San Carlos Cathedral Monterey – The oldest continuously functioning Church in California

San Carlos Cathedral "The Royal Presidio Chapel", Church Street, Monterey, Kalifornija, Združene države Amerike

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San Carlos Cathedral is one of California’s historic churches. It was founded as a mission by Father Junipero Serra in 1770.

The mission was moved a year later to Carmel, but the church remained as a chapel for soldiers of the Monterey presidio.

The current sandstone church was completed in 1794. It is the oldest continuously functioning church in California as well as the state’s first stone church.

It is a beautiful church, built in the Spanish colonial style. It was elevated to the status of a cathedral in 1849. It was dedicated as a national landmark in 1961.

Herbert Hoover was married there in 1899 (Hoover was Protestant, but as there was no Protestant minister available at the time, the parish priest was given a special dispensation to perform a civil ceremony).

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San Carlos Cathedral of Monterey

The division of the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno in 1967 found the bishop once again residing in Monterey, making the Royal Chapel a cathedral (though the smallest in the continental United States).

In 1969, a remodeling of some church furnishings occurred, as a consequence of a new revised liturgy.

In 1985, Pope John Paul II declared Junipero Serra venerable and in 1988 he was beatified in recognition of his heroic virtues.

His case for canonization is almost complete. He is buried at the foot of the altar in Carmel Mission.

For clarification, the terms Mission, Cathedral, Basilica, Chapel, are not just different ways of saying the same thing. While they are all places of worship, they do not have the same status. A mission is established to reach out to a special category of people in need.

The old missions of California were dedicated to the conversion and education of the Indian population. A cathedral does not mean a big church. Size does not make a cathedral – it is the presence of a bishop.

San Carlos Cathedral Monterey

There is only one cathedral in a diocese and it is the bishop’s church. A basilica is a church the pope adopted. The original basilicas were in Rome. When the pope visits a locale, he uses the basilica if there is one.

A chapel is a place of worship, usually small, set aside for some special use. While the Royal Chapel is now a cathedral, for historical reasons the old title continues in use. It is called both the Royal Presidio Chapel and San Carlos Cathedral.

The Royal Presidio Chapel is a small building but has a great significance. It is the oldest continuously functioning church of worship on one site in the State of California since 1770. Also, it is the earliest building designed by an architect and built of stone in California.

The present stone church was completed in 1794. At present, San Carlos is the only surviving building of the original Royal Presidio of Monterey.

The beautiful stone facade is substantially unchanged for 200 years. The Royal Presidio Chapel is the only building remaining from the original Monterey that has never been a ruin. The building stands as a tall, silent witness, to its great history.

San Carlos Cathedral

San Carlos is one of California’s historic churches. It was founded as a mission by Father Junipero Serra in 1770. The mission was moved a year later to Carmel, but the church remained as a chapel for soldiers of the Monterey presidio. The current sandstone church was completed in 1794. It is the oldest continuously functioning church in California as well as the state’s first stone church.

It is a beautiful church, built in the Spanish colonial style. It was elevated to the status of a cathedral in 1849. It was dedicated as a national landmark in 1961. Herbert Hoover was married there in 1899 (Hoover was Protestant, but as there was no Protestant minister available at the time, the parish priest was given a special dispensation to perform a civil ceremony).

Cathedral of Monterey

The division of the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno in 1967 found the bishop once again residing in Monterey, making the Royal Chapel a cathedral (though the smallest in the continental United States). In 1969, a remodeling of some church furnishings occurred, as a consequence of a new revised liturgy.In 1985, Pope John Paul II declared Junipero Serra venerable and in 1988 he was beatified in recognition of his heroic virtues. His case for canonization is almost complete. He is buried at the foot of the altar in Carmel Mission.

For clarification, the terms Mission, Cathedral, Basilica, Chapel, are not just different ways of saying the same thing. While they are all places of worship, they do not have the same status. A mission is established to reach out to a special category of people in need. The old missions of California were dedicated to the conversion and education of the Indian population. A cathedral does not mean a big church. Size does not make a cathedral – it is the presence of a bishop. There is only one cathedral in a diocese and it is the bishop’s church. A basilica is a church the pope adopted. The original basilicas were in Rome. When the pope visits a locale, he uses the basilica if there is one. A chapel is a place of worship, usually small, set aside for some special use. While the Royal Chapel is now a cathedral, for historical reasons the old title continues in use. It is called both the Royal Presidio Chapel and San Carlos Cathedral.

The Royal Presidio Chapel is a small building but has a great significance. It is the oldest continuously functioning church of worship on one site in the State of California since 1770. Also, it is the earliest building designed by an architect and built of stone in California. The present stone church was completed in 1794. At present, San Carlos is the only surviving building of the original Royal Presidio of Monterey. The beautiful stone facade is substantially unchanged for 200 years. The Royal Presidio Chapel is the only building remaining from the original Monterey that has never been a ruin. The building stands as a tall, silent witness, to its great history.

Monterey is important to the national consciousness of the United States because it was here that American continental extension attained its historic completion. The Royal Presidio Chapel is a Monterey landmark because it is the one place that has received every generation since the time of the Spanish arrival; the one place that has persevered basically unchanged through all the turnings of history since; the one place in Monterey that saw all the events for which Monterey is remembered.

California’s first Catholic Cathedral [1849-59] and the smallest Catholic Cathedral in lower 48.

Posted in North America and United States