Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, a grand English gothic style structure, serves as the mother church of the Diocese of Greensburg. The cathedral towers on the hilltop of North Main Street in downtown Greensburg and continues to provide a home for both worship and faith formation to Catholics who live in the city of Greensburg and beyond.
The history of the cathedral stretches back more than two centuries. The parish dates back to March 10, 1789, when a group of laymen representing about 25 area families paid five shillings, the equivalent of less $1 today, for the 1.5 acres that comprise the current site.
In 2010-11 as part of the Today’s Challenge – Tomorrow’s Hope Capital Campaign, a restoration project at the cathedral commenced and much-needed repairs and improvements to the 82-year-old building began. The project included repairs to the stained glass windows; improvements to the interior and exterior lighting; an upgrade of the electrical system; painting and plaster repair; along with the work on the pews, kneelers and floor. Further components of the project included restorations in the apse, the part of the church where the altar is located.
A cathedral gets its name because it is the church where the cathedra (Greek and Latin for “chair,”) or bishop’s chair, is placed. In ancient times, the chair was seen as the sign of authority to teach, and early bishops usually preached while seated. When the pope teaches formally, authoritatively and infallibly, he is said to be speaking “ex cathedra,” or from the chair.