Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coffee at the cathedral :)

Though I've been to San Francisco, I've never been to a church there. If I could go now, I'd visit Grace Cathedral. It's not a Catholic church, it's Episcopal, probably the most famous church in the city, and I think the only one with a Peet's kiosk :) I've visited the website often ... they host a lot of music and interesting speakers there like NT Wright, Garry Wills, Marcus Borg, Guy Consolmagno (see Forum videos from Grace Cathedral here). The present Dean of the cathedral is a Brit, a woman, and a pretty impressive person - Jane Alison Shaw

Wikipedia writes of the cathedral ...

The cathedral has become an international pilgrimage center for church-goers and visitors alike, famed for its mosaics by De Rosen, a replica of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, two labyrinths, varied stained glass windows, Keith Haring AIDS Chapel altarpiece, and medieval and contemporary furnishings, as well as its 44 bell carillon, three organs, and choirs.

There's an interesting story about the doors (see above) to the cathedral. This, from Wikipedia .....

The cathedral entrance has an impressive pair of doors, often called the Ghiberti doors. They are a copy of the doors of the Florence Baptistry by Lorenzo Ghiberti, also dubbed Gates of Paradise. It has been said that they had been removed from a Renaissance church in Florence, but it is now known that during World War II the Nazi occupation government had ordered the doors to be removed from the church (to protect them from bombing and maybe to give Hermann Göring a chance to add them to his collection) and that they had been hidden in a disused railway tunnel and that reproductions had been made. The philanthropist Charles D. Field bought these replicas, and they were then shipped to San Francisco and installed on the newly-completed church in time for its official dedication in 1964.

The cathedral also has a neat indoor labyrinth modeled on the one at Chartres ...

Interestingly, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached a sermon there in 1965 (see more about this at the cathedral's website here). Here's the first of two videos of MLK at Grace Cathedral ...


Blogger Dina said...

I wish we could meet at the church and walk the labyrinth.

12:16 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dina - yeah, and then get a cup of coffee :) Sadly, I've never even seen a real labyrinth.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Dina said...

Well, I have only walked the painted on canvas copies of this labyrinth that they spread out in the little church in Perryville, Arkansas.

OK, coffee and labyrinth, we'll put it on the future calendar!

1:30 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

It just made me smile that there's a Peet's coffee place in the basement of the cathedral :)

12:34 PM  

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