The Knights and the Cathedral
Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass there as part of World Youth Day 1993, and the Knights of Columbus has provided for its care and renovation with two major funding projects. For these and other reasons, Immaculate Conception Cathedral Basilica in downtown Denver is a pilgrimage site for Knights and their families during the convention.
The cathedral is marking the centennial of its completion this year and next year will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its dedication. It was designated a basilica in 1981.
In anticipation of John Paul’s visit to the cathedral in August 1993, the Order’s Fourth Degree donated $100,000 for a renovation of the Gothic building, which is located a few blocks from the gold-domed State Capitol. To prepare for the same visit, the Colorado State Council committed $200,000 for repairs to the Kimball pipe organ. Plaques commemorating these gifts are mounted in the cathedral’s narthex, by the front doors.
The Fourth Degree contribution was made in honor of John H. Reddin, a pioneer for the Order in the West who was the first Supreme Master in charge of the patriotic degree, serving from 1910 to 1940.
One of the coordinators of the state council project was Past Colorado State Deputy, Price Hatcher, who went on to become Supreme Warden for the Order. Hatcher is co-chairman for the convention in Denver this year, along with current State Deputy Roger Muller.
With 75 stained-glass windows, the cathedral’s interior is a colorful array of images depicting the life of Jesus and Mary. A shrine area to the right of the sanctuary may hold special significance for Knights of Columbus, with a statue of St. Joseph with the child Jesus, and images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and the Philippines, and Our Lady of Czestochowa, Patroness of Poland.