We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

De-construction in the Diocese of Oakland

Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.—Matthew 7:24-27
No storm damage. Shoddy construction, then?

Confronted with significant problems concerning the construction of the Cathedral Center adjacent to the upside down bread basket Cathedral of Christ the Light, specifically the chancery, rectory and parking garage, the Diocese of Oakland is pursuing with all due diligence what officials there consider to be necessary corrective measures.

Big problems at Oakland chancery
Lawsuit contemplated against designers, contractors
The following is from an October 3 letter to Oakland parishes from Very Reverend George Mockel published on the diocesan website
To Parishes and Friends of the Diocese of Oakland,
This communication is to give you an update on the construction and design issues at the Cathedral Center that we first reported last fall.
These issues include water intrusion at various locations and excessive deflection or sagging of floor slabs in the Chancery, rectory and parking garage. The Cathedral of Christ the Light, which is a structurally separate building is generally unaffected. ("Generally unaffected"? That's reassuring.)
Last fall we closed the B1 level of the parking garage to minimize further deflection and relocated employee, event center and weekend Mass parking to the adjacent Kaiser Center parking garage. Since then, we have completed a number of interim repairs to assure the continued safety of Cathedral Center occupants and visitors, including modifying fire doors so they shut properly, clearing obstructed fire sprinkler heads, and making temporary leak and plumbing repairs. (There is often a normal settling of a building over time which requires occasional adjustments. Such signs, however, especially early on in the existence of a new building, can indicate a very serious problem with its foundation and/or the land upon which it sits. One can imagine in a geological zone prone to serious earthquakes—the Hayward Fault, part of the San Andreas Fault system, runs beneath the east shore of San Franciso Bay—that any construction problems could very well contribute to a catastrophic collapse of a building during an earthquake.)
At the same time we have taken these corrective measures, as part of our legal action against the designers and contractors, our legal team and expert consultants under the direction of the Cathedral board of directors have thoroughly documented the construction and design issues we have discovered. Because multiple companies and suppliers were involved in the design and construction, the research necessary to establish accountability for the issues we have identified is time-consuming and complex.
I want to assure you we are doing our utmost to address the construction issues thoroughly and expeditiously. The Diocese remains committed to legal action to ensure that the responsible parties pay for the necessary corrective work.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Very Reverend George Mockel
Vicar General
Chair of the Catholic Cathedral Corporation of the East Bay
Let us hope and pray for an equitable and expeditious resolution to this unfortunate situation.

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