St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Updated April 1, 2020 at 1:30 PM

A Word from the Pastor

April 5, 2020

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Today is Palm Sunday, and with it, we enter into Holy Week.  For Catholics, this is the most sacred time of the year, a time in which we celebrate the most important events of our salvation.  Things will, of course, be different this year. For the time being, there are still no public celebrations of the Eucharist, along with any other liturgical or devotional services.  This has truly been a hardship for faithful parishioners; and, for those who do not attend regularly, Holy Week and Easter were always a time to make an extra-effort to attend church.  Though it hardly compares, I should remind everyone that the services of Holy Week, celebrated at the cathedral, will be live streamed by the Archdiocese of Portland. Check the archdiocesan website for the schedule.

Someone once asked me if the liturgies of Holy Week were intended for everyone—they seem so long and complicated.  I responded that these liturgies are certainly for everyone. In fact, Lent doesn’t make much sense unless we conclude with Holy Week.  Everything builds up to the “Three Days’: the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter.  The structure of these liturgies is fairly simple, and the message is straightforward and powerful.  I sometimes warn people to be prepared: these liturgies just may transform you! When heaven touches earth, nothing remains the same.

Some of you may be new to the Church and to Holy Week, so let me give a brief synopsis and introduction.  On Holy Thursday—the first of the Three Days—the central image and the focus is the “washing of the feet” (this year, sadly, this rite will not be included).  The Gospel of Holy Thursday is the account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples rather than the institution of the Eucharist. But, in fact, there is no better explanation of the Eucharist: Christ’s self-gift to us.  The words of Jesus ring in our ears: “As I have done, so also must you do.”

The cross is the central image of Good Friday.  Slowly and reverently we approach the cross “on which hung the Savior of the world.”  We express our faith and our love in a simple gesture before the cross: bowing, kissing, genuflecting.  Jesus loved us to the end.

Finally, the Great Vigil concludes the Three Days.  In darkness, the Easter fire is lit, and Christ the Light is proclaimed: “This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.”  The many readings remind us of the great events of our salvation; and we welcome new Catholics into the faith through Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Our Lenten journey concludes with life and Resurrection.

Though there will be no public celebrations at the cathedral this year, I want to announce that the cathedral will open starting on Monday and each day during Holy Week for a limited number of hours (click here for schedule).  Confessions will also be heard while the cathedral is open (click here for schedule). Christ invites us to Jerusalem—to suffer, to die, and to rise with him. May we have the grace, and the courage, to follow.  

Msgr. Patrick S. Brennan


Welcome to St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a community of Christians in the Roman Catholic Tradition. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, and through the intercession of  the Blessed Virgin Mary, we continue the mission of Jesus Christ through liturgy, prayer, education, and service toward our neighbor. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Portland, and as a parish community, we offer hospitality to all visitors, celebrate archdiocesan events, and witness the joy of the Gospel to the City of Portland.

Mass Times

5:30 pm Congregational Singing

7:30 am
9:00 am Congregational Singing
11:00 am Cathedral Choir
5:30 pm Contemporary Ensemble

7:30 am & 5:30 pm (No 7:30am Mass on Mondays)

Saturday 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Other times by appointment

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
9:00 AM - Noon and 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM




View all events

Online Giving

Weekly reading

© Liturgical Publications Inc


Google Map