“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

Chronology

1881
1881

Bishop John Moore purchases land

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.
1885
1885

The first resident priest to be assigned to Orlando was Father Felix P. Swembergh.

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.

1887
1887

Cornerstone is laid for the first church building and construction commenced.

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.

1889
1889

Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine arrive to serve parish school

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.

1921
1921

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.

1921

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.

1938
1938

New Convent Built

A new convent was built next to St. James School for the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine.

1939
1939

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.

1941
1941

New Annex Added to Church building

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.)

1948
1948

St. Margaret Mary Becomes Its Own Parish

St. James mission parish, St. Margaret Mary, is named as its own parish

1951
1951

A New Church Was Built

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. 

1968
1968

Diocese of Orlando is Created!

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.

1970
1970

Church Renovations

Church Renovations

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.

1976
1976

St. James Becomes the Cathedral

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. 

1977
1977

Cathedral Dedication

Cathedral Dedication

St. James was dedicated as the new Cathedral for the Diocese of Orlando. 

1980
1980

Addition of a New Parish Center

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. 

2009
2009

Renovations to Cathedral Building

 A  major renovation and reconstruction project of the Cathedral building was undertaken.

2010
2010

Renovated Cathedral

Renovated Cathedral

The newly renovated and expanded Cathedral was dedicated.

2011
2011

Celebrates 125 Years!

St. James celebrates 125 years as a parish.

Bishop Noonan's E-Scroll
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

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