InSPIRed Sunday – The Forbidden Photographs of Tulsa’s Holy Family Cathedral

Last Bloom? #roses #arch #cross #holyfamilycathedral #tulsa #downtowntulsa #oklahoma #igersok

Tulsa’s Holy Family Cathedral is a block away from the office. I walk by it two or three times a week during my noon time walks. I love taking pictures of it. The above is an archway at the side of the Cathedral on a walkway from the street to a parking lot at the back of the Cathedral. I love arches. I don’t know why, I just do.

Holy Family Cathedral - the back side

I take lots of photos of the building and have posted many of them on Yogi’s Den. I photograph them for two reasons, first it is a beautiful building and second because I have been forbidden to photograph the building. Yep, you read that right.


You see one day about two or three years ago at noon I was on the sidewalk in front of the church leaning back taking pictures of the spires of the church and I heard a sharp voice, “May I ask what you are doing?” I looked around and there was a grumpy looking woman looking at me. I said “Well Ma’am I’m taking pictures of this church.” She said, “You know it is illegal to take pictures of a church without permission.” I was like, “Is that right?” “Yes, unless you have permission.” I said, “From who?” She said “From a member of the church.” I said, “Well then I’m good.” She said, “so you have permission?” I said, “Sure do.” “From who?” She asked. I said “He didn’t give his name but I asked him and he said go ahead.” She said when was that? I said last year some time.

Holy Family Cathedral

So after some more back and forth she said that she was going to report me. I said okay. I have never seen her again but I always take lots of pictures whenever I get anywhere close to the Cathedral. 

Centennial Green looking to Holy Family Cathedral

True confession: I lied to her I never got permission from anybody to take photographs of the Cathedral.


These are forbidden photographs. I’m not even sure that it is legal for you to view them. Do you think less of me? I have a feeling that the church doesn’t care if I take pictures of it or not. I probably shouldn’t aggravate certain members though.

The church was completed in 1914 so 2014 will be the 100th Anniversary of its completion. That is old for Oklahoma.

InSPIRed Sunday

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13 thoughts on “InSPIRed Sunday – The Forbidden Photographs of Tulsa’s Holy Family Cathedral

  1. Sylvia K

    Ah, you wicked boy!!! I love it and what great captures you got!! Thanks for sharing, it is a beautiful church!! Try not to get into too much trouble over the weekend!!

  2. Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks

    personally it sounds like the lady was a bit darn nosy (i have met many folks over the years that have to put their two cents into everything i am doing, move on missy, find something better to do!! Yogi is taking a pic, nuts!!) & she should mind her own darn business!! i feel it is a building belonging to all who wish to see it ….. why not take a picture? what’s the big deal? ( :

  3. Leedslass

    Over here we have a name for a woman like that “jobsworth” – a very derogatory term. Good on you for being awkward and still taking pictures.

  4. DrillerAA09

    Maybe you should have asked her to produce the city ordinance that made it illegal to photograph the building. I know that it is probably frowned upon to photograph federal buildings and police stations in this age of terrorism. Banks probably get a little nervous when strange cameras are pointed in their direction, so I suppose that even the church feels threatened by the world it is supposed to minister to. Sad situation, to say the least.

  5. Louis la Vache

    hee hee…
    You should have told the old bat that you gave yourself permission! BTW, I’m sure she lives in the condo complex where «Louis» lives. She was giving the treatment to some poor soul using the elevator during his move-in. (Which he is entitled to do. The condo complex is 17 stories high and there is no freight elevator that can be used for move-ins or move-outs.) Anyway, great post, Yogi. Snap away!

    Here’s «Louis’» inSPIREd Sunday post.

  6. Louis la Vache

    «Louis» got wrapped up in his rant about the woman who demanded to know if you had permission to take the photos that he neglected to comment that he, too, likes arches. He can’t tell you why either, but he likes them…

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