St. Benedict Cathedral (St. Bens)

St. Benedict Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral in Evansville, Indiana, United States. It is the seat of the Diocese of Evansville. The cathedral is a contributing property to the Lincolnshire Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.


St. Benedict Parish

St. Benedict Parish was established in 1912 and the pastoral care for the parish was given to Benedictine Monks from St. Meinrad Abbey.The present church building was completed in 1928 in the Lombard-Basilica style. It was dedicated on March 18, 1928 by Abbot Athanasius Schmidt, OSB.The cathedral features ceilings that are 65 feet (19.8 m) high, a baldachin over the altar and a seating capacity of over 1,000 people.

The church was renovated after the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The baldachin was moved forward about 25 feet (7.6 m) and the former high altar was dismantled and new altar was created. Two of Evansville’s bishops were ordained and installed in St. Benedict’s before it became a cathedral; Francis R. Shea in 1970 and Gerald A. Gettelfinger on April 11, 1989.

Most of the other parish buildings are older than the cathedral church. The convent was completed in 1913 and the older school building the following year. The rectory was built from 1921-1922. The newer school building opened in 1953.

St. Benedict Cathedral

On October 21, 1944 Pope Pius XII established the Diocese of Evansville.Assumption Church, Evansville’s oldest Catholic parish, was chosen as the first cathedral. The property was sold to the city of Evansville in 1965 for the new civic center, and it was torn down. Holy Trinity, Evansville’s second oldest parish, served as the Proto-cathedral from 1965 to 1999 when St. Benedict’s became the third cathedral for the Evansville Diocese.It was consecrated as the cathedral on April 11, 1999.


The following priests have served as pastor of St. Benedict Parish. Since 1999 they have also served as cathedral rector:

Rev. Martin Hoppenjans, OSB (1912-1936)
Rev. Lambert Enslinger, OSB (1936-1939)
Rev. Thomas Schaefers, OSB (1939-1942)
Rev. Gilbert Hess, OSB (1942-1943)
Rev. Gabriel Verkamp, OSB (1943-1963)
Rev. Father Alban Berling, OSB (1963-1973)
Revs. Lambert Reilly, OSB and Lawrence Ward, OSB (co-pastors, 1973-1974)
Rev. Cyril Vrablic, OSB (1974-1977)
Rev. Camillus Elsperman, OSB (1977-1991)
Very Rev. Gregory Chamberlin, OSB (1991–2013)
Very Rev. Godfrey Mullen, OSB (2013 – Present)

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