RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hundreds packed into Raleigh’s new cathedral in the morning for the first Sunday masses celebrated in the recently constructed building.
Earlier this week, the Diocese of Raleigh unveiled Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in a blessing ceremony with a mass, which was attended at nearly full capacity of 2,000 people.
The Diocese’s former leader, Bishop Michael Burbridge led the celebrations.
The project, costing $41 million dollars, took several years to complete, but was necessary given the Triangle’s growing Catholic community.
For one Knightdale catholic, he’s been continually shocked by the faith’s following in the region.
Jimmy Taylor has been a member of the Raleigh diocese for 45 years.
“We lived in North Carolina all our life and it’s unbelievable,” Taylor explained before entering the cathedral for 10 a.m. mass. “You just couldn’t imagine the growth that’s happened not only in Raleigh, but (also) in North Carolina.”
At Sunday’s early mass, CBS North Carolina spoke to other Catholics who mirrored Taylor’s amazement with the new cathedral.
“For me, I think it was relaxing (being at Sunday’s mass) because the one before it was too small, but this one is beautiful. It’s really huge,” described Felipe Ochoa, of Raleigh.
Grace Wilkin and her two daughters, Molly and Zoe, attended Sunday’s celebrations and the Garner family was eager to return to the cathedral, after visiting it Wednesday for the inaugural mass.
“You’re in awe being in a building that’s as large as this and magnificent as this,” the mother said.
Another major milestone waits ahead for the Catholic community in the Triangle.
Next month, Bishop Luis Zarama, currently placed in Atlanta, will be installed as the 6th bishop of Raleigh.