Cardinal Daniel DiNardo presided over the ceremony which included entering relics into the altar, such as the bones of several saints and a piece of wood from what Catholic faithful believe is the cross that was used to crucify Jesus.
The bell towers summoned the Catholic hierarchy from around the world to the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston to dedicate the building for the worship of God. Some local parishioners literally won a lottery at their church for Wednesday's invitation.
"I'm very active in the church and it's beautiful," said Diane Bishop of St. Luke's Parish. "I'm an artist. I love artwork, so this is in my heart to come see this."
Inside, a fortunate 2,000 or so gathered to hear Cardinal Daniel DiNardo's message and a letter from the Vatican with greetings from Pope Benedict.
"It is his hope that all those who enter its doors will draw inspiration from the rich Catholic heritage of the American southwest," said Cardinal DiNardo to the congregation.
Of the many people the Cardinal thanked, of primary importance was Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza.
"Archbishop, from all of us in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, thank you," said Cardinal DiNardo.
Then there was the moment that turned the building into a holy place -- the anointing of the alter with chrism, holy oil.
The mass was an international celebration for a Catholic community of many colors. Now it's one together at the co-cathedral.
"It's a very memorable day for me," said "It's overwhelming to be involved in something like this."
Also inside the building, the relics or remains of saints, was installed beneath the alter.
First Co-Cathedral public events
Saturday, April 5, 9am to 3pm
Mass by Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza
Saturday, April 5, 5:30pm
Mass in English
Sunday, April 6, 11am
Mass in Vietnamese
Sunday, April 6, 1pm
Regular Mass in Spanish
Sunday, April 6, 5pm