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On today’s podcast episode, host Rick Howick welcomes Lesa Truxaw to the program. Lesa has served the Diocese of Orange for close to 20 years; and, she brings a wealth of ministry experience to the table. Her title is “Director For the Office of Worship” at the Pastoral Center in the Diocese of Orange.

Our key area of discussion today is the proclamation made by Pope Francis that is of such great importance for 2021: “The Year of St. Joseph.”

What exactly does that entail? Tune in and find out!





Originally broadcast on 3/6/21


Welcome to another episode of Cathedral Square featuring our host, Fr. Christopher Smith.

Today’s guest is very special to Fr. Christopher, as she played a key role at St. Callistus Parish in Garden Grove for many years.. before that same parish made the huge transition to become “Christ Cathedral’ a few years ago.

Ana Guardado-Chavez serves as Liturgical Administrator and Custodian of Records for the parish. She also assists the priests, and helps with all kinds of important tasks each day.


Be sure to listen and share this podcast!





Originally broadcast on 6/6/20


Episode No. 70 Saturday, October 12, 2019 Stephen Tharp, Concert Organist

“Stephen Tharp is the best organist in America.”  The Diapason 

This fantastic episode is with the most active concert organist in the world, Stephen Tharp.
Having played more than 1600 concerts across over 53 tours worldwide, Stephen has built one of the most well-respected international careers in the world, earning him the reputation as the most traveled concert organist of his generation.  He has been given the 2011 International Performer of the Year Award by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In May 2015, he was given the Paul Creston Award which recognizes artistic excellence by a significant figure in church music and the performing arts.
His list of performances since 1987 includes such distinguished venues as St. Bavo, Haarlem; Notre-Dame de Paris, St. Eustache, Paris; Notre Dame de Chartres; The Hong Kong Cultural Centre; the Town Halls of Sydney and Adelaide, Australia; Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow; the Duomo, Milano, Italy; the cathedrals in Berlin, Köln, The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia; The Riverside Church, New York City; Rice University, Houston; and Spivey Hall, Atlanta.
Stephen Tharp remains an important champion of new organ music, and continues to commission and premiere numerous compositions for the instrument. The first such piece was Jean Guillou’s symphonic poem Instants, Op. 57, which Tharp premiered at King’s College, Cambridge, England in February 1998.  Works dedicated to him include composers George Baker, David Briggs, Samuel Adler Thierry Escaich and Anthony Newman.  Himself a composer, Tharp was commissioned by Cologne Cathedral, Germany to compose for Easter Sunday, 2006 his Easter Fanfares for the inauguration of the organ’s new en chamade Tuba stops, as well Disney’s Trumpets, composed in February 2011 for the organ at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, where it was premiered by the composer the following month.
In April 2008, Stephen Tharp was named the Official Organist for the NY visit of Pope Benedict XVI, playing for three major events attended by more than 60,000 people that were broadcast live worldwide
His 15 solo organ recordings can be found on the labels Acis Productions, JAV Recordings, Aeolus, Naxos, Organum and Ethereal, and are available from the Organ Historical Society (, JAV Recordings ( and Amazon (
Stephen Tharp earned his BA degree, magna cum laude, from Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL and his MM from Northwestern University, Chicago, where he studied with Rudolf Zuiderveld and Wolfgang Rübsam, respectively.  He has also worked privately with Jean Guillou in Paris.
Music all performed by Stephen Tharp and is available on i-tunes.
“I vow to Thee, my country”. (Thaxted) Album: Great Church Hymns Traditional and New.
Fugue in D Major, BWV 532 Johann S. Bach Album: Stephen Tharp Plays the Organ at St. Bavo, Haarlem.
Station IV Jesus meets His Mother   Album: Marcel Dupré: The Stations of the Cross, Op. 29
Danse Diabolique  George Baker Album: Stephen Tharp: The St. James’ Recital.


On today’s podcast episode, Fr. Christopher is thrilled to welcome Lesa Truxaw to the program. Lesa has served the Diocese of Orange for more than 17 years; and, she brings a wealth of ministry experience to the table.

One of her key roles involves being responsible to the bishop for what she calls ‘the liturgical life of the diocese.’

What exactly does that entail? Tune in and find out!





Originally broadcast on 6/15/19



VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church must continue to work to understand the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council and why they were made, rather than rethinking them, Pope Francis said. 

“After this magisterium, after this long journey, we can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible,” Pope Francis told participants in Italy’s National Liturgical Week. 

The pope’s speech to the 800 participants Aug. 24 was the longest and most systematic talk he has given as pope on the theme of the liturgy since Vatican II. 

Instead of reconsidering the council’s reforms, he said, priests and liturgists should work on “rediscovering the decisions made” in reforming the liturgy, “internalizing its inspirational principles and observing the discipline that governs it.” 

The National Liturgical Week is sponsored by the Liturgical Action Center, which organizes liturgical training as well as national, regional and diocesan conventions to “disseminate and promote liturgical pastoral guidelines proposed by the Italian bishops’ conference,” according to its website. 

After congratulating the organization on its 70th anniversary, Pope Francis said the church has lived through “substantial and not superficial” events throughout its history, including with the Second Vatican Council and the subsequent liturgical reform. 

Citing the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” the pope said the reform responded to “real needs and the concrete hope for a renewal,” which would offer a living liturgy where the faithful were no longer “strangers or silent spectators.” 

For this reason, he added, the church must continue to rediscover the reasons for the reform and “overcome unfounded and superficial readings, partial revelations, and practices that disfigure it.” 

Reflecting on the week’s theme — “A living liturgy for a living church” — Pope Francis said the liturgy is “alive” through the living presence of Jesus. Liturgical signs, including the altar, direct the gaze of the priest and the faithful to “Christ, the living stone, who was discarded by men but has become the cornerstone of the spiritual edifice in which we worship.” 

“The liturgy is life for the entire people of the church,” he said. “By its nature, the liturgy is ‘popular’ and not clerical, because it is — as the etymology teaches us — an action for the people, but also of the people.” 

The liturgy, he continued, unites church members through prayer, and it “gathers in prayer all those who seek to listen to the Gospel without discarding anyone; it summons the great and small, rich and poor, children and elderly people, healthy and sick, just ones and sinners.” 

“In the image of the ‘immense multitude’ celebrating the liturgy in the sanctuary of heaven,” Pope Francis said, “the liturgical assembly overcomes through Christ every boundary of age, race, language and nation.” 

The liturgy is “not an idea to understand,” but rather a “source of life and light for our journey of faith,” he said. Therefore, the rites and prayers become “a school of Christian life” for the faithful “by what they are and not by the explanations we give them.” 

“This is still the commitment I ask of you today: to help ordained ministers as well as other ministers — cantors, artists, musicians — cooperate so that the liturgy may be the source and culmination of the vitality of the church,” the pope said.