More than 160 years ago, the people of Saint John built a great cathedral. It was a collective act of reverence in the face of tremendous odds, the ultimate expression of perseverance against the strife and upheaval of the times. Built during years of religious tensions; waves of Irish immigrants pouring into the province; the resettlement of Acadian families after “The Great Expulsion;” a cholera epidemic; and a country on the verge of Confederation, the Cathedral was a testament to the determination of a young city to thrive. It stood as the highest structure for miles around – a beacon reminding the people of their Christian tradition.

Many of our country’s great churches are on the endangered list. Some risk being demolished for lack of interest or funds. Like our ancestors who faced tremendous odds building this cathedral, we are determined to secure our heritage for generations to come.  This historic project will restore the Cathedral, transform our communities of faith and strengthen the Catholic presence and tradition we provide in our city and in our province.

Restoration projects will include


Waterloo Village Revitalization

The revitalization of the Cathedral neighbourhood is an essential element of an overall plan that will reinforce and support the current renaissance in the city and enhance the community care capability of the Cathedral block. The Cathedral block has long been identified with the health services, social justice and community outreach programs in the region. A designated Provincial Heritage Place, the Cathedral and its surrounding neighbourhood – “Waterloo Village” – will be revitalized as a model of conservation and urban redevelopment. Our built heritage represents the very best of our past. Transformation of the “Waterloo Village” area will become a catalyst for further improvements to the city core, including

  • Integration of social justice and community outreach services.
  • Expansion of the area’s community care services already in place.
  • Re-purposing the former St. Vincent’s High School building.
  • Revitalization of a residential neighbourhood with respite and elder care facilities and safe, desirable and affordable housing.
  • Attracting new business and tourists and fueling economic growth.
  • Bringing residents and visitors back to the area.
  • Significant positive historic, cultural, heritage and environmental impact.

The St. Vincent’s High School project alone will add housing in the city’s uptown core for under-served groups: seniors and low-income families. Such a residential option would offer access to health promotion programs, social services, outreach programs, public transportation, immigrant services, and group social activities. These would address vital needs, combat social isolation, and keep our most vulnerable citizens out of hospitals.

Social Justice And Community Outreach

This project will enable the Diocese to continue to build on the vision and practise of our Catholic faith established by more than a century-and-a-half of previous generations by providing for needed programs and services. Your prayers, generosity and sacrifice will ensure our success. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception has long been identified with provincial social justice and community outreach programs.

We are called to serve those in need and work for charity, justice and peace. To that end, we will support and foster community outreach services focused on the physical and spiritual well-being of the diocese and the communities we serve.

  • Enhanced outreach will empower many in our province -- especially our youth -- to become compassionate leaders in the global community.
  • Strong education and both youth and adult faith formation programs will empower, encourage and support our citizens to live as responsible and vibrant members of community.
  • Our programs serve people who are often unable to help themselves.
  • As a center for social justice, such programs as our nationally recognized Immigrant and Refugee Centre will thrive.
  • Expanded lay ministry and other outreach programs will bring invaluable services to many, especially our most vulnerable citizens.

Endowment for the Future

This project will enable the programs and the services and the infrastructure of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to be placed on a solid footing that will endure. Your prayers, generosity and sacrifice will ensure our success.

Built long ago by our ancestors, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a treasure entrusted to us to preserve. Like our faith and our heritage, the great cathedral is irreplaceable

An endowment fund will ensure that the Cathedral and its ministries and services endure through the ages. It will

  • Allow benefactors to be leaders in preserving our heritage.
  • Offer memorial and legacy opportunities.
  • Provide for future maintenance costs.
  • Address unforeseen capital expense needs.
  • Allow for the permanent upkeep of the Cathedral.
  • Ensure long-term financial stability.
  • Provide a desirable vehicle for planned giving.