Honoring the Past, Guiding the Future

This summer, when architect Jim O’Brien submitted the final design for Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, a new phase of the Our Cathedral One Faith One People campaign began: the offering of Honor and Memorial opportunities, the chance to name items in the new Cathedral to commemorate special people in donors’ lives.

Mr. Tim Breslin, Diocesan Director of Stewardship and Development, said these opportunities have been eagerly embraced, for a variety of reasons. “It’s truly interesting to see the different motivations of donors in this phase,” he explained. “Some wish to memorialize a loved one who has passed away, or perhaps an inspirational person in their lives. Others have come together as a family, several generations combining their individual gifts to reach a higher level and commemorate the family name.

“Others have seen it as a kind of ‘teaching moment’ for generations they will never meet. They want to set an example for children or grandchildren or beyond by showing their participation in a tangible way, as a lesson about involvement and acknowledging God’s blessings by giving back to something they value.”

Mr. Breslin spoke of “incredible connections” that this phase of the campaign has brought to light. “One couple discovered, after donating, that their grandparents, more than half a century before, had been married at Sacred Heart Cathedral! So for them and for many of the Honor and Memorial donors, their gift is way of keeping these connections alive in this beautiful new Cathedral that will last for hundreds of years.”

A special way of preserving those connections will be the use of technology to explain them. “We will have an interactive digital board in the narthex of the Cathedral,” Mr. Breslin said, “to help tell those stories, so that when visitors see the name of an individual or family they can learn more about the people who are honored and who gave.”

Honor and memorial opportunities are still available at all levels, Mr. Breslin said, noting the increasing anticipation among the faithful as the dream of a new Cathedral approaches fulfillment. “In the last six months people really understand that it’s here,” he said. “The stained glass windows and the Stations can be seen and touched at the Catholic Center, and now that the groundbreaking has been announced there is really a lot of excitement that, because of so much effort and prayer and incredible generosity, this hope is becoming a reality.”