Hundreds of faithful from the Diocese of Knoxville and beyond attended the dedication Mass of the United States’ newest Cathedral last Saturday.

Credit: Diocese of Knoxville

The Sacred Heart Cathedral dedication marks the end of a three-year, multi-million dollar building project in the diocese, which was established as a diocese by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

Credit: Diocese of Knoxville

Con-celebrating the Mass were five cardinals, 21 bishops and more than 100 priests, according to the East Tennesee Catholic, including Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, retired archbishop of Krakow, Poland, and personal secretary to Pope John Paul II, and Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville.

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Credit: Diocese of Knoxville

The architecture of the new Cathedral building includes a 147-foot dome ceiling, a 45-foot-tall baldacchino over the main altar and a marble ciborium over the tabernacle. The altar is made from marble mined from marble from the same quarry that was used in Michelangelo’s “Pieta”, and Italian marble was used throughout the 28,000 square foot building.

Credit: Diocese of Knoxville

The old cathedral building will be converted for use as a parish fellowship hall. The relics from the old cathedral building were transferred to the new Cathedral, and new relics in the Cathedral include two relics of St. John Paul II, brought by Cardinal Dziwisz.

Credit: Diocese of Knoxville