Catholics stage first event at Crystal Cathedral

Mass still not allowed

The following comes from an October 10 story in the Orange County Register.

The Crystal Cathedral sanctuary known around the world for its flying angels and messages of positive thinking on Wednesday became a place of prayer for its new owners: Orange County’s Catholics.

More than 1,200 Catholics filled the cathedral for the first Roman Catholic event held in the Protestant megachurch since the campus was bought by the Diocese of Orange in a court-ordered bankruptcy sale.

With candles on each side, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was temporarily placed in the front of the Crystal Cathedral sanctuary for the Orange County Catholic Prayer Breakfast – the first Catholic event in the cathedral since it was purchased by the Diocese of Orange. The Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Diocese of Orange.

Outside the future Christ Cathedral, helium balloons were strung up in single rows to resemble the beads of a rosary. Inside, more than 1,200 Catholics received a bag with literature and one special gift: a silver-toned and white-beaded rosary from Italy.

Wednesday’s Catholic prayer breakfast was videotaped by the same crew members who videotape the Sunday morning Crystal Cathedral services, which are distributed worldwide through the “Hour of Power” television show. …

Congregants listened to chanting Carmelite nuns and recited a rosary.

They prayed in front of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.

“This is an example of what future events and gatherings can be like – the space, the spirit, the message,” the Rev. Christopher Smith said following the prayer breakfast.

Smith will lead the transformation of the Crystal Cathedral into a Catholic place of worship the diocese will rename Christ Cathedral. The Crystal Cathedral Ministries will stay on the campus until June, when it will transfer to the nearby St. Callistus Catholic Church under an arrangement with the diocese.

On Wednesday, the diocese rented the facility for the morning and brought in a large wooden crucifix and other accoutrements to give the cathedral a more Catholic feel.

Plans to renovate the cathedral are expected to begin next summer. On Wednesday, leaders announced the diocese’s first capital campaign – a drive to raise $100 million, half of it to renovate and support the future Christ Cathedral. Until then, the Catholics cannot celebrate Mass in the stunning glass-paneled church because the cathedral is not yet a consecrated place, said Mick Fern, one of the event’s organizers.

Inside, Orange County Bishop Tod Brown, who is in Rome, addressed the congregants on a video. He called the future move to the cathedral “a historic moment for our diocese” and said he expects the renovations to be done by 2015….

Guest speaker George Weigel, a senior fellow of the conservative Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, spoke about “aggressive secularism” and “a new assault” on religious freedoms….

Meanwhile, Smith, the priest who will be become the future Christ Cathedral’s rector, told the group that the cathedral will become a center for Catholic worship, an outreach center to the poor and “a place of orthodoxy.”

Near the speakers, front center in the sanctuary, were two chairs, one slightly bigger. The larger chair was symbolic of what’s to come: a cathedra, or bishop’s chair, that will hold a spot of prominence in the church by 2015.

To read the entire story, click here.


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  1. $100 million to renovate a Church? Outrageous. We need to get our priorities straight and focus on living the gospel, particularly when there are so many in our community suffering from severe economic distress.

    • Eric Augustine says:

      Also, include the $57 million dollars to purchase it – In Oakland they spent $190 million for a cathedral and cannot fill it at any services – All we hear about is ” more collections & donations” – These leaders really do not know what they are doing – Maybe they should start a union so there are audit controls over how $$$ is spent – very little of this goes to the poor and needy -

      • Germany just signed into law a “pay to pray” code, that the German bishops endorsed. Could happen here. We’d have to use debit cards to get into Mass.

        • oh, JLS, you little rascal — you always get it just PARTLY right.

          in germany you must declare you religion, such as jewish, lutheran, or catholic, and then part of your taxes go to support your religion.

          people who want a free ride formally declaire themseloves to be “atheists,” which is then oficially noted in the baptismal register of their parish, as is also done in the u.s.a.

          however, in germany these very same people who don’t want to support their faith then want something like a wedding, but they have already told the church they are non-believers — so now they are being held accountable.

          you can’t have it both ways: claiming to be an atheist, and then wanting a catholic wedding. you’re lying.

        • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


          If the Obamanation, with the help of many of our “Shepherds” is able to steal the election, real Catholics won’t even be able to get in with Credit Cards.

          Viva Cristo Rey!

          God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
          Kenneth M. Fisher

        • Wrong, religion tax is common for all religions in Germany

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


        You hit on something, no wonder most of them are Obamanation supporters!

