“How numerous, O Lord, my God, you have made your wondrous deeds! And in your plans for us there is none equal to you. Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are to recount.” Psalm 40:6
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Bishop John Moore purchases land
Bishop John Moore purchases land from Robert Reid of Palatka, FL bounded by Orange Avenue, Robinson Street, Magnolia Avenue, and Jefferson Street for $1050.00.
The first resident priest to be assigned to Orlando was Father Felix P. Swembergh.
Father Swembergh went to the aid of a fellow priest serving in Tampa and succumbed to Yellow Fever in 1887.
Cornerstone is laid for the first church building and construction commenced.
The structure was wooden, 40’ x 70’ with a pitched roof and connecting bell tower. Though dedicated it was not completed until 1891 when the interior made of native pine was completed.
Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine arrive to serve parish school
The Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine arrive to serve the parish school, called St. Joseph Academy, at the invitation of Bishop John Moore. This school stood at the northeast corner of the church property at Magnolia and Robinson, where the Chancery and Post Office now stands.
A mission parish of St. James is established
To accommodate the increasing number of tourists coming to Winter Park a mission parish of St. James was established in 1921 with a formal opening in 1925 and a dedication in 1927. This was St. Margaret Mary Parish.
Opening of New St. James School
The new St. James School was opened on Ridgewood/Cathcart/Hillman Avenues. It accommodated grades K-12. Students now used this school instead of the Academy building.
New Convent Built
A new convent was built next to St. James School for the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine.
Land sold to the U.S. Treasury Department
Due to the difficulties of the depression years the church was heavily in debt. The decision was made to sell to the U.S. Treasury Department the property that formally housed the St. Joseph Academy and Convent buildings. They built a Post Office and Court House on the site.
New Annex Added to Church building
An L-shaped “annex” was added to the church building due to the growth in the congregation.
(Pictured is the interior of the main sanctuary during the 1950 wedding of parishioners Andy Serros and Helen Gentile.)
St. Margaret Mary Becomes Its Own Parish
St. James mission parish, St. Margaret Mary, is named as its own parish
A New Church Was Built
A new church was built and dedicated on March 9, 1952. To accommodate construction, the old wooden church and rectory had moved to the extreme southwest boundary of the property.
Diocese of Orlando is Created!
The Diocese of Orlando is created out of the Diocese of St. Augustine and Bishop William D. Borders is name its first bishop.
Renovations to the building including remodeled exterior main door which covered the Rose Window and the addition of large wooden sculpture pieces of St. James (above exterior door), Mary with children, and the Transfiguration.
St. James Becomes the Cathedral
A fire heavily damaged St. Charles Borromeo Cathedral necessitating a move to a new cathedral. Bishop Thomas Grady petitioned the Holy Father Pope Paul VI to transfer the cathedral from St. Charles to St. James.
St. James was dedicated as the new Cathedral for the Diocese of Orlando.
Addition of a New Parish Center
Construction and dedication of a new fan-shaped parish center including parish offices and meeting room. The old rectory on the south side of the church bordering Jefferson St. was demolished to make room for the new building.
1980’s Additional renovations were made to the building including the installation of a new pipe organ.
Renovations to Cathedral Building
A major renovation and reconstruction project of the Cathedral building was undertaken.
The newly renovated and expanded Cathedral was dedicated.
Celebrates 125 Years!
St. James celebrates 125 years as a parish.