A Vision for the Crystal Cathedral

A local media outlet recently featured a segment interviewing the major players in the Diocese of Orange, CA for the Crystal Christ Cathedral acquisition and future renovation. Each reflects upon the significance of the Cathedral building and gives a few insights about the diocese’s vision for the entire campus, which should be fully occupied by 2015.

Part 1
Bishop Todd Brown, Bishop of Orange and Tim Busch of the Bishop’s Campaign Cabinet speak about the process of acquiring the Cathedral campus and the futures changes that will take place at the former Crystal Cathedral property.


Part 2
Father Christopher Smith, Rector and Episcopal Vicar of Christ Catholic Cathedral and Rob Neal, Interim C.O.O. of the Christ Catholic Cathedral Corporation speak about the Cathedral campus architecture, future use, and vision for the property.

Father Smith is clearly enthusiastic about the possibilities offered by the Cathedral’s architecture, location, and existing renown. It seems to me that his vision is to create a “cathedral culture” that sees the cathedral not only as a center of worship, but also of the arts, education, and religious dialogue – a true communal hub for the entire area. The Cathedral will also be the home of a thriving, multicultural parish and school.

The Orange Catholic Foundation has a page dedicated to the new Christ Cathedral with updates on the diocese’s Capital Campaign as well as the broad vision for the Cathedral’s renovation.


  1. There’s a neat trick in the Cathedral FAQ

    When funds were being raised for St. Patrick’ s Cathedral in New York and Catholic Worker co-founder and advocate for the poor, Dorothy Day, was asked what she thought about the investment in a new Cathedral, she answered, “Don’ t the poor deserve to have a Cathedral to come to?”

    I agree with the general sentiment, but Dorothy Day was born in 1897 and St. Patrick’s Cathedral had already opened in 1879.

  2. Cathedrals open long before they are finished. From the NY archdiocesan website:

    Archbishop Michael Corrigan added the towers on the West Front in 1888 and began work on the east addition, including the Lady Chapel in 1901. His successor, Cardinal Farley, completed work on the Lady Chapel addition. Cardinal Hayes completed an extensive renovation of the interior between 1927 and 1931 when the great organ was installed and the sanctuary was enlarged. The exterior was restored during the episcopate of Cardinal Spellman who saw to the completion of the stained glass windows as well as a new main altar and baldachin.

  3. I liked the thoughtful and respectful way the Bishop spoke of the history of Christian ministry at the Cathedral, and noted the significance of the complex in American architecture. Giving Robert Schuller an office in the tower is a nice gesture. For me, language and actions like this do far more to foster ecumenical understanding and fellowship than pronouncements and staged events.

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