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CURRENT ISSUE:  September 8, 2008
VOL. 46, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
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The final transition to
a new cathedral
The new coat of arms for Bishop Vigneron, designed and made by Father Ron Schmit, is set behind the bishop’s chair.

More than 1000 parish representatives from throughout the diocese will gather Sept. 14 at the corner of 21st Street and San Pablo Avenue in Oakland to say a final goodbye to the site where St. Francis de Sales Church served as the first cathedral for the Oakland Diocese for 27 years until the Loma Prieta earthquake caused it irreparable damage.

Then the parishioners will walk three-quarters of a mile to the new Cathedral of Christ the Light to witness the laying of the cornerstone from St. Francis de Sales Cathedral at the entrance of the new cathedral.

Latino dancers, Tongan singers and drummers from the Eritrean, Korean and Vietnamese communities will lead the procession down Grand Avenue to the cathedral at the corner of Harrison Street across from Lake Merritt.

Each parish will have a member carry a colorful banner with their parish name and another parishioner will hold a glass pitcher filled with holy water from their church’s baptismal font.
When they enter the cathedral, they will pour the holy water into the cathedral’s baptismal font, visually marking the connection between the parishes and their new mother church.

Because of seating limitations, the event, which begins at 2 p.m., is open only to persons holding tickets that were distributed at the parishes.The event is the first of three major ceremonies hosted by Bishop Allen Vigneron and Bishop Emeritus John Cummins that will culminate with the dedication of the cathedral on Sept. 25.

The priests of the diocese will celebrate evening prayer in the cathedral with the bishops on Sept. 18. During the prayer service, sacred relics will be placed in the altar and the bishop’s chair will be blessed. The following evening the deacons of the diocese and their wives will have evening prayer with the bishops.

Starting with the Sept. 14 event, the cathedral will be open to the public.

Cathedral collection Sept. 13-14
By Voice staff

Bishop Allen Vigneron has asked that Catholics in the Oakland Diocese be given the opportunity to make a financial contribution to the new Oakland cathedral through a special collection at all Masses the weekend of Sept. 13-14.

The collection is totally voluntary, said Dan Jordan who is coordinating the effort for the cathedral campaign office. Special brochures will be placed in the pews to explain the cathedral’s value to the diocese and broader community, he said, and parish priests will encourage participation from the pulpit. However, parishes have not been given a specific financial goal nor are they being assessed, he said.

Rather the collection enables everyone who wants to donate to the cathedral an opportunity to do so, Jordan said. One-time gifts as well as pledges will be accepted and all donors will be acknowledged in a computerized donor list and in a printed edition on display in the cathedral complex.

Total cost of the cathedral center, which includes the cathedral, a conference center, mausoleum, Chancery offices, parish offices, a residence for the bishop and several priests and a café and bookstore, is $190 million. As of July 2008, $115 million has been raised, according to campaign materials.

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