Friday, April 16, 2010

New Cathedral for the Diocese of Raleigh?

I just have one question, what are the odds the diocese will actually build something beautiful? Considering the fact that the diocese has built one hideous church after another for the last fifty years (not to mention perpetrate various wreckovations including that which was done years ago to the current Cathedral) my guess is that we can at best look forward to a very mundane/modern uninspiring building of some sort with a sign in the yard that says Cathedral.

I wonder if the bishop will build something in line with our Catholic identity or will he build another monument to the New Catholic Church.

I am pessimistic, but I am willing to hear from people why I should expect otherwise. I guess in the end we will just have to wait and see . . .

From the Raleigh News and Observor:

Published Tue, Apr 13, 2010 02:00 AM
Modified Tue, Apr 13, 2010 05:16 AM
Bishop seeks options for his tiny cathedral
RALEIGH -- Some cathedrals are known for their soaring steeples or sonorous organs. Sacred Heart Cathedral has another distinction: It is the smallest Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States.

Perhaps not for long.

Bishop Michael Burbidge told leaders of the cathedral and the adjacent school on Saturday that he has hired a firm to study the feasibility of building a cathedral, or mother church, for the Diocese of Raleigh. The firm, Graham-Pelton, a national consulting company with offices in Charlotte, is to interview 200 clergy and parishioners across the diocese to see whether there is a will and a way to build a new cathedral. Any new building would be financed locally from money raised across the diocese. Diocesan officials did not discuss what such a venture would cost.

The need for a larger building is indisputable. The stone sanctuary on Hillsborough Street, one block from the old Capitol building, has a seating capacity of 320. During Easter weekend, more than 4,200 celebrated one of several Masses in either the tiny sanctuary, the school hall or the nearby Clarion hotel, where overflow crowds watched the proceedings on closed circuit TV.

"It's a busy place," said the Rev. Dan Oschwald, the rector.

The diocese, which spans 54 counties in Eastern North Carolina, has grown by 42 percent in the past decade - from 152,493 registered Catholics in 1999 to 217,125 last year. Another 200,000 Catholics, mostly Hispanic, are unregistered.

Most weekends, Oschwald celebrates nine Masses with the help of three retired priests and the N.C. State University campus minister. The cathedral has a vibrant Hispanic community and a weekly Spanish Mass. Once a month, it is the site of a traditional Latin Mass.

The cathedral claims 5,871 members, yet it's so small the building has no bathrooms.

But because the cathedral sits on a tiny plot of land, it's virtually certain that a new cathedral would be built elsewhere. One possibility being explored is the area surrounding the diocesan center, between Centennial Parkway and Western Boulevard. From atop a ridge, the diocese's 30 acres command an impressive view of downtown Raleigh.

Downtown advantages

A departure from downtown would not be universally applauded. There is no other Catholic church downtown, and the cathedral's symbolic presence in the heart of the capital would be missed. A downtown cathedral has the added benefit of serving people in need at a place where they gather. It's not clear that homeless or other destitute people would be able to travel to Western Boulevard.

Russ Elmayan, chief financial officer for the diocese, said talk of a new location for a cathedral is premature.

"The decision on where it will be located has not been made," Elmayan said. "If it goes forward, the feasibility study will help determine the location."

There are no plans to raze the old cathedral, built before the diocese was established in 1924. Burbidge told participants at Saturday's meeting that it would likely be used for ceremonial occasions such as weddings and funerals.

The cathedral underwent a $500,000 facelift in 1998, when its floral-themed terrazzo floor and red oak bishop's throne and shepherd's staff were restored. Its ceiling was painted bright blue and inlaid with 14-carat gold leaf stars. or 919-829-4891



Blogger TCN said...

Holy Family in Anchorage is smaller. It was built as a mission church in the 1920's, when Anchorage was mostly a tent town. Still works fine, but it is showing it's age.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

Bishop Michael Burbidge told leaders of the cathedral and the adjacent school on Saturday that he has hired a firm to study the feasibility of building a cathedral, or mother church, for the Diocese of Raleigh.

Perhaps they meant to say mother ship???? At least that's what so many modern RC Church "cathedrals" seem like today.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic a.k.a. Sheep Slave said...

yeah... what is up with this "mother church"??

7:55 AM  

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