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Visit the Cathedral of Christ the Light – with family, friends, a parish group, or by yourself – for a unique spiritual opportunity as part of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.  Pope Francis encourages ALL to make a pilgrimage. Bishop Barber has made the Cathedral the exclusive pilgrimage site for the Diocese during the Jubilee Year.

Pray during your visit that “you will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy, and dedicate yourself to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.”  (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, N.14)

What is pilgrimage?

A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose. Every step along the way has meaning. The pilgrim knows that life-giving challenges will emerge. A pilgrimage is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place. New insights are given. Deeper understanding is attained. New and old places in the heart are visited. Blessings are received and healing takes place. On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes. Nothing will ever be quite the same again. (Macrina Wiederkehr, Behold Your Life, p. 11)

Why a Pilgrimage?

To respond to the call of our Holy Father Pope Francis to make a pilgrimage during the Jubilee of Mercy:

 “…everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice. May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, N.14)

When will it take place?

Anytime during this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (Dec. 8, 2015 – Nov. 20, 2016). A pilgrimage will be particularly appropriate during the 40 days of Lent. For Pilgrimage Individual Registration or to Register your group pilgrimage

Where will it happen?

The pilgrimage will be to our Cathedral of Christ the Light: “Abundant with Catholic symbols and metaphors, woven into a context that has universal appeal, achieved through the shape of the Cathedral and the dramatic unfolding from the Story of Creation to Redemption through Christ...”  (Bishop Vigneron)

How will it work?

Faithful from throughout the Diocese of Oakland will be invited to come individually or in parish groups to experience a prayerful and transformational journey.   During which they are encouraged to pray for the gifts of the Year of Mercy:  forgiveness, reconciliation and conversion in light of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  These gifts are offered to all who celebrate this Holy Year. 

How to do a pilgrimage?

Whether a group or an individual pilgrimage, each group or person needs to make an online to begin the pilgrimage process and receive a “Path of the Pilgrim Guide”. 

The following are various ways to experience a pilgrimage:

  • Sacrament of Reconciliation (Monday-Friday – 11 am-12 Noon; Saturday – 4:30-5:30 pm)
  • Masses (Monday-Friday – 12:10 pm; Saturday Vigil Mass – 5:30 pm) God’s invitation to a personal encounter and transformation through the Body and Blood of Christ
  • Special Group Mass celebrated by the group’s priest
  • Individual Prayer – a recognition of the efforts and sacrifices of pilgrims – already made in coming to this sacred space.  (Self-guided Stations of the Cross, rosary, meditation in the chapels, etc.)
  • Special Group Prayer (Stations of the Cross, group rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, etc.) led by the group’s priest
  • Special Group Tour of the Cathedral led by trained Cathedral Docents
  • Docent-Led Cathedral Tour (Monday-Friday – 1:00 pm) – insightful instruction on the “abundant Catholic symbols” and theology of the house of worship that we have in our Cathedral of Christ the Light, enabling the pilgrims to enter with reverence and an awakened spirit. 

For reservation information and further details, please go to our Pilgrimage Individual Registration or Group Registration page

A journey that will take them from the entrance of the Cathedral to each of the chapels where they will be able to:

Chapel of the Suffering Christ: Contemplate Christ on the Cross and ponder on self-guided questions that lead to a deepening experience of the stupendous love that God has for us:  “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, No 1)

Chapel of All Saints: Respond to God’s merciful love with a self-guided meditation/Examen/rosary and the “official” prayer for the Year of Mercy.  Through prayer we are inspired to mirror God’s mercy, as we become “merciful like the Father” (the motto of the Holy Year).

Chapel of the Holy Family:

Chapel of All Seasons: Commit to engage in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy with three or four stations that will describe a work of mercy in connection with a verse of Scripture, display a personal story or testimony, and offer concrete ways to engage in works of mercy. In this way “we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus No 14)

The Mausoleum: Pilgrims will be invited to go downstairs and pray for the deceased interred in the mausoleum as well as for those who have died in our streets due to violent crimes, those who have no one to pray for them, and all our beloved dead.

End of the Pilgrimage:

The pilgrim will then write his or her name in the “Book of Pilgrims” including his or her home parish or city and (if so they decide) a prayer request for the Year of Mercy.  The “Book of Pilgrims” will be presented at the end of the Jubilee Year as one of the ways that the Diocese of Oakland has joyfully accepted the invitation to undertake a pilgrimage toward spiritual renewal and works of mercy.

Contact Info.

Denise Kogler
 (510) 271-1935 or