Oakland's new Cathedral


Ground was broken yesterday for the new Cathedral to serve the half million Catholics in the Oakland Diocese. From what I have been able to glean, the design is quite promising, with a combination of wood and glass. Everything I have learned about the fairly recently—appointed Bishop Vigneron encourages me about the future of the Diocese.

The site itself, on the shore of Lake Merritt, is outstanding.

People who do not know the Bay Area often assume that Oakland is the Newark of the West Coast. Far from it. Although Oakland houses a serious ghetto with all the social problems, it is also a city with beautiful neighborhoods, a prospering economy, and some very dramatic lanscapes, including Lake Merritt adjacent to downtown. If all turns out as I hope, the new Cathedral will glitter like a jewel at night, complimenting the "necklace of light" surrounding the lake.

"Urban beauty" and "Oakland" are not paired often enough.

Thomas Lifson   5 22 05