New Cathedral Design Responds to Faithful

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge has prayerfully responded to feedback received from clergy, religious and parishioners from over 400 receptions held throughout the Diocese.

The latest revisions from Mr. James O’Brien of O’Brien and Keane, who was appointed as the final design architect, are underway. The new design and full details will be available in the next issue of NC Catholics. Committees have continued to work on fundraising, costs and Cathedral planning, hoping to break ground at the Nazareth site within the year. This project will be subject to the same standard that is held for parish building projects.

“We are blessed to have Bishop Burbidge’s guidance and direction to be good stewards and to listen to the voices of the people of the Diocese,” said Mr. O’Brien.

While the master site plan has not changed — it includes provisions for Sacred Heart Parish and Cathedral school — the design and timing reflect the current budget. The revised design focuses on the priorities, which are the cathedral and surface parking.

“The design will be similar to other Cathedrals, in that we are building on a 2,000-year heritage of sacred architecture,” said Mr. O’Brien. “The design as a whole and various features will have a familiar ‘feel’ to everyone, I hope! At the same time, the cathedral is intended to be a reflection of the values of the faithful of North Carolina, and so it is bound to be uniquely tailored in that way.”

Many of the faithful expressed a desire for the Cathedral to be large enough to support major Diocesan liturgies throughout the year, while mindful of its role as a parish.

Many of those who attended receptions expressed an interest in easy access to the Cathedral. The site, located near North Carolina State Centennial Campus, will be easily accessible from major roadways and downtown Raleigh. The Diocese is working closely with the State of North Carolina, City of Raleigh and North Carolina State University in planning roadways that will serve both the accessibility needs of the faithful and the traffic needs of the greater community. In addition, there will be adequate surface parking for full-capacity events.

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“This Cathedral will be a building for this place and in this time,” said Mr. O’Brien. “So it will be a traditional cathedral for modern days. By this I mean that we will take full advantage of the arsenal of today’s construction technology in virtually every discipline.”

As previously reported, the project will reuse materials, such as the acquired stained glass windows from Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church and Stations of the Cross from St. Francis Church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Local materials and labor will be locally sourced, whenever possible, from within the Diocese.

Bishop Burbidge expressed his gratitude for the continuing generosity of the faithful in our Diocese. “What began as a dream in 2009 is nearly a reality,” he said. “All involved have been deeply blessed to be part of this campaign, which endeavors to honor our Lord, share the faithfulness of our Catholic community, and continue serving those in the greatest need.”

Parishes continue to meet and exceed their campaign goals. Most recently, Christ the King, Riegelwood, went over their pledge goal, joining 33 other parishes in surpassing their cathedral goals.