Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

No matter which direction you’re driving in downtown Sacramento, California, if you’re anywhere near the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, you can’t help but see this stunning piece of architecture.

At the time it was built in 1889, it was considered one of the most imposing church buildings on the Pacific Coast. It remains today one of the largest cathedrals west of the Mississippi River.

Patrick Manogue is the one to thank for this architectural beauty. Manogue was among the first people with dollar signs in their eyes during the California Gold Rush, but his ultimate goal was different than most: He wanted to fund a trip to Paris to attend seminary college and become a Roman Catholic priest.

In 1886, he became Sacramento’s first bishop. Inspired by European churches he had seen over the years, he scored property close to the state capitol, dreaming of building a cathedral.

And build one he did. Modeled after The Church of the Holy Trinity in Paris, the Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament seats 1400 people and its bell tower literally towers at 215 feet.

As the mother church of the diocese, it serves approximately one million Catholics from the southern edge of Sacramento County to the Oregon border.

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