Holy Rosary Catholic Church
Tacoma’s German Catholic community built the first Holy Rosary church in 1891 with volunteer labor because they wanted a church where sermons were given in their native language. Due to Tacoma’s rapid growth, the small wooden church soon became inadequate, and plans were laid for a larger structure. The last Mass in the original church was celebrated on December 8, 1912. For the next decade, Mass was celebrated in the school auditorium while funds were collected for a new church.
On May 30, 1920, the cornerstone of the magnificent present church was laid, and it was completed the following year. The beautiful stained glass windows were imported from Belgium. As a finishing touch, the parish installed an excellent eleven rank, electro-pneumatic action pipe organ. The new church was dedicated on November 13, 1922. The church’s architecture is Frankish or Norman Gothic, built in a European cruciform. It is 175 feet long and 92 feet wide, with a seating capacity of 500. The bell tower rises 210 feet above the ground and was originally topped with a cross of plate glass underlaid with gold leaf.
One of the highlights of the Jubilee celebration was the hoisting of a new cross to the top of the bell tower to replace the original cross, which had toppled in the 1965 earthquake. The 16-foot cross is made of heavy aluminum plate, underlaid with gold leaf. It weighs some 200 pounds.
The Benedictine presence ended in 1998, and Holy Rosary is now an archdiocesan parish.