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Saint John, New Brunswick
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The story below was taken from the Saint John Times Globe, Thursday, Mar.26/98

Immaculate Conception Steeple
Photo supplied by Peter Walsh

Cathedral steeple lights up Skylight

By SARAH MARCHILDON
Times Globe staff writer

    Monsignor Brian Sheehan tilts his head back and looks up as Saint John's nighttime skyline changes dramatically before his eyes.

    "Look it's starting already," he says excitedly, pointing skyward as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception's towering spire is lit for the first time.

    With the simple flick of a switch, the Waterloo Street landmark became a permanent part of the city's night time skyline last night.

    "Beautiful," remarked parishioner Betty Hogan, as four carefully placed 1,000-watt bulbs illuminated the magnificent 90-metre spire and the massive four-metre cross which stands on its pinnacle.

    Hundreds of people stood outside the church clutching styrofoam cups filled with hot chocolate, watching the green copper spire glow against the sky.

    In good weather, the steeple should be visible for kilometres around.

   "It is a memorable event for us," said Mrs. Sheehan while parishioners pumped his hand and offered compliments.

    "It's just marvellous."

    During a service before the lighting, he told parishioners he hoped the spire would be a beacon of light not only for Roman Catholics but for all people.

    The shining cross will be a symbol "that all in our city may have hope and courage and be renewed for a moment in their faith," said Mrs. Sheehan.

    Mrs. Sheehan said when the idea was first suggested to him he liked it so much he decided to run with it. He had seen such lighting at the Basilica in Ottawa and at a Quebec church.

    The spire was erected in 1871, 16 years after the completion of the major part of the Cathedral in 1855.

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