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher

      • But Eric, the hideous structure in Oakland isn’t the same at all. It’s so hideous, many would be scared away from it’s sterile, prison-like atmosphere…it should be dismantled and sold as scrap! Talk about waste and mismanagement. Who would want their funds to go for that? ugh. There’s real potential in Christ Cathedral with all that light and airiness.

    • The hundred million would put a lot of people to work. It is a way to bring money in from other places and distribute it locally … and in Mexico where much of the workers’ pay will be sent.

      • JLS, you sound just like a protestant. That is just the sort of statement made by the mobs that destroyed sacred images and melted down priceless sacred objects in Europe during the protestant rebellion. Unfortunately, most the riches stolen from the Church went into their own pockets! And the land they robbed became their own property forming a wealthy anti-Catholic class of protestants that used their wealth to cause further depredations against the Church. What i’m seeing here in all this whining about money wasted is just that same petty meanness that led to so much hatred against the Church. Beware where all this criticism is taking you. To hear the French radicals tell it back in the 18th cent., the Church is nothing but a blood sucking, evil institution that lives on the poverty and ignorance of the masses. Just keep on going on as you’re going on and you’ll find it’s not so easy to get off that track to nowhere. Just remodeling the Cathedral will put alot of people to work, as will maintainance, and the tremendous sums tourists will bring in. This is God’s house now, and grousing about its expense is like complaining about the nard Mary used on our dear Lord’s head.

    • Mchicha Wacheza says:

      Tell me, how much is giving glory to God worth? This is God’s house, for all Generations…$100,000,000.00 is not enough considering who is offered on that Altars.
      Perhaps we should sell St. Peters because its worth a lot of money?

    • Myriam Forero says:

      Loved your comment, I feel the same way

  2. Larry from RI says:

    “Plans to renovate the cathedral are expected to begin next summer”

    Where’s the Tabernacle going to be?????

  3. R.B. Rodda says:

    “Mick Fern” is wrong — a structure need not be “consecrated” for a Mass to be celebrated within it. Most Catholic parish churches have never been “consecrated.”

    That said I can certainly see why the diocese wants to wait until Christ Cathedral is remodeled before the first Mass is celebrated there. That’s going to be a HUGE event (it would be great if the pope celebrated the Mass) and it simply makes sense to wait.

    I am deeply afraid though that the remodel will be overdone and done poorly. I think the desire to change the Crystal Cathedral will be so great that much of its beauty and charm might well be lost. OC’s new bishop seems like a very good man so perhaps my fear are no longer founded?

    • FrMichael says:

      “Most Catholic parish churches have never been ‘consecrated.’”

      What are you talking about? While it is true that Masses don’t have to be celebrated in consecrated places (think of Masses on the back of Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan) they ideally are. And every parish church I’ve ever served in or heard of has been properly consecrated by its bishop.

  4. Oooh! I loved the pics of the young nuns and novices. Go sisters!

  5. Father Karl says:

    You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    • R.B. Rodda says:

      Thank God they are starting out with a beautiful, award-winning, Holy See-approved structure.

      My greatest fear is that Bp. Brown was going to turn it the silk purse Crystal Cathedral into a sow’s ear. With the new bishop on board my fear has lessened…

    • Father Karl, You are so right!!!! The big bru ha ha has begun. Already, lists of catholics like me are already getting E Mails for money that suggests this is just not an every day cathedral (that we probably don’t need anyway) but it is obviously copying the former owners mass appeal for funds. For this I say,. BALONEY. You bought the place, now pay for it!!! Also I noticed that the movies of the founding preacher’s son is now broadcasting on one of the religious channels on Direct TV on Sunday. So many of our bishops are really competing as to have the most outrageous cathedrals and this is no exception! No money from me.

    • Nor can you make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. Why would anyone want to do either?

    • Jim McCrea says:

      Seems to me that Jesus did that with the cross.

  6. Robert Schuller and his crew should just become Catholic. That would be BIG NEWS!

    • Schuller just might become Catholic before he dies. I suggest that the CCD readers pray for this. He has a great respect for the faith and was a good friend of Bishop Sheen. In fact he had a statue of him in the Cathedral for years. Imagine that.

    • R.B. Rodda says:


  7. We feel so blessed to be able to celebrate the “Day of Faith” at the new Christ Cathedral sponsored by Magnificat. It will be so uplifting to praise our Lord in such gorgeous surroundings. The beauty and praise are for God alone.

