Christ Cathedral


The successful installation of the quatrefoils signals a major step in the historic project to renovate Christ Cathedral into a modern Catholic house of worship. 

By Douglas Morino     11/13/2018

Christ Cathedral is glowing.  

The historic structure, set to become the spiritual home of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, is illuminated each night by nearly 1,000 LED lights that shine through more than 11,000 quatrefoil panels.  

“The Cathedral looks like a box of stars,” said Tony Jennison, vice president of philanthropy for the Orange Catholic Foundation.  

Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, celebrated in October along with church leaders, donors, religious and parishioners, the milestone of the completion of the installation of the more than 11,680 quatrefoils along the Cathedral’s glass interior. The sail-like quatrefoil panels help provide shade, reduce glare and improve acoustics.  

The successful installation of the quatrefoils signals a major step in the historic project to renovate Christ Cathedral into a modern Catholic house of worship.  

Construction work is now about 70 percent complete, Jennison said.  

Each day, about 150 workers are on-site overseeing the renovations. As of October, there have been 214,401 total man hours worked on the project, which is being managed by Snyder Langston.  

The Orange Catholic Foundation has $4.5 million left to raise for the project, Jennison said.   

The Diocese of Orange purchased the 78,000-square-foot cathedral in 2011. The initial design concept was unveiled in late 2013 and went through several modifications before a final design was crafted. The cathedral will be dedicated in July 2019. 

Jennison toured the cathedral’s interior in late October with Bishop Vann.  

“Every time I get the chance to see
the interior of the Cathedral, I’m amazed at the progress being made,” Jennison said.  


Other milestones include: 


  • The 13,940-pound altar, made from breccia, is being transported to the Cathedral and expected to be put in place by the end of the year.
  • White stone, imported from quarries near Verona, Italy, is being installed across the cathedral’s floor and walls. The stonework is being done by Carnevale and Lohr. The firm also recently installed marble at the Hearst Castle’s famed Neptune Pool. Carnevale and Lohr did the stone work at the original Crystal Cathedral and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. All the cathedral’s stone has been fabricated in Italy and shipped to the U.S. in 14 shipping containers. Stone is sourced from Italy, Germany, Tunisia and Turkey.
  • The cathedral’s large festal doors have been installed. The doors are 10 feet high, 14 feet wide and 6.5 inches thick.
  • Stonework around the ambo is nearing completion.
  • Completion of the undercroft is expected in early December.
  • Installation of the cathedral’s oak pews is expected to begin in December. The pews are crafted by The Marshall Company, the same firm that created the original pews in the Crystal Cathedral.
  • Work to re-install the refurbished Hazel Wright Organ will begin in January.
  • Work on the outdoor plaza continues and is expected to be completed by March.