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CURRENT ISSUE:  November 5, 2007
VOL. 45, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA
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Diocese earns A3 credit rating from Moody’s Service
Global poverty must be U.S. priority declare religious leaders and activists
Cathedral dedication date set

Bishop Allen Vigneron has set Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, as the date for the formal dedication of the new Cathedral of Christ the Light. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. It is expected to draw bishops from throughout the country as well as civic leaders and religious dignitaries, along with priests, diocesan and parish staffs, and local parishioners.

The outline of the Omega window (foreground) and the Alpha window (background) highlight the center axis of the Cathedral of Christ the Light. The inner scaffolding will be removed by the end of the year to allow workers to complete the cathedral’s interior.

John Blaustein photo

Father Paul Minnihan, provost of the cathedral, said the planning team selected the date to avoid conflicts with such weekend events as weddings and quincieneras. The group also considered an evening event, but decided an afternoon would allow for the possibility of a procession to the cathedral from another venue. “Safety was a concern,” he said.

He said the planning group also “seriously weighed the reality of the members of our diocese who work, but we placed our hope in their ability to take time away from work as we do when there are significant events in our lives.”

Two other dedication-related events have been planned.

On Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. there will be a ceremony opening the cornerstone of St. Francis de Sales Church, which was set at 21st Street and San Pablo Avenue in Oakland on Sept. 13, 1891. The church became the first cathedral of the Oakland Diocese when it was established in 1962.

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake severely damaged the cathedral and it had to be torn down. The new cathedral at the corner of Grand Avenue and Harrison Street is its replacement.

On Sunday Nov. 2, the feast of All Souls, the mausoleum underneath the new cathedral will be dedicated at 2 p.m. At that time, the remains of Oakland’s first bishop, Floyd Begin, will be re-interred. He is currently buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.

Click here for an interview with Father Minnihan about the dedication events and plans for cathedral ministries and here for additional photos of the cathedral’s construction. Bishop Vigneron offers a reflection on the new cathedral center in his column.

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