By Edward Long and Mickey Bruce
Sun contributing writers
One of the best kept secrets in the Syracuse Diocese is the existence of an extensive museum in the basement of the Chancery. This beautiful collection of rare, priceless and sentimental artifacts reflects the history of our local and universal church and represents our 125 years as a diocese. The archives museum has always been open to any person or group who wishes to see the collection, but its location limits its visibility and hours of operation.
In celebration of the diocese’s 125th anniversary, the archives museum is exhibiting its collection at the Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) from Nov. 2 to Apr. 30. This comprehensive, self-guided exhibit offers a great opportunity for all parishes of our diocese, non-Catholic visitors or just history lovers to examine the collection.
The archives display presents everything Roman Catholic acquired through the diocese’s history, including historic and artistic sacred vessels, unique sacramentals, Vatican II coins and medals, medallions of jubilee years and exhibits of clergy and episcopal vesture.
A portrait display of the diocese’s bishops holds a prominent position in the exhibit. A short biography of each bishop from Bishop Patrick Anthony Ludden to our current Bishop of Syracuse, Robert Cunningham, explores each man’s central role as a shepherd and teacher of the diocese.
There are also rare specimens, including the silver Lampsacus coin from 330 BC given to Bishop David Cunningham at his consecration as Titular Bishop of Lampsacus, a unique brick from the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica from 1825 and Bishop Ludden’s chalice, recently restored and used in the anniversary Mass on Nov. 6 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
At the conclusion of the display at the OHA, a traveling showcase will be available to visit all parishes in the diocese.
In addition to the traveling exhibit, the Cathedral will offer an open house during all diocesan-wide celebrations in the Cathedral throughout the year. The Cathedral Open House Team will deploy to 18 stations in the Cathedral and offer visitors information on the stained glass windows, the crypt of the bishops, the coats of arms and much more.
All parishes, schools (both parochial and public), religious groups and secular groups are encouraged to consider a trip to the OHA to view the archives exhibit, followed by a guided, comprehensive tour of the historic and beautiful Cathedral.
The OHA museum is located at 321 Montgomery St., Syracuse, and is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (315) 428-1864 for more information.
To make an appointment for a guided tour of the Cathedral and/or the exhibit at the OHA, call the Diocesan Archives Offices at (315) 470-1493.
Edward Long is Historian and Mickey Bruce is Archivist of the Diocese of Syracuse.