September 2008 Archives

September 2008 II 183 b.jpg

Many bloggers who write from a distance have the audacity to judge a building based on pictures and news reports. Both Whispers and the American Papist are young catholics who seem to make gossip their hobby, and they are host to many comments calling the Cathedral hideous, and a monstrosity. Well, last Thursday I was a participant in one of the most beautiful liturgies I have ever been part of. It was an amazing event.

First of all, the building sings. The acoustics are wonderful andf the sound of singing in the place is worthy of any cathedral.

Secondly, the heart of any worship space is the people. No one who was there had a single word of complaint.

Yes, I am a bit more traditional. This might not have been what I would have built. But I believe this is a place for the ages, and future ages will judge it differently after it has had years of experience. Cathedrals are built over hundreds of years.

But for now, at the dawn of the 21st century, the Cathedral of Christ the light is the jewel of Oakland.

September 2008 II 003 b.jpg

September 2008 II 170 b.jpg

September 2008 II 185 b.jpg

One of my favorite moments at the dedication was the anointing of the altar and the wallls. There are twelve candles that circle the cathedral and each one is labeled with the name of an apostle. During the dedication the walls were anointed with chrism.

September 2008 II 024 b.jpg

I love the Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral. They are the work of the same artist that rendered the Crucifix and the Statue of Mary. They are at the level where they can be handled by the people as they are making the way of the cross. I would love to witness these bronze stations in a hundred years after they have been made smooth by the devotion of generations of people.

September 2008 II 046 b.jpg

The art in the Cathedral is beautiful. This modern creation has the Diocesan patron St. Francis De Sales holding the first cathedral, and St. Joseph holding Mission San Jose.

September 2008 II 035 b.jpg

This image of the return from Egypt is in the Holy Family Chapel.

September 2008 II 054 b.jpg

The Cathedral makes use of Natural Light. This can bee seen in this amage of the Cathedra, the Bishop's Throne.

September 2008 II 060 p.jpg

The baptismal font has water from the Jordan river, from St. Peter in Rome, from Lourdes, from Lake Merritt, and from the fonts of all the parishes in the diocese.

September 2008 II 066 b.jpg

The Ambry:

September 2008 II 068 b.jpg

The altar is surrounded by four large Candles. The Ambo rises from the Choir. The Crucifix towers over the Ambo.

September 2008 II 094 b.jpg

The midday sun fills the Cathedral with natural light. The space is warm and inviting.

September 2008 II 104 b.jpg

The Eucharistic Chapel:

September 2008 II 119 b.jpg

The Mausoleum is beneath the Cathedral. The altar from the old cathedral is directly below the main altar. This is where the Casket is placed for the Rite of Committal. Light from the Cathedral bathes the Mausoleum with light.

September 2008 II 146 b.jpg

The image of Christ in Glory, an image over the door in the Chartres Cathedral, towers over the altar. It is nearly 60 feet tall in the 90 foot Omega Window and is made from 94,000 small holes digitally placed in the metal and then covered with glass. Sitting in the pews it seems as if the image is projected on the screen. This, I believe, is to become the signature image of this Cathedral. A Photograph does not do it justice. To stand in the cathedral is to lift up your eyes to this wondrous image of Christ the teacher reigning in Glory. An immature blogger from the other coast disrespectfully called this "whatever that is."

September 2008 II 155 b.jpg

September 2008 II 148 b.JPG

A lot of the criticism of the so called American Papist who has little respect for the teaching office of the church stemmed from an inaccurate and unfair article in the New York Time about a healing garden that was initiated by victims of sexual abuse from priests in this diocese. They designed it. It is not finished yet and will be ready for its dedication in October. Here we see a CNN reporter sitting in the garden. He was there to do interviews about the cathedral, but their report is mainly on this garden, because the media seems only able to focus on that scene.

September 2008 II 167 b.jpg

The light of heaven, the light of Christ; when looking up it appears that the heavens are about to open.

September 2008 II 063 b.jpg

The Alpha Window:

September 2008 II 096 b.jpg

Bookmark and Share

By Father Paul Minnihan
Provost, Cathedral of Christ the Light

On Aug. 4, Bishop Vigneron received a decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary in Rome. Signed by Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, the decree recognizes the dedication of the Cathedral of Christ the Light on Sept. 25 and gives those in attendance the favor of a papal blessing with provisions for a plenary indulgence.

The indulgence is gained through and conditioned by a sacramental confession, the celebration of the Eucharist, and by prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father.

