James V. Matthews is the Rector and Dean of the Cathedral of the Light in Oakland, CA. Ordained to the priesthood in 1974, Father Jay had the distinction of being the first African-American ordained in Northern California.
My first encounter with Jay was hearing his heartfelt homily at the funeral Mass of a deceased faculty-colleague of mine at Saint Mary’s College. Jay’s consoling words at that time stuck with me – the resonance of a great preacher. With his broad smile, Jay welcomes us into this magnificent Cathedral of light and worship. For years, he has brought understanding and healing to an Oakland community sometimes faced with troubling social problems.
Now he has responsibility for a diverse parish and the cathedral for diocesan liturgical events and a showcase for the arts in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area.