SALT LAKE CITY — The Most Rev. William K. Weigand, Bishop emeritus of Sacramento and the seventh Bishop of Salt Lake City, will be the guest speaker at the 2018 Bishop’s Dinner.
A fundraiser for the Cathedral of the Madeleine, the Bishop’s Dinner this year will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the interior restoration that closed the cathedral for two years, from 1991 to 1993.
Bishop Weigand oversaw the restoration, which included reconfiguration of the altar space, seismic retrofitting, cleaning of the murals and stained glass and installation of a new baptismal font and Stations of the Cross, among other changes.
When Bishop Weigand arrived in the diocese in 1980, “the need to restore the interior of the cathedral was pointed out to me,” he said, “but I purposefully didn’t get at that for a number of years.”
Before closing the cathedral for the restoration, several years were spent on the design work, fundraising, and not the least “we were building up the community of the faithful before building on the church edifice,” he said. “We had to strengthen the bonds will all of the missions and outlying parishes or else the cathedral church doesn’t symbolize what it is supposed to symbolize,” which is the entire diocese, he said.
One way they did this was through a needs assessment and pastoral plan that included input from the clergy, the religious and the leadership from all the parishes to develop a pastoral plan, he said. With this and other efforts to build community, the plan to restore the cathedral “was not only restoring a beautiful edifice, but one that in fact fairly authentically represented the unity of all the Catholics of the state and in all of the parishes,” he said.
Entering the cathedral for the first time after the completion of the restoration “was like walking into heaven,” which was appropriate because the cathedral is the house of God, Bishop Weigand said.
As sons and daughters of God, humankind is destined for heaven, so the splendor of the cathedral also “calls us to try to live that out and to try to keep our focus on the ultimate goal, which is life with God in heaven, and the urgency to try to live holy lives now,” he said.
WHAT: 2018 Bishop’s Dinner
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 6
WHERE: Grand America Hotel, 555 Main St., Salt Lake City
COST: $175 per ticket
The social hour begins at 6 p.m. The diinner starts at 7 p.m. To reserve a sponsor table or seats, contact Patricia Wesson, 801-328-8641 ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.