Cathedral - East Entrance
Architect Emmanuel Masqueray designed a grant entrance to the Cathedral from the east, looking down and over the city of St. Paul - and the State Capitol dome as well. Christ sits enthroned, the disciples at His feet. But this is no Last Judgement. Instead it is an invitation: "Evntes Ergo Docete Omnes Gentes" (Matthew 28.19): "Go Ye Therefore and Teach All Nations."
Minnesota Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
Designed by a team consisting of Nina Ackerman, Jake Castillo, Rick Laffin and Stanton Sears, this piece is officially called "Lakefront DMZ". The names of hundreds of Minnesotans killed in the wall are inscribed on the granite slabs. Simple words of commemoration: "We were young. We have died. Remember us."
On the grounds of the state capitol.
My Confession at the Cathedral of St. Paul
In the spring of 1964, when I was a 19-year-old college freshman, I visited St. Paul with a group of friends. On that trip we went to the Cathedral of St. Paul twice - once for a mass and then later for a tour. It was the first Catholic mass I had ever attended and the first Catholic cathedral I had ever seen.
There was one very small Catholic Church with just a handful of members in my hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee. I had only met one real live Catholic in my life. I was fascinated by the Cathedral and the taste of a "forbidden" religion - at least it was forbidden for a Protestant/Pentecostal from Appalachia.
I saw a door with a red light over it. A friend explained that behind the door was a confession booth. I decided to give it a try. Opening the door, I found a little place to kneel and got down on my knees.
A man's voice on the other side of a screen asked if I had come to make a confession?
"No sir," I told him. "I'm not sure how to make a confession but I wanted to ask you a question. Can you please tell me how I can be sure that if I died today I would go to Heaven?"
"Are you a Catholic?"
"No, Sir," I'm a Protestant."
"Well, first you will need to go to catecism classes, be baptized and join the Church. After that come back here, I'll take your confession, and you'll be forgiven." He then proceeded to tell me when and where the classes were held.
"But I'm just visiting in town and can't go to the classes. What if I died tonight? Would I go to Hell? How Can I be sure I would go to Heaven if I died tonight?"
With a concerned tone the priest asked, "Is there any particular sin you're afraid might send you to Hell?"
"No, Sir. My conscience is clean. I just want to be sure."
"Well, Son," he consoled, "If your conscience isn't bothering you, then don't worry about it. I'm sure you'll be alright."
I thanked him and left.
I've related this story, and many more from my youthful quest for truth in my book Growing up Pentecostal.
Visit the Jackson Street Roundhouse
This is part of the Minnesota Transportation Museum. They have a number of old train cars and engines, and best of all, if you have a child, they have 3 train tables set up with Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Our 3-year-old loved that the best.
It is near the State Capitol, so you could do that too if you are in the area.
Luther Seminary's library...
Luther Seminary's library (2491 Como Ave.) has one of only 3 extant copies of Martin Luther's deathmask and castings of the reformer's hands.
Outside the library is Old Muskego Church, the first church Norwegian immigrants built in this country. It's a favorite site for weddings in warmer months. Get the key at the library circulation destk.