The Cathedral of Saint Augustine is a Mexican Baroque style church located in Tucson. The congregation formed in the mid-1800s. St. Augustine Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson.
In 1858, the Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Fe at the
time sent Reverend Joseph Machebeuf, a priest within his jurisdiction, to scout
out the status of Christianity in Arizona. After examining the then small town
of Tucson, Machebeuf suggested that a pastor of the diocese should be
administered to the area. Work was done in order to select an appropriate
pastor, and in 1866, Reverend Jean B. Salpointe was chosen as the pastor for
the town of Tucson, and work began on a church building. Construction was done
by 1868, and by then, the church’s congregation had expanded exponentially. The
Father Jean Salpointe was then raised in status to the Most Reverend Jean B.
Salpointe, Vicar Apostolic of the Tucson area, meaning that Tucson had then
received both a bishop and a Cathedral.
As years passed, the Cathedral of St. Augustine
continued to serve its congregation in many ways, and in 1897, the Bishop Peter
Bourgade insisted that the Cathedral be rebuilt. Substantial work was done, but
it never reached the status that Bourgade had intended. In the following
decades, the efforts of the Cathedral were focused on church planting and
giving aid to smaller parishes in the Arizona area, resulting in the neglect of
the Cathedral itself. This was recognized, and in 1966, a restoration project
was began to restore the fading Cathedral. The restoration was completed in
1968, just in time to coincide with the Cathedral’s 100th
anniversary of being the Cathedral of Tucson.
In 2011 the cathedral was rededicated after another restoration project.