New cathedral for Raleigh?

RALEIGH

The 2,000-seat building - called Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral - would be located near Western Boulevard and Centennial Parkway. That's a big step up from the Sacred Heart Cathedral downtown that just seats a little over 300.

The new site, which part of the old Cardinal Gibbons High School campus would also have a new community hall and a three level parking deck. The land has been part of the local Catholic community since 1897.

Bishop Michael Burbidge said he hopes to break ground in the spring of 2013. At his announcement of the new cathedral Wednesday, Burbidge said estimated Catholic population in the greater Raleigh area has grown to over 200,000 in the last 10 years and there are even more unregistered Catholics.

Asked how the church could afford such a large building project in the current economy, Burbidge sounded optimistic.

"Our diocese has always shown the ability to meet challenges and rise to them and from every indicator we have now, I have every reason to believe we can do it again," he offered.

Burbidge said the church would continue its community outreach work from the downtown cathedral, and if the cathedral school wants to move out of downtown, there is space to build a larger school on the new cathedral campus.

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