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Oakland Cathedral revisited: "There is no prayer there"
American Papist ^ | October 7, 2008 | Thomas Peters

Posted on 10/08/2008 10:20:04 AM PDT by NYer

The comment thread on my original post about Oakland's new "Cathedral of Light" has about 90 comments at this point. My editorial observations were minimal, but that didn't stop several people from claiming positions for me (and strongly disagreeing with ... the positions they thought I held).

This thoughtful post by "Vitruvian Duck" gets closer to identifying the concerns I had when I first saw pictures of the cathedral. He received his Masters degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, one of the best (if not only) classical schools of (Church) Architecture in the country.
He visited Oakland recently and made observations philosophical and personal:

"... of modern society we can say 'there is no prayer there'. Men and women bustle about downtown skyscrapers, office workers drone on in the vast oceans of concrete found in office parks across the country.

Rarely, if ever, do they hear the ringing of the bells marking the liturgy of the hours. Rare is the visual reminder that they are called to higher things as they drive past a church, and when we build churches like the new Cathedral of Christ the Light, we are accentuating the problem. Our churches are not inviting people into them. Most of the time, people don't even know what that building is, and what it's for. 'Is it a dentist's office?' 'Is it a museum?' 'Is it a hospital?' 'Oh, that's a church?! I never would have guessed!'

... during the 2 hours or so we were exploring the Cathedral, I didn't see a single person in prayer. Not so surprising. I don't feel compelled to pray at office buildings, either."

Christians are called to be salt and light to the world (Mt. 5:13-16), and I just can't help but feel that this Cathedral of Light is salt that has lost its flavor.
Ph/t: Margaret Cabaniss of Inside Catholic.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: ca; cathedral; oakland

1 posted on 10/08/2008 10:20:04 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

What happened to the previous cathedral?


2 posted on 10/08/2008 10:20:49 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer
But, but ... an architect got to make his mark. What else counts?

Btw, did you notice the Eye of Sauron in the top view?

3 posted on 10/08/2008 10:27:32 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: NYer

Looks like a new office building, not a church building.


4 posted on 10/08/2008 10:28:40 AM PDT by Biggirl (Throw The Bums OUT!=^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: NYer
'Is it a dentist's office?' 'Is it a museum?' 'Is it a hospital?'

Now those are just silly -- obviously, it's an insurance company building . . . at least that's what insurance co. buildings look like around here! ;-)

5 posted on 10/08/2008 10:29:39 AM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz

Yeah, obviously Insurance.


6 posted on 10/08/2008 10:32:11 AM PDT by arthurus (Old age and guile beats youth and enthusiasm.)
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To: NYer

Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales suffered some damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. One year later, Bishop John Cummins announced that the structure would have to be torn down because the diocese could not afford the repairs, and in 1993 the cathedral was demolished. The estimated cost of repairing and performing seismic upgrades of both St. Frances de Sales and the Sacred Heart Church, also damaged in the earthquake, was $8 million.


7 posted on 10/08/2008 10:34:15 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: sphinx

No ... I don’t see it.


8 posted on 10/08/2008 10:35:45 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer
It looks like the Whataburger Of The Future.


9 posted on 10/08/2008 10:42:21 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Between the Lines
Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales suffered some damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Seems I've heard that story before. Oh ... here it is

When the City of Los Angeles condemned the old St. Vibiana's Cathedral in 1996, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was left without a Cathedral Church.

Remarkably, others were able to restore the old cathedral into a community arts center. Now that's a miracle!

10 posted on 10/08/2008 10:42:36 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer

I’ve driven by it. It’s bigger than it looks. Also the picture of Christ behind the altar was said to look 3 dimensional when the light shines through the windows. That photo he linked to must have been when the sun is behind the nearby buildings.

We are in quake territory and very few churches look like the old cathedrals here. The ones built in that way didn’t last through the previous quakes. Almost all the Spanish Missions in CA are not the originals. The one is San Juan Batista (seen in the movie Vertigo) was built about 30 feet from the San Andras.


11 posted on 10/08/2008 10:54:09 AM PDT by Wacka
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To: All
He received his Masters degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, one of the best (if not only) classical schools of (Church) Architecture in the country.

I wouldn't brag about my Catholic credentials from Notre Dame - not today, anyway...
Notre Dame Tenured Theologian McBrien Blasts Bishops

12 posted on 10/08/2008 10:56:34 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (What can I say? It's a gift. And I didn't get a receipt, so I can't exchange it.)
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To: sphinx
Btw, did you notice the Eye of Sauron in the top view?

