Our Parish’s Dedication
Our parish is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and we celebrate our altar feast on October 1, the feast of The Protection of the Mother of God.
The historical basis of this celebration is a 10th Century miracle, in which the Mother of God was understood to have protected the besieged Constantinople from the attack of pagan Slavs. In a vision granted to St. Andrew the Fool for Christ (in whose name our basement chapel is dedicated), the Mother of God was seen in the air above the worshippers in the church at Blachernae, by the great city walls, interceding for them in prayer and covering them with her veil. The vision was a great consolation and inspiration to the people. The siege was lifted.
Depictions of the feast are found in several places in the Cathedral: on the large central stained glass window on the north wall, on the east arch above the altar area, and on the south side of the iconostasis or icon screen.
History of our Parish Community
St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral began in 1887 as an Eastern Rite Catholic community founded by Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants, most of who came from eastern Slovakia (then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire of Europe). The community was officially recieved into the Eastern Orthodox Church on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1891. Later, in 1905, St. Mary's was the site of the first Russian Orthodox theological seminary established in America. Our first pastor was Father Alexis Toth, who served here from 1888 to 1893, and who was instrumental in bringing our community into the Orthodox faith. He was canonized as a Saint in 1994.
Our first church building was constructed in 1887, and later burned in 1904. The current cathedral structure was built and then consecrated in 1906. And our cemetery property at 31st Avenue and Stinson Blvd. in Minneapolis was purchased in 1901. The Orthodox Church in America was granted autocephaly (independent administration of itself) in 1970. Since our inception and over the ensuing years, a number of inspired clergy served our parish as we continued to grow and thrive, bringing us to this present day. The Orthodox Church has its roots in the apostolic communities of late antiquity and affirms the teaching and practice of the ecumenical church and councils in the modern age.
Our parish community is active with numerous opportunities to worship,volunteer and serve, including choirs, a balalaika orchestra, social and work groups, youth and shut-in programs, Orthodox education, community outreach, support of missions and a prison ministry, and many more. Our parish family is made up of many of the descendants of the original Slavic families, faithful from other Eastern Orthodox backgrounds, as well as many converts who have searched for, found our faith, and made it their own. Read more about St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral at http://www.stmarysoca.org.
NORTHEAST MINNEAPOLIS HISTORY
The history of the Northeast Minneapolis region begins years before the City of Minneapolis was established when in 1848 Franklin Steele purchased land east of the Mississippi River. Later in 1852, a reduction of the Fort Snelling military reservation opened additional land for settlement west of the Mississippi. This first settlement was named for and thrived due to the commerce associated with St. Anthony Falls (which was discovered and named by Father Louis Hennepin) and was chartered in 1855. The City of Minneapolis was incorporated in 1867 and quickly surpassed both the population and commerce of St. Anthony, so when the two areas merged in 1872, the name Minneapolis was adopted. But the early history of the area (St. Anthony) is our Northeast Minneapolis history.
Ours is a story of a blue-collar neighborhood where ties to the past are still strong - Residents take pride in living in the oldest, and to them the best part of the city. Many second and third generation families continue to live here because of their deep roots and religious and social ties to the area and its settlers. Old St. Anthony was the most industrialized area of the city, and new immigrants flocked to the area as unskilled labor to find work in the various factories, flourmills, and lumberyards, and to work in transportation (railroads and river barges). The earliest settlers of the region were French, German and Scandinavian. Later, immigrants arrived from Southern and Eastern Europe, Pockets of Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Hungarian, Bohemian, Austrian, Armenian, and Lebanese people could be found in old St. Anthony settled among the rail lines and warehouses.
Northeast Minneapolis is now seeing its newest influx of immigration, with people of Middle East, Latino, East Indian and Asian heritage as new residents. And several hundred artists have moved into the area in the past decade, creating studios, and shops in some of the old factories, warehouses and empty facades. Suburbanites and a younger generation of homeowners are choosing Northeast Minneapolis for the opportunity to refurbish old homes and because of the strong sense of connection to the community. This renewal and growth is creating new restaurants, small businesses, galleries and a variety of cultural experiences. Welcome to Northeast!