Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales in OaklandEdit profile
Cathedral of Saint Francis de Sales in Oakland was an 1893 church, which served as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland in Oakland, California from 1962 until it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
St. Francis de Sales was built in 1893, seven years after the St. Francis de Sales parish was formed. The funding for the church was provided in large part by a $125,000 donation from an Irish immigrant, Mary J. Canning. The structure was designed in a Norman Gothic style, made of red brick, with a steeple and stained glass windows.
In 1962, the Diocese of Oakland was created, and St. Francis de Sales was designated as its cathedral. The structure underwent extensive renovations, which included painting the red brick white and removing the altar rail. On February 4, 1967, Bishop Floyd L. Begin presided over its rededication.
The musical program at St. Francis de Sales achieved acclaim in the 1970s and 1980s. Local newspapers referred to the "Oakland Cathedral Sound," which earned a national reputation. Contributing to the musical program was a Schoenstein pipe organ, installed in 1982.
The cathedral 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.
A new parish cathedral, called Cathedral of Christ the Light, was built on another site at an estimated cost of $131 million. Christ the Light was consecrated and dedicated by Bishop Allen Henry Vigneron on September 25, 2008.