The Journey to Groundbreaking and Beyond

Cathedral Committee co-chairs discuss the joys and challenges, past and future, of funding and building Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral

reprint from the December 2014 NC Catholics magazine

When the Diocese announced the January 3rd groundbreaking for Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, all those involved in the project surely paused for a moment to appreciate reaching this important milestone in the realization of a dream which began more than four years ago. NC Catholics spoke with the co-chairs of the Cathedral Committee, Mr. Timothy Mann and Dr. Henry Zaytoun, who along with Bishop Burbidge have led the effort to make our new mother church a reality.

Mr. Mann explained, “Our role has been to coordinate the efforts of the countless project volunteers, hired professionals, priests and diocesan staff to fulfill Bishop Burbidge’s vision as well as the wishes of the faithful throughout the Diocese.”

“It has been an honor and a joy to be a part of this incredible journey,” Dr. Zaytoun added. “Building a Cathedral is a very rare occurrence and to be asked to help do so for our Diocese is almost overwhelming. The joy has come from seeing the thousands of people in our Diocese come together to form a community and to put so much energy and effort into this noble work.”

Asked what they thought were the key factors in the success of the project so far, both men cited the leadership of Bishop Burbidge, as well as the diligence of the many dedicated volunteers, and the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Both co-chairs described “compelling moments” during the effort so far. Dr. Zaytoun said he continued to be inspired “witnessing the incredible generosity of others, and seeing and hearing that moment when they say: ‘Yes, building our Mother Church is the right thing to do and I am so happy to be a part of it.’” Mr. Mann also spoke of “the great faith we have encountered throughout our Diocese. As we traveled the entire Diocese from “Burlington to the Beach” to present the project plans, we were warmly welcomed by communities that are clearly strong in faith. These visits allow us to meet fellow members of the Diocese that we most likely would not have otherwise.”

While the success of the first part of the project is cause for joy, more challenges loom.

“The biggest challenge with a project that spans several years is to remain focused and engaged in the work,” Mr. Mann explained. “I am continually encouraged by the countless sacrifices so many people have made to bring this project thus far and their resolve to see it to conclusion. Bishop Burbidge is also a constant source of inspiration and encouragement. His vision for this project remains the driving force for us all.”

“As the fund-raising part of the campaign begins to take more of a back seat to the actual building of the Cathedral, advising Bishop Burbidge on timeline issues and other matters will be important to the project’s success,’ Dr. Zaytoun said. “All challenges that arise need to be met with positive energy and I hope to always remember to give thanks to our Lord for giving me the opportunities to be involved in this project.”

Bishop Burbidge expressed profound gratitude to Mr. Mann and Dr. Zaytoun. “These men are loving husbands, devoted fathers and successful businessmen,” he said, “who have nevertheless dedicated an incredible amount of time and energy to this project. What amazing faith and commitment to the future of our Diocese they have shown, especially over the last four years.”