St Francis Xavier Cathedral
Diocese of Geraldton
St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Geraldton is Australia’s most unique Cathedral in the Arts and Crafts architectural style, designed by priest and architect Monsignor John Cyril Hawes (1876 – 1956). After meeting the first bishop of Geraldton, the Most Rev William Bernard Kelly, while studying for the priesthood in Rome in 1913 Hawes was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Geraldton and invited to design a Cathedral for the Diocese. Within a few days Hawes came up with a design which is very similar to the completed Cathedral as it was constructed through 1916 to 1936 in three stages. Essentially Romanesque in style with some Baroque southern Californian overtones in the front façade as well as Norman influences. Underlying this eclectic yet harmonious styling of the Cathedral is the influence of Arts Crafts Movement of the late 19th and early 20th century which was a reaction against the neo-classic revivalism of the 19th century demonstrated in faux gothic and other architectural revival style.The Holy Door of Mercy will be the main door into the Cathedral entering into the Narthex. The Holy Door has a series of archivolts (voussure) on which will be placed the words “YEAR OF MERCY”. The capitals of the archivolts as designed by Monsignor Hawes already have symbols engraved in them of the passion of Jesus Christ, symbolising the Paschal Mystery. It is through the Pascal Mystery that we encounter and are drawn into the mercy of God and the mystery of salvation.
56 Cathedral Ave, Geraldton, WA 6530 Australia , Geraldton, Australia