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Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, also known locally as Saint Mary's Cathedral, is the principal church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. It is the motherchurch of the Catholic faithful in the California Counties of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo. The pastor of the cathedral is the Archbishop of San Francisco.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption replaced two previous churches of the same name successively. The first was built in 1854 and is now known as Old Saint Mary's. In 1891, a second cathedral was constructed but was destroyed in a fire in 1962. The present-day cathedral was commissioned just as Vatican II was convening in Rome. Prescriptions of the historic church council allowed the Archdiocese of San Francisco to plan boldly in the building of its new cathedral. That resulted in the modern design of the present structure. The cornerstone was laid on December 13, 1967 and the cathedral was completed three years later. On May 5, 1971, the cathedral was blessed and on October 5, 1996 was formally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the name of Saint Mary of the Assumption. The first papal mass was celebrated by Pope John Paul II in the cathedral in 1987.
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