Friday, April 1, 2016

Unusual Varieties Highlight 'Queen's' Garden

The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, will dedicate its newly refurbished Queen of the Apostles Garden to honor the life and work of Reverend Monsignor James J. Howard.

Sunday, April 10, 2016
Procession and Dedication to Follow 9:30 a.m. Mass
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Reverend Monsignor James J. Howard was born on May, 19, 1925, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He attended Saint Patrick Parochial School, Pottsville, and Pottsville Catholic High School before entering Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary.  He was ordained to the Priesthood by Cardinal John O’Hara on May 10, 1952, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. On September 24, 1973, Monsignor Howard was named a Prelate of Honor by His Holiness, Pope Paul VI.

Monsignor Howard served as Parochial Vicar, Saint Mary Parish, Beaver Meadows; Saint Francis DeSales Parish, Lenni; Our Lady of Angels, Parish, Philadelphia. Monsignor Howard also served as Faculty, Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill; and Faculty, Vice-Principal, and Principal, Cardinal Dougherty High School, Philadelphia. In 1973, he was appointed Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, and named Rector Emeritus in 2000. Monsignor Howard died October 28, 2014.

Located on the Northeast Corner of the Cathedral Basilica, the Queen of the Apostles Garden, underwent a transformation over an 18 month period that included planning, design, plant selection, demolition, and statue restoration.  The statue of Our Lady was a gift to the Cathedral Basilica from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. in July 2015.

All featured plants in the Queen of the Apostles Garden are symbolic of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A sampling of the plantings is listed below.

• Alchemical Mollis~ Our Lady’s Mantle
• Armenia Maritime ‘Splendens’~ Our Lady’s Pincushion
• Campanula Rotunda Folia ~ Our Lady’s Thimble
• Olygonatum Multiflorum~ Mary’s Seal
• Rose Rugosa ‘Snow Pavement’ ~ Mary’s Rose
• Rosmarinus Officials ‘Prostratus’~ Rose of Mary
• Teucrium Chambers ~ Our Lady’s Marks
• Vinca Minor ~ Virgin Flower

The Garden was completed with the help of  Fine Garden Creations LLC, Swarthmore, (Landscape Design), Hoffman Design, Sharon Hill, (Landscape Maintenance), Tom Gavigan, Philadelphia, (Pedestal), De Vito Brothers & Son, Ardmore, (Iron Works), Members of the Cathedral Parish Hispanic Community (Demolition), Carr & Duff, Philadelphia, (Electrical), Saint Jude Shop, Havertown, (Stone Benches), The Bronze Age, Villanova, (Statue Restoration), and parishioner Mary Ann Leigh.

Note: The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It is here that the Archbishop, as local ordinary, has his chair, called the cathedra. Located on the east side of Logan Square on 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, it first opened in 1864. It is the largest brownstone structure in Philadelphia and the largest Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. Additional information on the cathedral can be found at

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