The indulgence is also extended to those who have an intention to participate and are unable to attend, especially due to health considerations. These persons are encouraged to participate, in part and at delayed times, through television, radio or the Internet.

In fact, the papal blessing with the plenary indulgence is extended to all of the Christian faithful who would want to participate in this singular event for the diocese. Again, the provisions are the same as for those in attendance -- sacramental confession, the celebration of the Eucharist and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father, all in a spirit of detachment from sin.

This form of apostolic blessing will become part of the rhythmic breathing of our cathedral. A diocesan bishop within his own diocese may offer the papal blessing with plenary indulgence three times a year on solemn feasts.

After prayerful considerations and consultation, Bishop Vigneron has determined that the three feasts that occasion this blessing are: The Epiphany, feast of the Cathedral of Christ the Light; Easter, the summit of the Church's liturgical life; and Sts. Peter and Paul, to celebrate the great apostle of Rome and the great missionary of the Church.

It is in a spirit of anticipation, we watch and wait for the events that will dedicate the Cathedral of Christ the Light and receive abundant blessings.

Bookmark and Share

American Papist

| | Comments (2) longer has a link on my sidebar. If I get the impression or any evidence any links are unfaithful to the Bishops and the magisterium, they are removed.

Bookmark and Share


I have the honor of having one of my psalms sttings being chosen for the dedication of the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

Psalm 95 was chosen from the Common of the Anniversary of the Dedication of a Church by the Music Committee of the Cathedral of Christ the Light. This setting, Psalm 95-Venite Exsultemus was composed using Mode IV. Using Gregorian modes emphasizes the primacy of the human voice. Normally it is to be sung without accompaniment, but can be accompanied by bells used sparingly.

Mode IV, also known as "deuterus plagius," centers around recitation on la and final on mi. In his work on Gregorian Chant, Willi Apel alluded to the similarities between the primal chants and the cantillation formulae of the Yemenite Jews. It is interesting that the formulae for the Roman Canon; the "Crucem tuam" of Good Friday, the Gloria, Sanctus & Agnus Dei of Mass I "Lux et Origo" for Easter and the Easter morning Introit "Resurrexi" are all Mode IV. The Responsory formulae, which many scholars believe to be among the most ancient chants, provide more finals for Tone IV than any other. These things lead me to ponder the theory that the formulae for Tone 4 may be among the most ancient.

I understand that Janet Whitaker, music director of Corpus Christ Church in Oakland will be the cantor/ psalmist.

The entire psalm can be found here:

Psalm 95 Venite.pdf

Bookmark and Share

In the past year I have had several opportunities to see the new Cathedral up close. Bishop Vigneron gave us a tour with hard hats nearly a year ago, but last week I was able to stand inside the nearly complete cathedral and witness its beauty.

I served at the old Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales 1989 to 1991 as the Director of the Choir. Now standing inside the new Cathedral I can say it is a big improvement.

Pictures do not really do the place justice. But still, that will not prevent me with sharing a few pictures of it.

The exterior of the building does not do much for me. Standing nearby it seems like a solid wall of glass that disappears in the clouds, without form or substance. It is only in standing back, across the lake that you see the building's purpose. The banks and office buildings dot the landscape, and this sits among them as a shining jewel, a lantern, that stands out from these square buildings with its own unique shape, The name, Christ the Light, really fits this picture.

Inside, though, the light on the natural wood is warm and inviting. The awesome image of Christ in Glory from Chartres towers over the congregation. Walking inside your eyes are instantly drawn upward by this imposing image and by the light streaming various places in the building.

Yesterday, after the morning Masses we headed to Oakland for the Festival of Light. We parked near the new cathedral and then waited for buses to take us to the site of the former Cathedral.

September 2008 017 b.jpg

There we were led in prayer by the retired Bishop, Bishop John Cummins, and by Bishop Allen Vigneron. Standing near Bishop Vigneron is Fr. Paul Minnehan, the Cathedral Provost.

September 2008 049 b.jpg

Then the procession proceeded eight blocks to the new Cathedral. Each Parish had a banner with its parish name on it, and a parish representative carrying a pitcher of Holy Water from the Baptismal Font at our parish.

September 2008 077 b.jpg

September 2008 090 b.jpg

The procession of banners:

CATHEDRAL SEPT 14 08 051 b.jpg

Procession of Holy Water:

September 2008 153 b.jpg

Water from Lake Merritt, from the font of St. Peter in Rome, from the Jordan River and from Lourdes were mixed with water from the fonts of the 84 parishes in the Diocese.

pouring the holy water:

CATHEDRAL SEPT 14 08 082 b.jpg

Blessing the Crucifix:

CATHEDRAL SEPT 14 08 118 b.jpg

The Crucifix:

September 2008 165 b.jpg

Bishop Vigneron speaks with the congregation after the final blessing. Pictured near him is retired Bisho[p John Cummins.

