With the publication of his pastoral letter, “Enriching the Church: The Role of the Family in the Life of the Church of Syracuse and Beyond,” Bishop Robert J. Cunningham announced a special Year of the Family, which began in the diocese on Dec. 3, 2017.
In his letter, Bishop Cunningham reflects on the mission of the modern family — evangelization — and how it can be accomplished by forming an “ecclesia domestica,” a “domestic church,” through prayer and worship, formation, community, and service. Throughout the Year of the Family, the Diocese of Syracuse and its ministries will focus on each of these pillars and provide resources families can use to build their domestic churches.
On a Sunday in 1904, St. Mary’s Church in Syracuse was dedicated as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the Mother Church of the Diocese of Syracuse. Now, more than a century later, the Cathedral has undergone an extensive restoration to address critical structural repairs and necessary renewal. Generous donations from more than 8,300 supporters across the diocese made the restoration possible, ensuring the Cathedral will stand strong for another century to come. The Year of the Family is a perfect time to make a pilgrimage or pay a visit to the diocese’s Mother Church.
• Come celebrate. Masses are celebrated every day at the Cathedral — come be a part of a liturgy. Daily Masses are celebrated Mondays through Fridays at 12:10 p.m. The Vigil Mass is celebrated on Saturdays at 5:10 p.m. Sunday Masses are celebrated at 7:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and 5:10 p.m.
• Learn about our faith and history. The art of the Cathedral tells the story of our Catholic faith and the history of those who came before us. Stained glass windows above the sanctuary chronicle the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Passion, and Christ’s Resurrection. The central window depicts the Immaculate Conception. In the body of the church, saints are depicted in stained glass. And alongside the Sacred Heart altar at the side of the church, another saint: A relic of the diocese’s own St. Marianne Cope is displayed for veneration.
• Join the community. The Cathedral is an urban parish with a vibrant community drawn from the neighborhood and beyond. Come celebrate Mass with the Cathedral family and find out more about its ministries and faith groups, including the Friendship Club for inner-city residents and a newly formed group for young adults.
• Serve and give. The Cathedral has a long history of service and offers numerous ministries: Amaus Medical Services provides a valuable service to the uninsured and underinsured who need basic primary care services and chronic disease management. Amaus Dental Services stands alone in providing free dental services for those in the community who would otherwise do without. The Cathedral Emergency Services Food Pantry receives both ongoing food and monetary assistance from the Cathedral Parish. The parish also shares longstanding connections with the Guardian Angel Society, the Brady Faith Center, and the Samaritan Center. Find out how you can be a part of this community of service.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is located on Columbus Circle at 259 West Onondaga St., Syracuse. The church is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays for Masses. Group tours of the Cathedral may be arranged by calling the Parish Office at
(315) 422-4177. To learn more, visit cathedralsyracuse.org or facebook.com/CathedralSyracuse.
Family Bible study: Third Sunday of Lent
During this Year of the Family, the diocesan Office of Faith Formation will help you and your family journey through the Lenten season with an approachable, practical Bible study series. Each week the series will focus on an aspect of Sunday’s Gospel reading, provide questions for reflection, and suggest ways to live out the Lenten practices of praying, fasting, and giving. The series continues this week with a reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent.
Jesus drives out the moneychangers from the temple (John 2:13-25)
• Brainstorm all the words that you would use to identify a good friend.
• Jesus was angry — as we all get at times. When is your anger a good thing? When is it not?
• Think about your domestic church, your “church of the home.” Is it serving the purpose for which it was created? Is it a holy place with a holy purpose?
Suggestions for action
• Pray: Lord, help me to remember that you always love me and are always willing to forgive me.
• Give forgiveness to someone who has hurt you.
• Go on a fast from judgment of others. Focus on WWJD — What Would Jesus Do?