Cathedral Church Tour
The Cathedral Church – Our Home
Welcome to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception [also known as St. Mary Cathedral], the mother church of the Diocese of Wichita. Our cathedral is a place where everyone is welcome. As you visit our cathedral be mindful that it is an active parish with a full schedule of religious celebrations. At other times, it is a place reserved for quiet, personal prayer. With these things in mind, we encourage you to enjoy your visit today.
What Am I Looking At?
Why is the cathedral called the mother church? All the Catholics in the Diocese of Wichita (composed roughly of the southeast quadrant of Kansas) should ideally gather on Sunday for Holy Mass celebrated by the bishop in the cathedral. As that is practically impossible because of numbers of people and distances, parish churches are built around the diocese where the Catholic faithful gather on Sunday for Holy Mass celebrated by their pastors.
But from this ideal it can be said that all the parish churches in the Diocese of Wichita are figuratively speaking born from the cathedral church. That is why St. Mary Cathedral is called the mother church of the Diocese of Wichita. And that is also why it is more than just one more parish church, but a place of importance for all Catholics in the Diocese of Wichita.
St. Mary Cathedral itself, along with the altar and the cathedra inside the church, are symbols of the unity of all the Catholics in the Diocese of Wichita. The cathedral is the church home of the diocesan church family.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, figures prominently in the cathedral, not only in its name, but also in much of its artwork, for example, the beautiful stained glass windows. It is fitting to honor Mary as the mother of the God-man Jesus Christ, and as the mother, too, of all Christians, given to them in the person of St. John, the beloved disciple (see John 19:26-27).
It is also fitting to honor Mary as the first and model disciple of her Son, Jesus. Her life and witness are for many reasons an example worthy of imitation. To honor Mary does not take anything away from our belief in and worship of Jesus. When people look to her, Mary uses that devotion to direct them to her Son: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5).