Catholics on Galveston Island have special reason to celebrate this Easter holiday.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo celebrates the first mass at the historic St. Mary Cathedral Basilica since the church was damaged by Hurricane Ike.
The 166-year old basilica at the corner of 21st and Church streets has undergone a four-million dollar renovation since the 2008 storm. Officials found the pews and the church piano in chest-high water, roof tiles were destroyed, and the air conditioning unit needed replacement.
It is one of the few buildings in Galveston that also survived the hurricane of 1900, which killed more than 6,000 people.
Renovations were funded through individual donations, trusts, foundations, and the three-million dollars in proceeds from the sale of the Bishop’s Palace to the Galveston Historical Foundation.