September 2008 176 b.jpg

The interior:

September 2008 192 c.jpg

Bookmark and Share

Good bye, Rome


CSC_0003 b.jpg

It was a great trip, very restful. The last day started early. Security, passport control, etc was all designed to make us feel very insecure. Other than that it was an uneventful trip. It was good to be home.

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic with some significant funerals and then the start of School. It almost does not pay to be away when the piles of mail get so high in the absence. Rome is one of my favorite places and I hope to return there before long.

Bookmark and Share

Day 12


Last full day in Rome. Biggest task today is to figure out how to get all this stuff into those suitcases.

The Sunday bells at the Vatican are the best. It is clearly a joyful sign. They start ringing at 9:30am and continue for a half hour. I now do something similar for 10minutes prior to the weekly solemn liturgy, much to the annoyance of the parochial vicar.

Today we celebrate Mass in the chapel of the house. Then we went off to the beach where we had a marvelous pranzo. The fish was wonderful.

Rome 2008 1382 b.jpg

The rest of the evening was like this: Nap, packing, vespers, packing, dinner, packing. I did not want to go home.

Bookmark and Share

Day 11


I figure it is about time I finished this little journal.

Day 11 was the beginning of my last weekend in Rome. I had been to St. Peter and St. Paul, so it was about time for me to visit the other major basilicas, St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. These are also significant sites on any Gaspar tour.

St. Mary Major

Rome 2008 1185 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1174 b.jpg

Just around the corner from St. Mary is a little church called Santa Prassede. This place has some marvelous mosaics. It also has the relic pillar of the scourging. It was in this church that Gaspar's parents were married.

Rome 2008 1187 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1191 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1200 b.jpg

About two blocks from Santa Prassede is the Carmelite Church of San Silvestro and Martino. It was here where St. Gaspar was baptized. The font is still there along with a marble marker commemorating the occasion.

Rome 2008 1233 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1234 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1237 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1238 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1244 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1250 b.jpg

From there I walked leisurely up Via Merulana toward the Basilica of St. John Lateran. It was here that St. Gaspar was ordained to the Diaconate. The place was jammed with young people. It was during World Youth Day and the Roman young people who did not travel to Australia gathered for a rally here and were watching a live feed from Australia.

Rome 2008 1258 b.jpg

I need a sign like this for our church:

Rome 2008 1260 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1265 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1270 b.jpg

Because of the crowds I did not stay long at the Lateran, so decided to head down the street to visit Santa Croce. I am standing waiting for the light, when I catch sight of someone across the street who looks vaguely familiar. As he crosses the street toward me I recognize Don Gennaro, our former Vice Moderator. He was out for a walk since this is not very far from our House at Via Narni.

Rome 2008 1271 b.jpg

Santa Croce is where the relics of the Holy Cross are kept. It was here that St. Gaspar made his retreat before his ordination. His uncle was a monk of this congregation, and Gaspar preached the Lenten retreat there ten years in a row. It seems the monks were selling the fruits of their large garden while I was there.

Rome 2008 1276 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1278 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1282 b.jpg

Rome 2008 1296 b.jpg

While walking back to Lateran I decided to look for the Makkarone restaurant where we had our worst meal on New Year's of 2007. I discovered that the restaurant was no longer in business. We were thankfully never to have a meal like that in Rome again.

I made my way back to the Vatican and did the last of my gift shopping in a bookstore near where I was staying. Then Steven decided to take me to one of his favorite restaurants. It is a place called "Tony and Dinos" and it was a short walk from the Vatican. There were no menus. Steven just said, "Do what you do." They over did it. We were so full that it would have been impossible to down a main course. Well, they made sure not to let us leave until we had downed two grappas.

When we got home it was time for a Solemn High Nap.

There was not need for food the rest of the Day. Late afternoon saw the evening news on the BBC, vespers, some reading and then off to bed, apparently not without taking some more pictures.

Rome 2008 1312 b.jpg

Bookmark and Share
  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

August 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Contact us

St. Gaspar's Letters

Who is St. Maria de Mattias?

Why Precious Blood?

What is a Precious Blood Missionary?

Our International Website

What the Pope said to us


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2008 is the previous archive.

October 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.