| Rev. Jay Matthews installation Mass scheduled May 9
Rev. James Matthews
Rev. James Matthews will be installed as rector of the Cathedral of Christ the Light at 5:30 p.m. May 9 by the Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, SJ, bishop of Oakland.
Father Matthews, who began his service as the cathedral's third rector on Feb. 1, served as pastor of St. Benedict Parish in Oakland for 25 years. His family moved into the parish in 1960, and it was at his confirmation in 1962 that Bishop Floyd L. Begin, the first bishop of Oakland, invited him to consider the priesthood.
He celebrated his first Mass at St. Benedict after his ordination to the priesthood in 1974.
For the installation ceremony at the cathedral, "I would like the focus to be on the cathedral parish community with the community of St. Benedict sending me forth," Father Matthews said.
The St. Benedict Gospel Choir will provide the music for the Mass.
The 5:30 p.m. Mass was chosen for the installation, Father Matthews said, because it is the only Mass not ethnically or liturgically bound.
Although there are many languages in the cathedral parish, Father Matthews said, "we are one voice."
"This is going to be the challenge of my time here at the cathedral," he said. "We embrace the diversity in such a way we become one."
Sunday Masses include a Vietnamese, English with a strong Filipino presence, and Spanish Masses, along with the traditional 10 a.m. Mass.
"Everything we do has to be welcoming and hospitable," Father Matthews said.
In the future, the cathedral's role in the city of Oakland will be an area of exploration. "In the city of Oakland, we stand here majestic and beautiful," he said. "Are we connecting with our city?
"Our cathedral can be a place where we can gather and be part of building up this city." He said, citing issues of public safety, homelessness, housing, poverty, joblessness and education.
"These are things we can be engaging in," he said. "Can we move in the direction of community building, enhancing this city? For this place to be a place where we gather to look at the major issues of our time?"
Father Matthews said he wants the cathedral to be connected with parishes.
"It's our cathedral," he said, "not the cathedral."
He is looking at how the cathedral in Los Angeles is engaging parishes. There may be opportunities for "parish days," perhaps near their feast days, at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, with tours, a meal and gathering for the Eucharist.
Father Matthews said he was inspired, too, by the choir festival in February, when the cathedral filled with voices from about a third of the parishes.
Easter at the cathedral, too, was beautiful, he said, with standing-room-only at 10 a.m. and noon. "The rain didn't stop people from coming," he said.
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