Christ Cathedral



By BRADLEY ZINT     6/22/2023

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will host its second annual Marian Days on July 14 and 15, a celebration centered around Christ Cathedral’s Our Lady of La Vang Shrine that has quickly become the largest event of its kind on the West Coast.

Over two days, the 34-acre cathedral campus will draw as many as 20,000 of the faithful from around the region and the country for a festival-like environment of outdoor Masses, a procession onto the streets, workshops, dancing, live music and entertainment.

Marian Days 2023 has a “With Mary, We Journey” theme, reflecting the central role of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic faith. There will also be tie-ins to the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year grassroots effort called by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for a revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Speakers and Masses will be in both Vietnamese and English. Youth activities are also planned.

“Participants will truly walk together in faith at Marian Days through celebrating Mass, hearing the keynote speakers and visiting our magnificent Our Lady of La Vang Shrine,” said Bishop Kevin Vann. “We invite the whole People of God to walk together to discern the Lord’s will for his Church, and we are called to journey together with Mary in this process. We go forth with her to live and share the Good News with others.”

The festivities on Friday, July 14 start at 5:30 p.m. The celebrant of the opening Mass at 7:30 p.m. is Bishop Oscar Cantú of the Diocese of San Jose. Live entertainment and a taizé prayer follow at 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 15 starts with a Healing Mass, with Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen as the celebrant. A Marian procession will take place from approximately 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with as many as 8,000 expected to descend onto Chapman Avenue, toward Lewis Street and circle back onto the campus.

The final Mass, with Bishop Thanh and Bishop Vann, starts at 7 p.m.

The Diocese of Orange’s Marian Days was modeled after the annual Marian Days of Carthage, Missouri. That pilgrimage-style festival has been in place since 1978, drawing tens of thousands of attendees, particularly Vietnamese Catholics, to the Midwest to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The inaugural Diocese of Orange Marian Days in 2022 drew an estimated 15,000 people over two days. Compared to last year, this year’s Marian Days will have even more of a focus around the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine. This is because of the high attendance expected; the plaza fronting the shrine can accommodate more than 15,000 people, compared to around 2,100 seated inside Christ Cathedral. Even the numbers of people making Marian Days happen is high: 1,500 volunteers, 1,000 singers, a full orchestra, and more than 200 dancers.

Since its blessing in 2021, the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine has been a major source of reverence, joy and inspiration to Christ Cathedral campus visitors. The shrine hosts monthly Masses and other observances, particularly for Orange County’s large Vietnamese Catholic community. The shrine’s centerpiece is a 12 foot-tall Virgin Mary statue depicting how the Blessed Mother is believed to have appeared before a group of persecuted Vietnamese Catholics in 1798 in a rainforest of Vietnam.

Admission to Marian Days is free. For a complete schedule of events, please visit

Attendees are being asked to park off-campus and take shuttles from one of seven sites. Visit the Marian Days website for more details and locations.