    • We feel so blessed…………another one of those boring inane statements. Sandra, better get a second job to support the Windex purchases.

      • Now, now, Bud, let’s not be nasty! ;o) Think of the glass cleaning involved in Chartes Cathedral, or the Cathedral of Notre Dame…or think of the glass cleaning in any large skyscraper…hmmm. Yup. Lots of maintenance, but should that be a consideration in something so important as aesthetics and design?

      • Praise and Glory for God Alone.

  8. Certainly a much better use for Church funds than paying out hush money or court fees from law suits of sex abuse victims! This has the potential to be a wonderful source of faith and beauty in the coming years. If it is all focused on the Trinity and Our Lady, it will be a source of hope and a visible presence of light in a dark world. I hope people don’t start carping about wasted money! It is never a waste of money to build a House to the Lord to worship and adore Him, is it? I was certainly encouraged by this article. George Weigel was an excellent choice as a speaker, as he spoke on the dangers facing the Church right now. Also, the woman that wrote the article (go to the original article) had been corrected by a Catholic that we do not worship Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the author corrected what she’d written. Nice story!

  9. I read the article, looked at the pictures and watched the video of the prayer service. I think its going to be an easy job to make that into a magnificant Catholic church. The problem is going to be getting thousands every weekend to fill the pews. We don’t have many mega-churches.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      They hardly ever filled the Cathedral they had, so how are they going to fill the Glass Menagerie?

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • FrMichael says:

      My understanding that St. Callistus is a mega-parish with crowded Masses, so if the parishioners there transfer to the new cathedral it should have a good attendance.

      Enough to pay the Windex bill though?

  10. Roberta Genini says:

    It is a little puzzling that no mass is permitted, since Magnificat’s Boston conference in 2008 featured Holy Mass celebrated in the hotel or convention complex where the conference was held. There was also plenty of opportunity for confessions and Eucharistic Adoration. Don’t know if these will be a part of the Christ Cathedral event.

    • R.B. Rodda says:

      It’s not about “no Mass being permitted.” It’s about wanting to wait and make that moment as special as possible.

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        It will hardly be special with all of the gawkers looking around at the Glass Menagerie Shuller built!

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher

        • Jim McCrea says:

          Have you ever been to St. Peter’s in Rome when a mass was being celebrated? You want to see gawkers, go there at anytime during any mass.

          • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

            Jim McCrea,

            Have you been to St. Peter’s? I have many times, and the only gawkers I witnessed were outside of the Mass attendees, mostly tourist!

            By the way, they were gawking at Holy images, not a glass menagerie!

            God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
            Kenneth M. Fisher


  11. Priests celebrate Mass on the beach. Mick Fern doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    • Yeah, but the priests celebrating Mass on the beach do not leave the Tabernacle there when they leave.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      The way the beachgoers are involved in various stages of ammoral bathing suits makes me shudder to think that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is desecrated by celebrating it at the beach!

      I would not ever knowingly attend a Mass celebrated (if that is the proper term for it) by a priest who would say Mass on the beach today.

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  12. Catholics “STAGE” first event at Crystal Cathedral

    There is something very wrong when Bishop Tod D. Brown repeatedly refused to allow sisters in full habits to teach the CCC to children in his diocesan Catholic schools but then suddenly these sisters become valuable and useful when it comes to being used as orthodox eye candy “stage” props to raise $100 Million Dollars.

    The choice to use the word “stage” is very revealing. Many Catholic parents in Orange County can no longer send their children to Catholic schools because of heretical teachings and leftist social justice indoctrination in Catholic schools. To use good sisters in full habits ONLY as front page newspaper “stage” props to lure in donors is just as offensive as joyful photo ops of President Obama and Cardinal Dolan.

    Our bishops have not listened to Pope John Paul II and enforced Canon 915. Will our bishops listen to Pope Benedict XVI and enforce the teachings of the CCC in Catholic schools? You cannot fool God and stage “orthodoxy”.

    “My people have been silent, because thou hast rejected knowledge. I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to me, and thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”…..Douay – Rheims Catholic Bible

    • And did you notice that the sisters had to be imported from L.A.? Pander much?

    • nuns in full habit as “eye candy” CATHERINE?

      never in my life did i think i’d see you write such stuff!

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      Even I did not know that “Bishop” Brown did not allow Nuns in full habit to teach in the Diocesan schools!

      Are you sure of that?

