The Saint John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral is a parish of the Diocese of Australia. It is a part of the international Orthodox Church and shares its faith with the Orthodox Churches in Russia, as well as other national churches.
A Council of Orthodox Bishops is the highest form of inter-Orthodox communion. According to ecclesiology, it is called upon whenever problems require authoritative discussion involving the whole Church.
Table of Contents
The Life of St. John the Baptist
Saint John the Baptist was a forerunner or precursor to Jesus Christ. The four canonical Gospels address his role.
He was a Nazarite from his birth and spent his early years in the mountains of Judea, lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. He was also known for his ascetic devotion to the faith.
His first public preaching took place when he was about thirty and attracted large crowds of people to his preaching on the banks of the Jordan River. His message was to turn away from selfish pursuits and toward a life of repentance.
His public ministry was abruptly terminated when he was imprisoned by king Herod Antipas. The Gospels state that Herod was displeased with John’s denunciation of his marriage to Herodias, the wife of king Aretas of the Nabateans, an adjacent Arab people.
The History of St. John’s Cathedral
The church of Saint John the Evangelist was built more than a century ago by a community of French Catholic emigres who arrived in Spokane from Haiti. They established a parish that welcomed immigrants from all walks of life.
Architect Patrick Keeley designed the building in an ornamental Gothic style with interior columns, delicate stained-glass windows and a handcut wood altar imported from France. Consecration was held on 7 November 1852.
Today, the Cathedral serves as the Cathedral for the Catholic Diocese of Paterson. It is a place of worship, prayer and celebration for local residents and their families.
The church is home to several beautiful stained glass windows depicting the life of Christ and four gospel writers. The figures in these windows are painted in realistic style. The stained-glass was made by the John Kinsella Glass Company of Chicago.
The Life of St. John’s Parish
The parish is a reflection of the Russian people, their simplicity of origin, and their unity with one another. Its faith in Christ, their love for Him, and their obedience to His Church, are reflected in the life of St. John, the Evangelist.
A great ascetic, he labored endlessly for his parish, preaching the Gospel and caring for those in need. He prayed, fasted, abstained from luxuries, and constantly sought divine contemplation.
When he died on December 20, 1908, many people from all over Russia and the world came to pay their respects. They praised him for his charitable work, and they prayed to him as they had always done from their childhoods.
In 1927, Bishop William Turner appointed Father Charles Klauder as the parish’s second resident pastor. He worked with the local clergy to revitalize the parish.
The Life of St. John’s Cathedral
The Cathedral has been the center of Catholic life in Paterson for more than a century and a half. Originally designed by Patrick Charles Keeley, one of the leading church architects in the nation, it was built in an English Gothic style.
After the Great Fire of 1917, the church underwent extensive remodeling and enlargements by local architect George W. Stickle, as well as a complete rededication in 1977 by Bishop James A. Hickey, the third bishop of Paterson.
Inside the church is a rich and diverse collection of art, stained glass windows and historic relics. The Cathedral also features an antique eagle lectern that dates back to the medieval era and is carved from English oak.
The church is a reminder of the long and storied history of the Church in Belize. It is the oldest surviving building constructed by Europeans in Belize, and was once used to crown native kings in ceremonies similar to those found in Europe.