The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge announced Wednesday, September 7, 2011, the planned construction of a new Cathedral Campus for the Diocese of Raleigh. In making the official announcement, Bishop Burbidge said the proposed 2,000-seat Cathedral will be dedicated under the title, Holy Name of Jesus.
The proposed Cathedral Campus will be located on a 39-acre tract of land adjacent to Western Boulevard and Centennial Parkway that has historical significance for the Catholic Church in North Carolina. The property is what remains of 400 acres purchased in 1897 by Father Thomas F. Price, the “Tar Heel Apostle” and first native North Carolinian to be ordained a Catholic priest. In 1899, Father Price established an orphanage on the site known as the “Nazareth Community.” The site currently houses the Catholic Center administration building and a smaller office building.
In his announcement, Bishop Burbidge explained that the name of the new Cathedral also has historical roots for the property. “It commemorates the name of the chapel established by Father Price at Nazareth and which was known under this same dedication to the holy name of Our Lord.” Bishop Burbidge said. “It is fitting that the name of our new Cathedral is the Holy Name of Jesus.”
For Roman Catholics, the Cathedral stands as the visible unifying presence of the Church. It is the sign of the mission of Christ to be exercised there among the people. All parishes in the Diocese are extensions of the Cathedral, as it holds the chair, the cathedra, of the Diocesan Bishop, from which he gathers the faithful to guide and lead them, as teacher and shepherd.
The need for a new Cathedral is prompted, in large part, by the continuing vibrant growth of the Catholic population throughout the Diocese, which covers the 54 eastern counties of the state. In the 10-year period between 2000 and 2010, the Catholic population in the 54-county Diocese has increased approximately 42 percent from 152,493 to 217,125 registered Catholics, with an estimated 200,000 plus unregistered Catholics, mostly of Hispanic origin. With a seating capacity of 320, Sacred Heart Cathedral, as the “Mother Church” of the Diocese, is unable to accommodate most of the Diocesan liturgical celebrations.
Initial renderings of the Cathedral Campus can be viewed on a website now under development for the project: www.holynamecathedralnc.org.
Taken from www.dioceseofraleigh.org