MADISON -- “Alert parishioners may have noticed that a ‘sold’ sign has been put on the former St. Raphael School building at the corner of Henry St. and W. Washington Ave.,” Msgr. Kevin Holmes, rector of the Cathedral Parish in Madison, wrote in the June 19 parish bulletin.
Monsignor Holmes gave some background. He noted that St. Raphael Cathedral was destroyed by arson in 2005. It had stood on W. Main St. in the second block west of the Capitol Square. The land where the cathedral had stood and its former parking lot are now planted with grass.
In 2007, Bishop Robert C. Morlino announced that the St. Raphael Cathedral church would be rebuilt on the site of the present church in downtown Madison. Bishop Morlino made the announcement at the conclusion of a Eucharistic Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
Two other buildings associated with the old cathedral are still standing on that block. They appear to be a single building running along Henry St. from W. Main St. to W. Washington Ave. In fact, Monsignor Holmes pointed out, they are two buildings constructed at different times, but they do share a common wall.
The building closer to Main St. was the cathedral rectory; the building closer to W. Washington Ave. was the parish school. The Cathedral School was closed in the early 1970s, and that building subsequently was sold.
Efforts to purchase the former school have been underway for several years,” said Monsignor Holmes. “The original asking price was several times the market value. Recent developments have made it possible for us to negotiate a very reasonable price for the building and property.
“So it is, in fact, our parish that is the buyer for that property. We expect to close on the property this week. Funds designated for the building of a new cathedral (principally the insurance settlement from the cathedral fire) will be used to make the purchase.”
Updated information will be available on the following Web sites: www.isthmuscatholic.org, www.madisoncatholicherald.org, and www.madisondiocese.org