St. Joseph's in Brooklyn held its first Sunday mass as a newly minted Cathedral.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio petitioned the Vatican last year to give Cathedral status to St. Joseph's, the largest church in the Brooklyn diocese.
Pope Emeritus Benedict granted the request before he resigned.
DiMarzio will be the Pastor of St. Joseph's, which will now serve as the seat of the Bishop.
Able to seat about 1,500 people, the cathedral will now serve as the scene of major events like Christmas mass.
"It's preferred that all the major celebrations take place at the cathedral, and the reason for St. Joseph, which is the largest church in the diocese, becoming the co-cathedral of the diocese is St. James, which had been the pro cathedral, is a very small church," said Msgr. Kieran Harrington, administrator at St. Joseph's. "So we were unable to have the major diocesan celebrations there because it only can seat about 500 people."
St. Joseph's was built in 1850 to serve the area's large immigrant community.
St. James in downtown Brooklyn is the only other Roman Catholic cathedral in the borough.
Bishop Demarzio is expected to celebrate the church's new status as a cathedral on March 16 when he will preside over mass.