A thousand years ago, the cathedral was the heart around which all the life of a medieval town revolved. Today the Cathedral of Christ the Light on the shore of Oakland’s Lake Merritt — the first cathedral built in the twenty-first century — is expected to serve more than 600,000 Catholics as “a place of welcome and inclusivity that embraces the diversity of faiths, peoples and cultures,” according to The Catholic Voice. As part of its outreach, the cathedral grounds will feature a small “healing garden” for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
Tom Scirghi, Associate Professor of Liturgy at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley (JSTB) — a GTU member school — is serving on a liturgy committee planning public worship events at the Cathedral including Lent, Easter, and Christmas observances. “Our committee is working with an awareness of the many constituencies who will celebrate there,” Scirghi says. Jeanette Whitaker, a JSTB student and published composer of church music, who has been involved in auditioning and assembling a choir for the cathedral’s Sept. 25 dedication ceremony, describes the sanctuary’s acoustics, in a space shaped by 768 Douglas fir louvers and the 26 curved fir ribs as “absolutely beautiful.”