Heading to WRAL studios off Western Boulevard on a weekly basis, I've had the chance to watch the new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral rise from the ground.
It's a remarkable building complete with a 160-ton copper-clad dome. Once it opens, the cathedral will be able to accommodate 2,000 worshippers at a time (including my own family, for full disclosure). The building, which will be the fifth largest cathedral in the United States, will replace Sacred Heart Cathedral in downtown Raleigh, which happens to be the second smallest in the nation. It's expected to open this summer.
To mark this massive construction project, the City of Raleigh Museum will host a special free exhibit called "Secrets of the Cathedral" in its lobby. The exhibit opens Friday and runs through Jan. 31. It might appeal to kids and families who have been watching the construction of the cathedral (my family could see it from the top of the First Night Ferris wheel) or are fascinated by construction and architecture.
According to a press release, the exhibit shows how cathedrals have played a "continuing influence on architecture, art, music, and culture through the years and have elevated man’s wisdom by their construction and presence in the communities they serve."
If you go, you'll learn how early builders crafted these massive structures (which is fascinating). It also explores the “theology of architecture” and how inner engineering techniques evoke outer spiritual beauty, the release says.
“We are proud to offer the community this wonderful opportunity to shed light on cathedral design and what it inspires,” said Ernest Dollar, director of the City of Raleigh Museum, in the release. “The timing is perfect, with Raleigh’s own new cathedral being built to anchor the city’s skyline for generations to come.”
The exhibit also will include some behind-the-scenes images of the construction of the new cathedral and offer some special events related to it.
The museum is at 220 Fayetteville St., downtown Raleigh. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays.
As part of the exhibit, Delta Airlines and the Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum will offer one museum visitor two free economy class tickets to Paris, home, of course, to Notre Dame, one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. The drawing runs from Friday through May 31. Entries (name, email address, and contact phone number) must be filled out on-site during museum hours. Delta has a new RDU to Paris flight.
The museum also has a fun exhibit called "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation," with some fascinating facts about Indian Americans in the United States and locally. There's also a spot that my kids enjoyed where you can try some yoga poses.