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Keep praying Catherine. At least they know that real nuns really are ‘eye candy’. That is certainly better than if they had nothing but those pseudo-nuns in pants suits and lipstick representing all sisters. I really get the feeling here that everyone is succumbing to seeing just the externals and not what is really taking place. This huge glass structure has the potential to become a spiritual magnet and a tremendous source of outreach if it is done right, and that can only come from the prayers of the faithful, of which you are an important one. Please pray that God’s will be done and His beauty and truth shine forth ‘like shook foil
      The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
      It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
      It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
      Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
      Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
      And all is seared with trade; Bleared, smeared with toil;
      And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
      Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
      And for all this, nature is never spent;
      There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
      And though the last lights off the black West went
      Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
      Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
      World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

    • It’s even worse by far for Catholic clergy who have access to the Sacraments, which the Old Testament priests did not have. Those O.T. priests had no way to join with or unite with God, as do Catholic clergy. How much worse to be against God when once united somewhat with Him, than simply not listening to Him as was the problem with the Jewish priests.

    • Catherine, could you please explain why kids can’t go to schools because of the heritical teachings that go on. What don’t you approve of? Could you be specific, such as – the teachers told the students this …… The pastor taught the kids this ….. Etc. It is really not ok to accuse a school of hericy without being specific. In fact it is against Catholic ethos. Please help me understand your point of view. You may very well be right, but I don’t know why. Thanks.

      • Bob One, you’ve been reading this site for a long time. All the specifics that answer your question to Catherine have been posted over and over, with many examples, many news reports, much argumentation. And you still cannot see the answers?!

  13. Bishop Brown And Roger Mahony are cut of the same cloth. They are both publicity hounds. How do you think Brown got The Orange Diocese? Rome asked the Metropolitan ( Roger) his opinion.

    I personally think that the Rev. Schuller did alot of good for many years there. I attended the “Glory of Christmas” performance several times with many Catholic Groups, and we left very impressed!

    We were not discriminated because we were Catholics. I’m not so sure the same can be said on how the Church treats Schuller and his family in the press.

    If not for the poor financial management of funds, The Schuller’s would still be running the Crystal Cathedral.

    Maybe the Nuns could work for the Rev. Schuller. He would treat them better than the Catholic Church does!

    Big D

  14. Kenneth M. Fisher says:

    I am not and will not defend that Glass Menagerie, but those Nuns were probably Franciscans of the Sacred Hearts, as I understand it they originally came here because of the Cristiada in Mexico.

    At one time their then Mother General wanted to boycott the Religious Education Congress, but she was threatended with not being allowed to teach the children unless she sent her Nuns to that Dissent Fest, so she compromised by only sending Nuns she personally knew had the fullness of the Faith and could not be swayed by smoothe tongues. How do I know this, she personally told me so when I called her to ask why she hadn’t stopped all her Nuns from attending as she had previously promised me. If my memory serves me correctly, her name was Sr.Rosario.

    It is sad to see that her successors did not keep up the fight, and many of her Sisters now treat those of us who stand on the battle front very wrongly. I have even tried to tell them that their former Mother General was the one that begged us to have our literature printed in Spanish, but they won’t listen, sad.

    God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher

  15. I think this is wonderful. We Christians need to start being thankful for what we do have. Although I love all the whole traditional churches of Europe, and the Americas, I thank God that this Christian church was not made into a mosque. As I said before, I love the tower, and I hope it can be made into a bell tower and bells for the Angelus are used. While our fellow Catholics and other Christians are suffering in Syria and other countries, having their churches destroyed and having no place to worship as the end result, we still have ours. As Catholics saved Europe for Christianity at the Battle of Lepanto, may Catholics help save the United States for Christianity, too, and I think this is a good start.

  16. I just visited the Crystal Cathedral. I grew up in the Orange County area and watched the place grow and expand. I didn’t attend there, but at a smaller (Protestant) church nearby. Just wanted to say I wish my Catholic brothers and sisters the very best in their new adventure, and glad for your taking control of the property; and notice you doing so respectfully and honorably.

    Question: My wife and I watch the video taken of the prayer day. Does anyone have any photos of the large flag posted at the front? We thought it was grand!


  17. Myriam Forero says:

    I’m sick about the waste of money on a Church… now, they want more, was not 57 million enough? why don’t you follow the example of our new POPE.
    If Jesus was to see what you’re doing… he will cry and will destroy the temple one more time. Feed the poor, cure the sick, live a Christian life.

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