The Basilica Cathedral of St. John The Baptist
The Basilica-Cathedral of St John the Baptist is the metropolitan cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. The dream of Bishop Michael Fleming, it was built by Irish immigrants and the people of Newfoundland between 1838 and 1855, in the shape of a Latin cross. It was the largest building of its kind in North America at the time of its completion. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984 to recognize it as one of the earliest Romanesque revival structures in North America, and its central role as the spiritual and cultural home of the Roman Catholic people of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1998 the Basilica Heritage Foundation was created, a registered Canadian Charity, to raise funds and undertake projects to preserve the fabric of the Basilica Cathedral National Historic Site of Canada, and ensure the continued beauty and sanctity of this most impressive cathedral church.
Read A Press Release of 14 June 2022 about a successful bid by the Basilica Heritage Foundation, the St. Bonaventure’s College Inc., and the St. Bon’s Forum Corporation to purchase the Basilica block here.
The Basilica welcomes thousands of visitors annually. We offer guided tours of the Basilica Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Episcopal Library, and the precinct. During the Covid Pandemic, take our free virtual Matterport tour and our audio tour.
Exhibits on the history of the Episcopal Library and the Basilica Cathedral, as well as seasonal exhibits, are showcased in the Basilica Cathedral Museum. At present the Museum is closed during the Covid Pandemic but a Virtual Tour will be coming soon!
Events at the Basilica
As well as its role at the heart of worship in the Archdiocese of St. John’s, the Basilica Cathedral serves the parish and the wider community as an historic and impressive venue for performances of Sacred Music, historical interpretations, and cultural events.
Donate to support our stained glass restoration
The Basilica has a great tradition of worship. We need your help to sustain this cathedral for generations to come.
The stained glass windows of the Basilica date from 1857
The Basilica Cathedral holds 63 stained glass windows depicting 79 subjects. Works of art by renowned international artists, they represent the tireless activity and generosity of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to build and endow this cathedral with the best they could give. The first stained glass windows were installed in 1857, two years after the consecration, and the final windows – those in the ambulatory – were the work of a single artist and were installed in 1954-55, for the cathedral’s centenary.
As the interior stained glass windows and the exterior frames that support them have begun to succumb to the elements, we now must restore these important works of art so that they can be preserved for generations to come. Stained glass restoration is a highly time intensive and skilled work. The Basilica Heritage Foundation needs your help to do this. Please donate to help with this work.
We also offer a variety of exclusive products inspired by the art and beauty of the Basilica for sale which support our work. These are available at the Visitors’ Desk in the Basilica, at the Basilica Parish Office, in the Basilica Gift Shop, at the Basilica-Cathedral Museum in the Episcopal Library, and eventually, via our online shop.
View our Fall & Christmas 2020 Catalogue.
All funds raised support the mission of the Basilica Heritage Foundation – to preserve and keep in trust this National Historic Site of Canada.