8 Church Road, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 2J3
This beautiful building is the House of the Lord, the spiritual home of its parishioners and is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, under the title by which she introduced herself to St. Bernadette at Lourdes, the Immaculate Conception.
The Stained glass windows, especially on a sunny day, bring a feeling of warmth and joy to the building and it ceremonies that would not be the same without their brilliance. The windows, which were donated by parishioners and parish organizations, are an inspiring and graphic depiction of fourteen of the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary. The last Glorious Mystery, The Coronation Of Mary, is not found in window form but as a marble statue at the back of the church.
In the apse of the cathedral, there are two larger-sized windows facing each other. The one behind the present location of the choir was donated in 1950 by the Altar Society in honour of their patroness, the Immaculate Mother of God. The one on the opposite side of the church was Erected by the Catholic People of Grand Falls to remember those of the parish who died in two wars.
Six smaller oval windows can be found in the sanctuary area. Three on one side commemorate the Holy Family and the opposite, St. John, St. Peter and St. Michael, who were especially meaningful to Bishop J.M. O'Neill, during whose episcopacy the church was built. There are two round windows, one over each exit close to the altar. One of these shows evidence of a papal significance, while the other is the crest of Bishop O'Neill.
The fourteen Stations of the Cross when followed in sequence, are a traditional devotional practice which traces Jesus' journey from His trial before Pilate to Calvary and His death. The Stations, originally beautifully and individually painted, were damaged by the smoke from a fire in the building, and could not be restored to their original state. These marble depictions of Jesus' last day were also donated by members of the congregation.
In various places around the cathedral will be found marble statues, another legacy from the previous church.
The spires contain bells donated to the Cathedral by Bishop J.M. O'Neill. One of two bronze plaques in the front vestibule reads,
The Bells were presented by Most Reverend J.M O'Neill in memory of his parents Michael and Catherine O'Neill.
The second plaque says,
The Carillonic Bells of this Cathedral were donated by the Parish of Grand Falls to honour and perpetuate the memory of Rev. Wm. Finn, P.D., Parish Priest 1912-1953.
These two memorials say volumes but really only touch the surface when it comes to music in our cathedral. The history of music is long, deep and illustrious, with much credit due to Msgr. Finn, the Presentation Sisters, the Christina Brothers, and those who were taught by them. The present choir, of some 75 voices, is renowned throughout the province and beyond, having performed at the Vatican.
God our Father, you sustain us with the Word and Body of your Son. Watch over us with loving care; help our parish to grow in faith, holiness, charity, and loving service. With Mary, the patroness of our parish and diocese, we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen