New Marian Shrine at Christ Cathedral

430a-2On Wednesday, the seventh, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange, announced that there will be a shrine in the Marian plaza surrounding the cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of La Vang. The Diocese of Orange has some 100,000 Vietnamese Catholics, worshipping throughout the diocese, with large communities in fifteen parishes. Our Lady of La Vang appeared to persecuted Catholics hiding in the jungle from persecutors in the Nineteenth Century. Of the estimated $25 million for the shrine, over $1.5 million has already been raised. Plans for the shrine, which will be adjacent to a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the plaza, will be released at the end of this month. Further information is available from the Orange County Catholic and the Orange County Register.


  1. $25,000,000 for this shrine?! That’s a staggering amount of money! Couldn’t an additional cathedral (albeit smaller) be built for that amount?

  2. I find this scandalous. What possible justification especially after having had to dramatically reduce the project for the cathedral overall.

    1. @Jack Feehily:
      Maybe because this seems to be a grass-roots thing.

      Imagine, 125 years ago, a cathedral of St Kilian somewhere in the Northeast or upper Midwest USA, with a diocese dominated by Irish but with a significant German minority. There would likely be bookended shrines, especially if the Germans had to endure standard Irish liturgical praxis of the time and place.

      When we want the Church to give greater ear to the voices of The People, we may be surprised by the occasional (or frequent) results.

  3. Maybe the Guadalupe and La Vang shrines will include a common chapel for daily Masses. I understand that side altars aren’t popular with postconciliar liturgical architects. Still, the cathedral is quite large. It’s nice to go to daily Mass in a place a bit more personal than a vast nave.

  4. Elisabeth Ahn : @Alan Johnson: Do you believe what the poor need is first and foremost money?

    But money buys food, clothes medicines etc. It buys life in some circumstances and situations.
    Parable of sheep and goats seems to be some sort of an evangelical imperative.
    Is putting up another statue?

  5. @Sean Keeler:

    Don’t know, but do you think Our Lady was being selfish when she asked Juan Diego to build a church in her honor?

    @Alan Johnson:

    “putting up another statue”, is that how you view all Marian shrines, or just this one?

    See, I don’t disagree with the points you two raise, and I don’t know what the appropriate or acceptable amount of money to spend on building a new shrine is, but I disagree with the automatic assumption that any money not spent on buying foods, clothes, medicines for the poor, is money wasted.

  6. This thread is losing sight of the meaning of “the poor” and “poverty”.

    If poverty includes more travails than material need, everyone is poor. Some of us are afflicted with chronic illness. Others are avaricious. Some are materialists, making sure that we notice their new luxury car etc. Others gossip, which is a crime against a person’s reputation. There are many more poverties, some visible and others not visible. It only takes a moment to think of a long list.

    $25 million is indeed a large sum. It’s probably not wise to dwell on this number. All that is required is to give the Vietnamese community and the diocese the benefit of the doubt. For one more poverty is an envy that extends beyond wealth towards an reflexive suspicion of every motive of certain brothers and sisters in Christ.

  7. I have to agree that $25M is a scandalous amount to be spent on a shrine. There is no way to justify that kind of expenditure. God is looking down and saying, there you go again, missing the point of why I suffered and died for you.
    Maybe a $1.5M shrine is what we need…….with a simple plaque that says $23.5M was given to the poor in honor of our Lord’s mother.

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