The Most Reverend Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, will lead a ceremony and blessing of the soaring edifice of Christ Cathedral, marking the start of active construction within the sanctuary space, on Feb. 11, 2017. Expected at the invitation-only event are hundreds of Christ Cathedral contributors, architects, engineers, clergy and designers, and parishioners who will join Bishop Vann in ceremonially signing the concrete floor of the building, offering a prayerful mark that represents their support and contribution to this seminal project in the life of the local Church.
“We are blessed as a community of faith to have reached this much anticipated milestone, the day we will prepare the future worship level of Christ Cathedral for its transformation. Our sanctuary will be readied for the hard work of the many tradespeople, contractors, artists, and laborers by the prayers and blessings of our community of faith. Only through the grace of God and the prayerful commitment of our loving community will Christ Cathedral truly become the beacon of Christ’s mercy and love in our world,” said Bishop Vann.
Construction of the Christ Cathedral worship level marks the five year anniversary of the acquisition of the Christ Cathedral campus by the Diocese of Orange and follows several years of active and deliberative design work with a multifaceted committee of liturgical and design experts working closely with the project architects, Johnson Faine and Rios Clemente Hale. Hundreds of hours of careful inspection and discussion with many stakeholder groups, all with a firm focus on fiscal prudence and stewardship, has resulted in a magnificent and transformative design for the cathedral sanctuary and worship level that was unveiled to the public during the 40th anniversary celebration of the Diocese of Orange, Sep. 18, 2016.
Many restorations of historic sites have exposed markings left by the original builders, work crews, and others. On February 11, 2017 Christ Cathedral’s 44,000-square-foot concrete floor will be etched with the prayerful inscription of hundreds of cathedral contributors and other members of the Diocese of Orange. Bishop Kevin Vann and the Orange Catholic Foundation have invited those associated with the campaign to transform the former Crystal Cathedral to a place of Catholic worship, and others, to literally ‘add their blessing to the building’ by inscribing their personal memento on the terrazza floor before construction begins.
Taken as a whole, the inscriptions will record those who have helped the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange acquire and transform the campus and its cathedral to a place that supports the needs of Catholic worship and to serve the growing pastoral needs of over 1.5 million area Catholics. The signing ceremony marks another step in the ongoing campus transformation process; now five years in development. The transformation of the sanctuary, representing phase one of the project and the majority of the overall effort, will require an estimated $72.3 million to complete and culminate in the dedication of America’s newest Catholic Cathedral in 2019.
“The Christ Cathedral is a timeless structure and the life of the Church immemorial. Each name and prayerful intention inscribed within the building will be a time-capsule in itself and a reminder of those who helped make Christ Cathedral possible,” Bishop Vann concluded.
Bishop Kevin Vann will host the celebration event noting the fifth anniversary of the diocese’s acquisition of the campus and cathedral building. A performance by the Diocesan Children’s Choir, Blessing Ceremony and other activities are planned.