Christ the Light, as a larger Cathedral Center, is composed of the cathedral church, chancery offices of the bishop's curia, diocesean conference center, rectory (priest residence), health services center (which provides free diagnostic services to people without health insurance), and a mausoleum. The mausoleum features twelve crypts reserved for the bishops of Oakland and burial sites available to the members of the diocese for a comparable price to the other Catholic cemeteries in the Diocese. The Cathedral Center also houses both a cafe and bookstore, as well as a public plaza and garden.
Christ the Light is designed by architect Craig W. Hartman, FAIA of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The Catholic Cathedral Corporation of the East Bay, the incorporated owner of the cathedral, chose Webcor Builders as the general contractor of cathedral construction. Originally planned in 2000 under the direction of Bishop John Stephen Cummins and broken ground on May 21, 2005, Christ the Light was consecrated and dedicated by Bishop Allen Henry Vigneron on September 25, 2008. On All Souls' Day November 2, the mausoleum was dedicated and the first Bishop of Oakland, Floyd Lawrence Begin, was reburied in one of its crypts.
Located at 2121 Harrison Street in Oakland, the cathedral serves as mother church of approximately 530,000 Catholics in the Counties of Alameda and Contra Costa.