility each of us shares.

The building committee has been meeting almost weekly for six months now. It’s an honor and a pleasure to work with people who obviously care about our new parish community and the church building that will be our home. We come from the different parishes and different backgrounds, and are experiencing a sense of community as we work with Fr. McGuire and one another to build Triumph of the Cross – the church and the parish community. I think we’re all excited about the future for the Catholic Church in Steubenville.

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Last week – March 6-9 – Fr. McGuire led the first Triumph of the Cross parish mission. We recorded his homilies and have put them on the Internet for free downloading and listening. You’re all welcome to hear – or hear again – our pastor’s reflections on the Triumph of the Cross and a vision for the future. The audios are MP3 podcast files and are available at In coming weeks we’ll be adding more Podcasts from Triumph of the Cross to help share the stories of building our new parish community, church and cathedral for the Diocese of Steubenville.

– Jim Coyle

A Gift from God

The Vision Statement of the Pastoral Plan for the City of Steubenville begins with words that would be good to recall as we move forward:

“Put out into the deep!” These words [of Jesus] ring out for us today, and they invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live in the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8) (quoting Pope John Paul II).

As a people who believe in God’s providential love, we choose to see the present moment, not as a harbinger of doom, but as a gift from God, a challenge to be met, an opportunity for renewal, a call to a new way of living as the Church.

– Fr. Tim McGuire

What’s Happening to Steubenville’s Catholic Schools?

The Education Task Force for the Catholic schools in the Steubenville continues to meet. As of this date no recommendations have been made. Our plan is to make a recommendation to Bishop Conlon around Labor Day. If the bishop accepts our plan, nothing would go into effect before the 2007-2008 school year. The coming school year, 2006-2007, will not be affected.

Vicki Nurczyk, Chair of the Schools Task Force