By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — “Give your heart to the Sacred Heart” is the motto for the Cathedral Sunday collection Feb. 13-14 – Valentine’s weekend — in parishes throughout the Diocese of Davenport.
Cathedral Sunday began six years ago to expand awareness of the cathedral as the mother church of the diocese, said Father Rich Adam, the pastor and rector. The collection also helps support, maintain and care for the cathedral.
Father Adam said he knows not every parish in the diocese is flourishing and that some might be hurting during this COVID-19 pandemic. He encourages parishes to support their own parish first. “If indeed you feel blessed and are able, then support for Sacred Heart Cathedral would be greatly appreciated.”
When Bishop Martin Amos established the Cathedral Sunday collection, the primary focus was to build a gathering space, add restrooms, handicapped accessibility and more parking space, and provide care for the cathedral.
The cathedral is the place where diocesan-wide celebrations occur, such as ordination to the priesthood and diaconate, Chrism Mass, Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion (in alternating years) and other special events.
Bishop Amos’ wish list has been completed. However, the cathedral has ongoing improvement and upkeep needs. Cathedral parishioners’ Sunday collections go toward utilities, maintenance and salaries. The cathedral parishioners are in their sixth step of a capital campaign for several major projects. In 2020, cathedral parishioners funded new steps in front of the cathedral on Tenth Street and a window replacement project.
“Just these past couple weeks we’ve had to replace the boilers in the church to the tune of $40,000. These were finished just in time for sub-zero temperatures this week. The downstairs bathroom off the Tenth Street vestibule has been refurbished, repainted and more welcoming though its use is minimal since the new bathrooms have been added in the gathering space. There is scaffolding up in the church as plaster repair and some paint work continues around the windows. New lighting and new wardrobes for the bishop’s vestments have been put in the sacristy with a new coat of paint creating a much brighter and useful sacristy,” Father Adam said.
“These are just some of the projects being worked on as there always seems to be some need, updating or maintenance work to do. Due to the size of the cathedral, the projects seem endless but a joy to work on and totally worth the efforts for such a beautiful and important cathedral.”
Father Adam continued, “With the new vaccines coming out, we pray for a better 2021 and the coming together of our parish families and communities in a new and welcoming way as we appreciate each other and grow in our faith.”
The continuing coronavirus pandemic caused cancellation of the 2021 Red Dinner for Sacred Heart Cathedral. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo was to be the special guest, preside at Mass and speak at the dinner. He leads the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, previously served as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as Bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa.
“I came to know Bishop DiNardo personally,” said Father Adam, who served at one time as a priest in the Sioux City Diocese. “He is personable, charismatic and a pretty neat person. I was looking forward to having him here.”
The invitation remains open to Cardinal DiNardo, and Father Adam looks forward to the return of the Red Dinner in 2022. The cathedral has no plans for an online auction or another event in place of the dinner, he said.
Cancellation of the dinner will affect the cathedral’s budget and expenses. “But just like every parish in our diocese, we’ll adjust from the impact that the pandemic has had for us and I’m sure with the great support we’ve had from our parish, we should be OK,” Father Adam said.
Seating for Mass at the cathedral continues to be limited, in accordance with diocesan guidelines. The cathedral is open for group tours by appointment. Masks and social distancing will be followed. To arrange a tour for groups — school, religious education programs, confirmation classes, visitors or others — contact the parish office at (563) 324-3257.