January 09, 2005

Faith strengthened by stone

First published: Sunday, January 9, 2005

ALBANY --The Rev. William Pape, rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, likes to tell the story of Walter, a homeless man, as a metaphor for the spirit behind the neo-Gothic landmark.

Walter comes daily to the cathedral to pray.

One day, Pape overheard Walter speaking outside to another street person. "Come on in and see my church," Walter said.

"That's what the cathedral is all about," Pape said. "It's the church for Walter, as much as for governors and bishops and the wealthy." ...

Earlier this month, Gov. George Pataki -- a neighbor when he is at the Executive Mansion next door -- signed a New York state historic preservation not-for-profit achievement award for the cathedral.

The award-winning restoration has also been a financial drain on a diocese beleaguered by the cost of the priest sexual abuse scandal.

Posted by kshaw at January 9, 2005 05:27 AM