Catholic Center staff tours Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral construction site

On Tuesday, May 24, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Msgr. David D. Brockman led more than 60 members of the Catholic Center staff on a tour of Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral.

Msgr. Brockman described what’s known as progressive solemnity and how it relates to structural elements. The faithful pass through the door and then the narthex, for example, and they move toward the altar, a most solemn space.

The tour began in the choir loft, which will accommodate 60 choristers and about 30 chamber orchestra pieces. From the choir loft, Msgr. Brockman described elements such as the 50 bells that will be housed in the bell tower. And because the tower is above the tree line, he said, the bells may be heard by many, and even heard at a great distance.

The staff saw where the organ will be placed after construction is complete. Msgr. Brockman explained that construction dust needs to settle before the organ is placed so it doesn’t interfere with the sound. Additionally, the process to fully a tune the organ will take about a year.

As is tradition, the symbols of Church leaders who served when the cathedral was built will be permanent fixtures in the cathedral. Msgr. Brockman explained how there will be three windows above the narthex that will contain the crests of Bishop Burbidge and Pope Francis, as well as the Diocese of Raleigh shield.

“What a wonderful opportunity to be able to go inside the Cathedral as it is being constructed,” said Sally Cortina, Business Services. “It is an amazing structure which was “brought to life” yesterday with Monsignor Brockman’s knowledgeable guidance; so much thought and meaningful design has gone into this project.”

As the staff walked up the nave towards the altar, they could see 18-foot window frames that will contain stained glass windows. The framed archways that will display the Stations of the Cross were visible, too. Monsignor explained that the altar faces east with the rising of the sun as a sign of the Resurrection.

He pointed out the apse (a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault) resembles the brow of a ship. “The church throughout tradition has been known as the ship of Peter,” Monsignor said. “It’s taking us through the ‘waters’ and leading us through the course towards the goal of eternity in Heaven.”

Staff member Mary Pelikan, who manages data services, said she was happy to learn how a cathedral is built and how this cathedral was named Holy Name of Jesus because of a chapel with the same name that once stood on the Nazareth property.

“It was such learning experience for me … to be able to witness it, see it and be a part of it,” she said.