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placeholder Religious, civic leaders gather for interfaith service at new cathedral

Special honors awarded to five for exceptional service

New Holy Rosary pastor a familiar face at Antioch parish

Marriage Encounter helps couples form new level of intimacy

Fremont parish creates bonds of friendship in Guatemala

‘Stone-for-stone’ reproduction erected at St. Francis Shrine

Sex abuse healing garden to be
dedicated at cathedral, Oct. 11

St. Mary’s Center marks 35 years; includes links to new cathedral

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises to be offered as weekend retreats

Men experience post-abortion trauma, mental health risks

Vietnamese pastor honored for rebuilding efforts in New Orleans

Catholic to be honored posthumously
for saving Jews during Holocaust


placeholder October 6, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA

Bishop Allen Vigneron exchanges sacred books with Imam Faheem Shuaibe (right) and Rabbi Steven Chester (center) as a sign of their willingness to work together for the common good. With them is Father Paul Minnihan (left), provost of the cathedral.
Religious, civic leaders gather for
interfaith service at new cathedral

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir sings during the Sept. 26 service.

Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron, Rabbi Steven Chester of Temple Sinai in Oakland and Imam Faheem Shuaibe of Masjidul Waritheen, also in Oakland, exchanged copies of their faiths’ sacred books during the Sept. 26 interfaith prayer service marking the opening of the Cathedral of Christ the Light as a place of welcome for people of all faiths and cultures.

During the 90-minute service attended by civic and religious leaders, Bishop Vigneron reiterated that the cathedral is both the center of Catholic life in the Oakland Diocese and a public building intended to enrich both the cityscape and the intellectual and spiritual life of all citizens in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

“Building this beautiful cathedral is first and foremost an act of homage to God, but it is at the same time an act of respect for every man, woman and child in the East Bay,” he said.

The sacred books will be kept in the cathedral’s Chapel of All Seasons as a symbol of the commitment of Catholics to join with all people of faith to work for the common good.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums notes that “diversity is the strength of our community” during his address at the Sept. 26 interfaith service.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums spoke before the assembly of several hundred people, saying he believes the new cathedral will be a “place where hope and peace abide.” Calling the building “magnificent” and a “crown jewel,” he said it will help revitalize the community around Lake Merritt.

Some nearby residents and office workers joined in the morning service and many others stopped by during the day, their first chance to see the completed building which they have watched under construction for the past three years. Still more poured in during the weekend, and the first Sunday liturgy on Sept. 28 drew more than 1600 worshippers.

Simon Kalumba, president of the Association of the Uganda Community in Northern California, was one of a number of cultural and civic leaders attending the interfaith service. The cathedral, he said, is a “symbol of humanity” and an “amazing” structure that can bring “all faiths together.”

Representatives of several police and fire departments were also in attendance including Dora Ramirez of the Union City Fire Department. She praised the Church’s commitment to provide services to the community such as a health clinic for the uninsured located in the cathedral complex at the corner of Harrison and 21st Streets. The clinic is expected to open on Oct. 13.

Father Paul Minnihan, cathedral provost, said a pro bono legal clinic is also being planned for the cathedral complex, creating a “web of advocacy” for those who suffer in the community.

(Rosa King contributed to this story.)

LEFT: Christian Brother William Woeger, artistic design consultant for the cathedral, joins in singing “Those Who See Light” at the beginning of the interfaith prayer service. With him are members of the architectural team from Skidmore, Owings& Merrill who designed and engineered the cathedral. BELOW: Bishop Allen Vigneron tells those gathered to celebrate the opening of the Cathedral of Christ the Light at an interfaith prayer service, Sept. 26, that he hopes “people of all beliefs will find a welcome here.”

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