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Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (Paterson, New Jersey) facts for kids

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Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
St. John's Cathedral
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist - Paterson, New Jersey.jpg
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is located in Passaic County, New Jersey
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Location in Passaic County, New Jersey
40°54′46″N 74°10′21″W / 40.91278°N 74.17250°W / 40.91278; -74.17250
Location 381 Grand Street
Paterson, New Jersey
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic
Former name(s) St. John's Church
Status Cathedral
Dedicated July 31, 1870 (1870-07-31)
Consecrated June 29, 1890 (1890-06-29)
Functional status Active
Architect(s) P. C. Keely of New York
Architectural type Cathedral
Style Neo-gothic
Groundbreaking September 10, 1865 (1865-09-10)
Construction cost $200,000
Capacity 1700-1800
Length 180 feet (55 m)
Width 88 feet (27 m)
Number of spires 1
Spire height 225 feet (69 m)
Materials Brownstone, most of which was obtained from local quarries in Little Falls
Diocese Paterson

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a historic Catholic cathedral and parish church located in Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson. The cathedral was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.


By the middle of the 1820s, there were definite indications that the local Catholic population was expanding. Coupled with the tremendous growth of Paterson industries, there was an insistent demand for skilled millhands and other types of workers. By 1870, the U.S. Census reported that Irish immigrants constituted the dominant foreign-born population in the city. The majority of the Irish, along with other immigrant classes, lived in ramshackle tenement houses within almost walking distance of the great mills. Most conspicuously, the Irish clustered about Grand Street, and this area became known as the "Dublin" section of Paterson. It was there, among the Irish-Catholic immigrants, that Father William N. McNulty began his priestly duties.

Two years after arriving in Paterson to take "...charge of the fortunes and spiritual welfare ...." of the rapidly growing Catholic population, Father McNulty entered into negotiations with the powerful industrial corporation, the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures ("S.U.M."), and in 1865 purchased from it sixteen lots on the corner of Grand and Main streets thus ensuring the future of a more larger St. John's Church (later Cathedral of St. John the Baptist). The new enterprise seemed to infuse new vigor into the members of the congregation, and the full amount of the purchase money of the real estate ($10,000) was raised in two months. Preparations were made for the construction of the new church, New York architect P. C. Keely was retained in order to develop plans "for an edifice ... unequaled in New Jersey.", and on September l0, 1865, the corner-stone was laid.

The church was ready for use in the summer of 1870, and a final tabulation a number of years later revealed that approximately $200,000 had been spent in the course of construction. It was raised to cathedral status when the Diocese of Paterson was established in 1937.

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