The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will present its History & Heritage Program Spring Lecture, Over There: The Cathedral, Albany Diocese & American Church in World War I, on Sunday, April 23, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located on the corner of Eagle Street and Madison Avenue in Albany.
This month marks the centennial of America's entry into World War I and this multi-media presentation by Public Historian Brian Buff will examine the impact of the war on the life of the Cathedral Parish and how this faith community, the Diocese, and American Church responded to the war effort. The presentation will explore Catholics in action-on both the battlefield and the home front. The event is free and open to the public.
The outbreak of the Great War in 1914 had direct effects in the United States, and the Catholic Church here did not escape unscathed. Like the majority of Americans, Catholics hoped the United States could keep out of the conflict.
Circumstances would change and by April 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson asked for a declaration of war against Germany, the bishops of the United States immediately made known the Catholic position:
Our people, as ever, will rise as one man to serve the nation. Our priests and consecrated women will once again, as in every former trail of their country, win by their bravery, their heroism, and their service, new admiration and approval. We are all true Americans, ready as our age, our ability and our condition permits, to do whatever is in us to do for the preservation, the progress and triumph of our beloved country.
The History & Heritage Program, now in its third year, preserves, protects, and promotes the rich heritage of the Cathedral. The program also serves as a beacon to attract greater appreciation and support for the Cathedral and involvement in the parish's life.