• History of St. Mary
      St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows is a Nashville landmark and one of the first Catholic Church buildings constructed in Tennessee. The church served as the second Cathedral of the Diocese of Nashville from 1847-1914. The oldest extant church building in downtown Nashville, St. Mary's dates to 1844-47. Its architect was Adolphus Heiman, a German immigrant who designed several major Nashville buildings, including the State Asylum, during the late antebellum era. Heiman chose a Greek Revival temple style for St. Mary's, which features a gable front entrance of two fluted Ionic columns supporting a classical pediment.   Richard Pius Miles, O.P. (1791-1860), the first Catholic Bishop of Nashville, is primarily responsible for the construction of St. Mary's. Consecrated bishop at Bardstown, Kentucky in 1838, Miles arrived in Nashville that same year and was the only Catholic priest in the state of Tennessee. He led the state’s growing Catholic population until his death in 1860, when he was buried beneath the cathedral.

      In 1926 the Nashville firm of Asmus & Clark renovated both the exterior and interior of St. Mary's, finishing the west facade in local limestone and altering the original octagonal belfry. In 1972 the congregation moved the cast iron casket of Bishop Miles to a small chapel in the church's northwest corner. St. Mary's celebrated its 165th anniversary in 2012.


    • Fr. Baker will lead us through a weekly series explaining each part of the Mass. By understanding the symbols and rituals of the Mass, we can enter more deeply into the reality of the Mass:  the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father for our salvation.  The Mass is the "source and summit" of the Church's life so the more deeply we participate in it, the more we enter into the Mystery of God.  Read more.
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    • Mass will be held in the Crypt on Tuesday - Thursday, August 26-28,
      as the Church floors under the altar
      are being refinished.  

    • Retreat for Engaged Couples
    • St. Mary's Pastor: Fr. John Sims Baker

      Fr. John Sims Baker was installed as the pastor of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows Church in August. A graduate of Vanderbilt School of Law and the University of the South in Sewanee, Fr. John Sims Baker was ordained in 1994 upon the completion of his seminary studies at The Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio. He has served in a number of parishes in the Diocese of Nashville before being assigned Chaplain at Vanderbilt in 2006, a position he still holds.Fr. Baker grew up in the small town of Ashland City Tennessee, where his father was a judge. His Mom, Dad, sister and he were a devout Episcopalian family. His sister was the first to become Catholic, right after college graduation. Shortly thereafter, she entered the convent and became a Dominican sister. Fr. Baker began taking instructions in the Catholic faith prior to the start of Law School. Two short years after his own First Communion, he and his sister were the sponsors for their parents when they joined the Catholic Church in 1988.  Read Fr. Baker's blog here.

    • Pope Francis: YES! is Forever

      Pope Francis delivers messages on the importance of marriage.  Check them out.
    • Life Matters

      Seek the wisdom of the Church on relevant topics like marriage and abortion (CLICK ON PHOTO). Brochures on these and other topics can also  be found in the back of the Church.

    • Office Hours at St. Mary's

      The office is staffed on 
      Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9 am - 3 pm. 

      615.256.1704    office@stmarysdowntown.org
      Use the side entrance on Charlotte Ave. 
      Please ring the doorbell.