Two clergymen have been let go. A pair of church autos offered. About 20 lay employees have been terminated. It’s all of the Rev. John Ardis can do to maintain the lights on at Outdated St. Mary’s Cathedral, the primary cathedral in California and as soon as the tallest constructing in San Francisco.
It burned down a day after the 1906 earthquake in a hearth so sizzling it melted the church bells and altar, and now the historic church on the sting of Chinatown faces one more risk to its existence — the coronavirus pandemic. Donations have virtually fully dried up, and the Paulist Fathers, a Roman Catholic order of clergymen who’ve run the cathedral for properly over a century, owe $250,000 in insurance coverage funds to the Archdiocese of San Francisco.