Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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There is indeed something very fishy about the Oakland project so much so that it looks like a very big fish bowl so that we can all see sally fish swimming around inside.
Just get a load of this crap put out by Vigneron, the silly bishop:
Here follows a description of the Cathedral by the Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Bishop of Oakland. We have included recent working model studies and artist renderings, which at this stage are thematic studies only; the Sacred Art & Design Committee continues to develop design details, artwork, and furnishings.
Our Cathedral of Christ the Light must teach what we believe. It is my hope that our Cathedral will demonstrate that the idiom of our day can give voice to faith that is timeless, that a technologically advanced building can indeed be filled with God.
Here in the East Bay, one of the most technological societies, science and faith can work hand-in-hand to engender compassion and search for truth. This is as true for Hagia Sophia, St. Chapelle, and St. Basil – of past centuries – as it is for Pope John Paul II’s new Jubilee Church for the Third Millennium in Rome.
Location: The Word Flows from Here
Our Cathedral is oriented toward Lake Merritt, which flows ultimately into the Pacific. This suggests the Word flowing into the Christian community of the East Bay and through us into one that is larger and more interconnected than ever before.We reach out to our neighbors around the Pacific Rim, just as the Pacific Rim has sent us so many of her priests, religious, and faithful. The Cathedral position also acknowledges the ocean, a primal element of God’s creation and an obviously important one for those of us in the Bay Area.
Abundant with Catholic Symbols
The Cathedral of Christ the Light will be abundant with Catholic symbols and metaphors, woven into a context that has universal appeal. This is achieved through the very shape of the Cathedral and within it the dramatic unfolding of the Story of Creation leading to Redemption through Christ. On this point there is much more to come: the Sacred Art & Design Committee will be spending the next several years working out finishes, furnishings, and sacred art.
Our design architect Craig Hartman, FAIA and our liturgist, Brother William Woeger, FSC are acknowledged leaders in their fields and make a fruitful partnership. Please take time to notice Craig’s brilliant use of natural phenomena – light, the cosmos, classic geometries – to speak of God in a universal sense, while Brother William builds on these natural symbols to thoughtfully weaves traditional Catholic metaphors and symbols into the very fabric of the building.
Welcome to God’s Time
The entry to the Cathedral symbolizes the threshold of God’s time. Here, we are invited to step out of the day-to-day, the mundane, into the world of eternal truths Where did we come from? Where are we going? Who is God? What is expected of us? And so here we begin the story of God’s creation.
Above the main entrance will be a large sculpture that clearly identities the building as a Catholic Cathedral. A cross has been discussed, but there are many rich possibilities to be considered. The main entrance will be accessed directly from the plaza. It will include a large vestibule, with connecting stairs and elevator to the mausoleum below.
Floor Plan: A Welcoming Gathering Place
The floor plan of our Cathedral of Christ the Light is based on the “vesica pisces”- the intersection of two circles – an ancient sign among many cultures in the East and the West for a gathering place. Catholics and other Christians will recognize a variation of this in the shape of a fish, a reference to the miracle of the loaves and fishes that was used by persecuted members of the early Catholic Church to secretly signal places for gathering and worshipping. This fitting geometry, commonly used in Church art through most of its history, simultaneously reminds us of our heritage and welcomes people of all faiths.
The Alpha Window: Let there be Light
The Cathedral of Christ the Light will tell the story of God’s creation, starting at the very entrance.
We speak of God as the Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end), which are marked on the Easter candle every year. The south window – the “Alpha” window – is above the Cathedral main doors. The Alpha window will evoke the beginning of time and the light that emerged from it. From that first act of calling forth light, God went on to make the stars, the earth, plant life and the animals, which will be depicted in the entry floor and wall areas.
Baptistery, the Start of Creation
A point near the entry will describe the creation of man, which is the capstone of God’s creation since He made man in His image. Nearby will mark original sin. The baptistery will be located just below the Alpha window, reminding us when we enter the assembly area that we are born again in love, in Christ.
During earliest days of the Catholic Church, the liturgy was processional, and churches had no permanent seating. The Mass would begin with a procession starting at the baptistery, stop midway for the Liturgy of the Word, then fill in around the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The floor plan of our Cathedral echoes this custom, evoking a pilgrimage in which each of us takes part.
Devotional Chapels and Spaces
The wood and glass form of our Cathedral ascend from a thick base of architectural concrete, twelve feet tall. This promises to be one of the more intriguing areas of our Cathedral, for within this base will be six to eight devotional areas, including a Marian chapel. Windows in these enclosures will bring light of many tones and textures into the main nave of the Cathedral. I am looking forward to seeing how these develop. Early concepts are delightful and inspiring. This may be where artifacts from our original Cathedral, St. Francis de Sales, can be installed, along with culturally significant devotional icons. There will also be a chapel for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and vesting and storage areas here.