Oh, my, now I can't not see it. I thought the aerial shot of the Cathedral looked familiar... It has the sterile, cold look of headquarters in a sci-fi movie.

13 posted on 10/08/2008 12:08:15 PM PDT by fortunecookie
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To: NYer

See the second photo in the “original post” link.


14 posted on 10/08/2008 12:47:39 PM PDT by sphinx
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To: arthurus; Biggirl; maryz

Oakland? Nah, it’s for software company that didn’t survive the dot com bust.

Seriously, though, the bishop of Oakland is very good, but apparently the contract was already in place when he arrived and there was no way of getting out of it without paying more money than the diocese had. Plus, of course, the former bishop was not good, and his henchpersons were still in charge at the chancery when the new bishop arrived.


15 posted on 10/08/2008 1:02:28 PM PDT by livius
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To: NYer

Wow. That is weak.

Jesus doesn’t want to go in there. He thinks it’s ugly.

Are those brown things shutters or are there vertical pews of some kind?

The round alter looks like it needs a pole and some go-go dancers.

Sorry. But, eww.


16 posted on 10/08/2008 1:04:07 PM PDT by RedRedRose
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To: livius

Well the former bishop wanted to outdo what Cardinal Mahony of LA did by having the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral.


17 posted on 10/08/2008 2:02:42 PM PDT by Biggirl (Throw The Bums OUT!=^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: NYer
Hate to say it... but in that second pic it kinda looks like a vagina.

: \

18 posted on 10/08/2008 2:15:47 PM PDT by AnnaZ (I keep 2 magnums in my desk.One's a gun and I keep it loaded.Other's a bottle and it keeps me loaded)
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To: Wacka
Also the picture of Christ behind the altar was said to look 3 dimensional when the light shines through the windows.

Here's a link to what the cathedral looks like from the inside including the image of Christ.

19 posted on 10/08/2008 2:29:52 PM PDT by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: AnAmericanMother

A new ‘ugly cathedral’ thread.


20 posted on 10/08/2008 6:46:39 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: NYer

Well, it’s less ugly than Our Lady of the Angels, I’ll give it that.


21 posted on 10/08/2008 6:48:58 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: NYer

The problem may be that there is no modern church architecture. All new Catholic churches that I have seen, even in Catholic countries, are ugly modern structures.


22 posted on 10/08/2008 6:51:02 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Don't let me interrupt your prayers for a suffering celebrity!)
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To: NYer

I tell you this, even if this is beautiful by current secular architectural standards, it will not age well. It reminds me of the post-stalinist architecture in Russia and elsewhere, that was superior to what preceded it and hasn’t aged well at all.


23 posted on 10/08/2008 6:54:18 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Don't let me interrupt your prayers for a suffering celebrity!)
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To: mollynme
Here's a link to what the cathedral looks like from the inside including the image of Christ.

It looks like the inside of a grain silo. Not that there's anything wrong with grain silos, but grain silos aren't churches.

24 posted on 10/08/2008 6:54:48 PM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: mollynme
Here's a link to what the cathedral looks like from the inside including the image of Christ.

It looks like the inside of a grain silo. Not that there's anything wrong with grain silos, but grain silos aren't churches.

25 posted on 10/08/2008 6:55:46 PM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: PAR35
Pretty ugly.

Doesn't look much like a church. Inside or out.

It's not as Brutalist as the LA Cathedral. Looks more like an office building than anything else.

26 posted on 10/08/2008 8:29:38 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: NYer
Are we sure those are windows and not solar panels?

Seriously, that place could be a solarium.

27 posted on 10/08/2008 8:43:38 PM PDT by Desdemona (Lipstick only until the election. The gloss has been sacrificed for the greater good.)
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To: NYer; kstewskis; Raquel; kassie; diamond6
Saw the pictures. It doesn't look very holy.

During the summer I am able to get to daily Mass. There is nothing that I like more than walking into our parishes around town; smelling the candles, and seeing the altars in traditional style. The candles, altar, Tabernacle, votive candles, the Crucifix in prominent display, statues of our Blessed Mother, and the Stations of the Cross.

These images invite us to holiness.

28 posted on 10/09/2008 3:41:18 AM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: Northern Yankee
The candles, altar, Tabernacle, votive candles, the Crucifix in prominent display, statues of our Blessed Mother, and the Stations of the Cross.

You are absolutely right. "Smells and bells". The aroma of incense also helps to draw us into prayer. When you consider the cost of building a 'cathedral' today, the bishop would be better off restoring the original structure.

29 posted on 10/09/2008 10:10:55 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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