ONN – Oakland’s Father Jay Matthews Died: First Black Priest In Northern California
Father Jay Matthews was best summed up in this Facebook entry by Jayson Landeza:
I am deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden death of Father Jay Matthews, my predecessor here at St. Benedict and the current Rector of the Catholic Cathedral of Christ the Light in downtown Oakland. Fr. Jay, whom I lovingly referred to as “Mr. Oakland”, was Pastor of St. Benedict Parish in East Oakland for 26 years, and was the first African American Catholic priest ordained in Northern California. Jay was deeply beloved and was such a large part of our Oakland community, and he was close personal friend. Both of us Berkeley-born, baptized at St. Joseph the Worker. Both police and fire chaplains for Oakland. We continue to hold his mother Yvonne, sister Linda, and other family and friends close to our hearts, as well as the Cathedral community and his dear St. Benedict, which was his home parish and where Jay was pastor for these many years. Rest In Peace, my dear brother Jay.
Father Jay was called “Mr. Oakland”. RIP.
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