In his address to the Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore last month, Archbishop Carlo Viganó, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, recalled his recent visit to Orange County:
“Everywhere in my visits throughout this vast country I have been very impressed with many things. I found dioceses, in particular, very alive and warmly welcoming their new pastor/bishops, and I experienced dioceses that are rich in incredible beauty in their cathedrals, institutions, universities, schools and hospitals. I visited dioceses that are enjoying up to the present day the treasured legacies left to them by their first missionaries and bishops who established their local churches.
“I recently…visited Bishop Vann in the Diocese of Orange. He asked me to bless the Tower of Hope, one of the beautiful buildings of the magnificent Christ Cathedral complex that the diocese recently acquired from the great evangelical preacher, Dr. Robert Schuller. You are aware how, by complete dedication to his ministry, he moved countless numbers of people to a real conversion of heart—so many types of people who were willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of Jesus and his Gospel. Bishop Vann had also brought me to the mission of St. John of Capistrano, a man who was first governor in Perugia and a doctor of law, but then became a Franciscan and dedicated himself to preaching the Gospel beyond the borders of Italy to Austria and Hungary, giving over the final days of his life in defense of the faith and inspiring people by his complete dedication. He saw a Church that needed to be reborn at that time in history, even if by the shedding of blood…His missionary example is still inspiring us, as it did for the Franciscans and other religious orders who were the first evangelizers in many parts of this country.”