The Cathedral of Christ The Light is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland located in Oakland, California. Also known as the Oakland Cathedral, Christ the Light is the first cathedral built in the 21st century. It replaced the Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales after it was damaged beyond repair in the 1989 earthquake.
The Cathedral of Christ the Light was built on May 21, 2005. Originally planned to be built in 2000, the church was eventually finished around 2008. It stands at a height of 42.98 meters and follows a more modern design features unlike most cathedrals of old.
Cathedral Design Features
The design for the Cathedral of Christ the Light is a product of a design competition held by the Catholic Cathedral Corporation of the East Bay. The original winner was noted architect Santiago Calatrava. But eventually, his design fell out of favor among the committee and the design was replaced by the runner up in the competition, Craig W. Hartman.
The design follows a modern abstract architectural style. The design can be likened to a bishop’s headgear called a mitre. It is mainly a structure made up of glass and steel. The worship space inside the cathedral follows a vesica piscis shape, the shaped formed by two intersecting circles.
The interior walls are made up of overlapping panels of wood and glass that rises skyward and look much like the scales of a fish. Its unique design allows for light to filter into the worship hall. Aside from the main worship hall, the Oakland Cathedral also includes the chancery offices of the bishop’s curia, a diocesan conference center, rectory, a health services center as well as a mausoleum and a public plaza and garden.