A few weekends ago, Theo and I took the country as we sometimes do on a Sunday afternoon. One of our stops was the provincial city of Bendigo and we visited the lovely Sacred Heart Cathedral.
I’m a Pagan with a soft spot for Roman Catholic history, art, and architecture. The Sacred Heart Cathedral may not be as grand or old as Europe’s medieval cathedrals, but it does not disappoint. Sacred Heart is one of Australia’s largest churches and the second tallest after St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.
Wondering what the difference is between a church and a cathedral? A cathedral contains the seat of the bishop and is thus the central church of a diocese. Sacred Heart is the seat of the Bishop of Sandhurst. It was begun in 1901 and completed in 1977 in a Gothic Revival style. Like most traditional Christian churches, it was built on an East-West orientation as the rising sun is seen as a symbol of the risen Christ. Also traditional is for a Christian church to contain relics of martyrs and Sacred Heart is no exception and has relics of saints under its six altars.
The grounds of the cathedral are lovely as well and include several statues and even a grotto depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to Bernadette at Lourdes, France.
For more information about the cathedral and times you can visit, go to the Sacred Hearth Cathedral website.