FRIENDS of the Cathedral was formed early in 2008 for the purpose of promoting the identity of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Phoenix and supporting her good works. The need for such an organization comes about primarily due to the Cathedral's history. The church was not built to be a Cathedral which presents limitations in the effort to develop her identity as such. The demographics have declined over the past several years putting a financial strain on the parish. But due to its location, and the distance from the Diocesan Center, many people in the diocese are not even aware that Ss. Simon & Jude is the diocesan Cathedral. The more obvious assumption would be St. Mary's Basilica. Finally, the facilities are over fifty years old and have not been well maintained putting additional strain on the parish.
The diocese uses Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral for only a few annual events such as Ordination and the Blue Mass primarily because it seats more people than the Basilica. Prior to 2008, there had never been any financial support for the Cathedral, nor does the Cathedral enjoy any discounts in diocesan assessments. The Cathedral pays the same rate as all other parishes in the diocese. At the request of the then rector, Fr. Clements, Ss. Simon & Jude now receives a small annual grant to help cover expenses incurred simply because it is the Cathedral. It is not nearly enough.
Understanding that the Cathedral is the teaching chair or "cathedra" from where the Bishop leads the faithful of the diocese, and as such should be the model for liturgy and education for the entire diocese, the aforementioned realities have made it a real challenge for the clergy, staff and people of Ss. Simon & Jude to serve as the Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Phoenix.
What do Friends do?
The aims of this organization are:
to further the religious and other charitable work of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.
to assist and promote the maintenance, repair and improvement of the Cathedral and to support the worship, music and ministry of the Cathedral.
to bring people with an interest in the Cathedral together in fellowship, and in particular to strengthen the bond between the Cathedral and the Diocese.
What have the Friends Achieved?
- Assistance for operating/maintenance expenses
- Donation to sanctuary renovations
- Co-sponsor televised Midnight Mass from the Cathedral as well as Good Friday televised service
- Donation to Adoration Chapel
- Renovation of Cathedral restrooms
- Sponsored Holy Land Pilgrimage
- Sponsor annual Eucharistic Congress
- Established an endowment fund for the Cathedral