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 has 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 a community sometimes faced with the most troubling social problems.
Now he has responsibility for a parish community that is also a setting for diocesan-wide liturgical events as well as a showcase for the arts for the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area.