Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Norwich

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Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Norwich

The Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Norwich is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Norwich and is the seat of its prelate bishop. It is located in Norwich, Connecticut.

Parish history

In 1833, Father James Fitton celebrated the first Catholic mass in Norwich in a third floor loft with twelve Catholics in attendance. By 1842 the first building in town to serve as a church was a shed in Twomeytown. A year later, Norwich became the jurisdiction of the newly erected Diocese of Hartford. In March of 1845, the first small church in Norwich, St. Mary was dedicated. It was later enlarged in 1858.

St. Mary's parish continue to grow into the late 1860s when pastor Father James Mullen decided a new church was needed. By the early 1870s, land had been purchased and plans for the new church were in full swing. Architect James Murphy of Providence, Rhode Island was selected to design the large new church.

The cornerstone of the church was laid on July 13,1873. St. Patrick's parish was incorporated in 1878. The formal opening and dedication for the new church was held on September 28,1879. Later in 1879, St. Mary's church was closed.

In 1953 the Diocese of Norwich was created as a suffragan to the Archdiocese of Hartford. St. Patrick's Church became the cathedral for the new diocese. The Most Reverend Bernard J. Flanagan, then Chancellor of the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont was appointed the first Bishop of Norwich by Pope Pius XII. He was installed on December 9,1953.