Choir and Ambo: Proclaiming the Word
The ambo, or lectern, is here within the choir. To modern eyes this may seem strange, but this placement would be familiar to Catholics of the 5th through 10th centuries. At that time, the choir was more directly involved in the proclamation of the Word, reading of the book of hours, and singing the psalms. This is still true today in the recitation of the Responsorial Psalm. This location will allow for the Liturgy of the Word to be celebrated more fully and will establish good sight lines.
Much study has been given to determining the location and contour of the choir and organ areas, so that they may be visually and acoustically beautiful. The organ pipes, positioned in openings in the wooden louvers, will be visible from within and without our Cathedral. They will rest on platforms that act as sound canopies for the choir, so that choir members may hear their own voices.
Regarding the quality of sound, we have employed acoustical experts who, with the aid of computer systems, are able to anticipate and produce the sound of celebrants, readers, choirs, organ, and other instruments just as they will be heard in the Cathedral. The echoing effects of the glass surfaces of the Cathedral will be minimized through hidden baffles and sound-absorbing material in the wooden louvers.
Altar & Tabernacle
In our metaphor for creation, the altar is the point of redemption, where the Eucharist takes place. The altar will be place on a raised, circular platform so that all can see it clearly.
An important point to make here is that our Holy, Apostolic Church is a Church of communion, not separate congregations. Our Cathedral represents the focal point of our communion within the Diocese of Oakland and with our whole church, for 2,000 years, to Jesus. Here, we can easily reflect on the profound meaning of “the communion of saints”.
To further convey this theme, natural light from the heavens enters the Cathedral, illuminates the interior with minimal artificial light, then continues to flow from the altar area to the mausoleum beneath. And so God’s first creation, light, unifies the saints – those who came before us, those with us now, and those who will come after us.
The tabernacle, where the Holy Eucharist is reserved, will be visible throughout the Cathedral. It will be located below the north window, behind the altar. Behind the tabernacle will be the Eucharistic chapel, which will seat about 75 for Mass.
North Window & Eucharistic Chapel
Above the tabernacle will be the north window: the Omega window. This will reflect the Last Judgment, or the consummation of creation restored in Christ. This completes the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Thus, all things created by God are returned to God.
Vault of the Heavens, Filled with Light
The vault will be a signature element of the Cathedral. It will rise emphatically to the heavens and signify most dramatically our transcendent destiny. It will be an icon for the heavenly vault, conceived through understanding of physics and technology, filled with God.
In order to draw light into and out of the Cathedral, the vaulting will be covered in a sweeping veil of glass, achieved through an innovative integration of wood and glass connected by a slender, high-tension trellis system. The all-embracing use of glass continues the evolution of Church architecture over the centuries toward more glass and less stone, made possible by new materials and building methods.
The opaque strength of the wooden vaults and the delicate transparency of the glass veil speak eloquently of the miraculous interdependency of all God’s creation. The overall impression will be fluid and modern in form, but with easy-to-see references to Cathedrals past.
The Oculus, a Glimpse of Heaven
Our Cathedral will culminate in a delicate, jewel-like ceiling that mirrors the vesica pisces shape of the floor plan. This is made possible by an inventive “compression ring” that protects the glass ceiling from the cumulative forces of the vaults. Reflected natural light will cause the roof to appear as though it is floating above its wooden vaulted walls. The tradition of offering a glimpse of heaven and God above through painted ceilings will be continued in a wholly new way, through artful use of light, texture, and shadows.
The cathedra, or bishop’s chair, will be placed in the presbyterum behind the altar: that is, where the concelebrating priests will be. This location is an ancient tradition going back to the fifth century. It strongly symbolizes the collegiality among the priests and bishop, which is important to me.
The cathedra is a reminder of the direct line of succession from St. Peter that is uniquely Catholic. It will also be a continual personal reminder to me and to future bishops that we are the trustees of the Church in these two counties, the very Church instituted by Jesus Christ and belonging to God.
Here, bishops will be immersed in our purpose in the Church, which is to serve the faithful so that they can exchange their precious, unique gifts to be a leaven in the world, so that the world can be restored to the vision of the Father when He made it. In other words, we will constantly be inspired by the culmination of the history of creation and salvation so eloquently expressed in our Cathedral of Christ the Light.