Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe - Dallas, TX

As we walked outside the Dallas Art Museum in the Arts District of Dallas we heard some beautiful bells nearby and decided to see if we could find the source of the wonderful sound. Fortunately, downtown Dallas was not too crowded and we found a good-looking old church a few blocks away and were able to park nearby for a quick visit. The relatively plain but appealing old brick building stands as an anomaly to the tall glass-encased skyscrapers about it, a visible reminder of a more uncomplicated past and a less visible but still existent more caring present. 
Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe - dedicated in 1902.
The cathedral from a different angle. 
The newer bell tower with 49 bells.
Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin Guadalupe is one of two cathedrals in the U.S. to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, a vision of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego at the Hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City in 1531. Guadalupe Cathedral serves the second largest cathedral congregation in the U.S., 630,000 Catholics in the nine-county Diocese of Dallas.  It also serves as the meeting place for the largest Latino parish in the U.S., 25,000 registered households. The average Sunday attendance is 11,200. Only 10% of the cathedral's congregation are English-only speakers. Most are latino. 
We visited on a Saturday late afternoon, early evening, and a mass was going on. We watched for a few minutes, but did not have time to enjoy more of it. 
The cathedral is quite simple by Catholic standards, but we were impressed by the Saturday evening crowd.
One of the entrances.
The first Catholic parish in Dallas was established in 1869 by the Bishop of Galveston, who named it Sacred Heart Church. A church was built where the current central post office is, at the corner of Bryan and Ervay Streets. Dallas was designated a diocese in 1890 and Sacred Heart Church became Sacred Heart Cathedral. The property at the current church location, at the corner of Ross and Pearl Streets, was purchased in the 1890s and the cornerstone was laid in 1898. The new cathedral was dedicated in 1902. In the 1960s and early 1970s the attendance at the cathedral decreased and a nearby parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe, outgrew its building.The bishop invited the Our Lady of Guadalupe parish to merge with  Sacred Heart in 1975 and the cathedral adopted the parish name and became Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1977. The bell tower was planned as part of the original cathedral, but not built. More recently the bell tower with 49 bells was added. It was these bells that drew us to it. The cathedral is run by Carmelite priests. 


  1. That's an impressive attendance number.
    I loved the cathedrals of Europe, but this relatively simple cathedral has its charms.

  2. The best part was the bells, which went on for several minutes.After hearing those, we knew we had to see the church that housed them.We could do with a few more bell-ringing churches in the United States.

  3. If you ever make it down to Mexico City I will have to show you the original.