Where the Second Vatican Council and Modern Architecture Converge

st francis7
St. Francis de Sales, Oakland, CA, (ca. 1970)

The history of the cathedral of the Diocese of Oakland is instructive for understanding the early influence of the Second Vatican Council on the subsequent design of many Catholic churches. The recently-installed bishop of Oakland at the time, His Excellency Floyd Begin, the Diocese’ first bishop, had attended every session of the Council and returned in 1964 determined to renovate the existing cathedral, built in 1893, rather than spend a large sum on of money on a new one.

INFLUENCE OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

St. Francis de Sales became known as the “…first cathedral in the United States to be completely remodeled according to the liturgical spirit of the Second Vatican Council”. (All quotations herein are from: Jeffrey M. Burns and Mary Carmen Bautista, We are the Church: A History of the Diocese of Oakland. Strasbourg: Editions du Singe, 2001). The enthusiastic bishop had a bold plan for remodeling the Cathedral:

“With the priest now facing the people, the bishop found the venerable stained glass windows behind the alter distracting. ‘The rather colorful windows in the sanctuary impeded the vision of the service, just like the headlights of an oncoming car do.’ The stained glass windows were covered over by redwood paneling. The interior was whitewashed and the exterior was painted in a creme color [it was red brick]. The alter rail was removed as were all the statues, except for that of Jesus. In sum, the remodeled building followed Vatican II directives and created ‘…an atmosphere conducive to participation, worship, and prayer.'”

The Cathedral interior before the renovation:

cathedral3

The Cathedral interior after the renovation:

st francis4

The new altar:

st francis6 Continue reading “Where the Second Vatican Council and Modern Architecture Converge”

The Era of the Grey Wolf and the Traditional Catholic

The five symbolic beasts in St. Hildegard’s vision, the Fiery Dog, the Yellow Lion, the Pale Horse, the Black Pig, and the Grey Wolf, represent unique and brief historical periods which follow in a specific sequence. They also represent a specific sin evident in the social context of each period. This affliction of evil is engineered by Satan and intended to progressively damage the Church in preparation of the coming of the Antichrist.

In my book, The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society, I demonstrate that the first three eras have already passed and that we are currently in the latter half of the fourth era, that of the Black Pig. The only one left is the era of the Grey Wolf and unlike the previous four, in which we could compare Hildegard’s description of the era to past history, we can only take her description and make educated guesses as to how the era will play out.

Continue reading “The Era of the Grey Wolf and the Traditional Catholic”