OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Funeral services for the Very Rev. James V. Matthews II, rector of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, will be held on Sunday, the Diocese of Oakland announced Saturday.
Matthews, known as “Father Jay” throughout the diocese, died on March 30, of an apparent heart attack at age 70. He was a fixture in the Oakland diocese for three decades and was the first African-American ordained priest in Northern California, joining the priesthood in 1974.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: North Bay Communities Prepare For Major Storm; Flood Concerns In Fire Scarred Areas
He served as pastor of St. Benedict Church in East Oakland for 26 years before taking over as rector of the cathedral, the centerpiece of the diocese, in 2015. A procession of the hearse from St. Benedict Church, 2245 82nd Ave., Oakland, to the Cathedral, will take place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday and will be escorted by Oakland police.
A viewing will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the cathedral, 2121 Harrison St. in Oakland. A vigil and interfaith gathering will follow at 6 p.m. Those expected to deliver remarks at the service include Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee and former Oakland mayor Elihu Harris.
On Monday at 7 p.m. there will be a mass of Christian Burial. On Tuesday, interment will take place at St. Joseph Cemetery, 2540 Church Lane, San Pablo. Father Matthews’ obituary may be found here.
The Diocese of Oakland will live stream both the vigil and the funeral mass at the following links:Petaluma 13-Year-Old Arrested Following School Bomb Threat
Matthews was born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, where his family moved in 1960.
The Rev. Jayson Landeza, who succeeded Matthews as pastor of St. Benedict, said in a post on Facebook that he “lovingly referred” to Matthews as “Mr. Oakland.”
Matthews also served as a chaplain for the Oakland police and fire departments. In 2014, the Oakland City Council proclaimed May 6 as “Father Jay Matthews Day.”
Jorge Watson, a parishioner at St. Benedict’s, remembered Matthews fondly when he learned of his passing.
“He’s married so many people. He’s buried so many people. First communions, Baptisms. He was the man. There won’t be anybody else like him for a long time in this community,” said Watson.
“He made this our oasis of tranquility–of safety, or community and of love. He will truly be missed.”MORE NEWS: COVID: Certain California Prison Guards Must Be Vaccinated, Judge Rules
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