“What you are doing is sacred work”

Bishop Kevin Vann blesses 150 construction workers at Christ Cathedral, thanks them with luncheon

(image: Challenge Roddie/OC Catholic)

The construction crew working on the renovation of Christ Cathedral reached a milestone in mid-May. They have collectively logged 100,000 hours of work on the cathedral and have done so without a single accident or injury.

Bishop Kevin Vann and Fr. Christopher Smith, episcopal vicar and rector at Christ Cathedral, decided to celebrate both by hosting a catered luncheon for the crew on the patio of the Cultural Center.

Some 150 hungry workers enjoyed a lunch of barbecued roast beef sandwiches, hamburgers, Cole slaw and baked beans, provided by nearby Lucille’s restaurant. Before lunch Bishop Vann, who donned one of the commemorative t-shirts given to each worker, offered a blessing for the food and for the crew.

As they enjoyed their lunch, Fr. Chris expressed his gratitude for the work done to date.

“I admire your work so much,” he said. “What you are doing is sacred work. It’s important for people to feel God’s presence.”

Fr. Chris noted that each Sunday, more than 10,000 people attend Masses on the campus. “Even more will come when the cathedral is done,” he said. “You will, for generations to come, be a part of people’s lives.”

Full story at Orange County Catholic.


  1. That safety record sounds commendable. May that continue. Yes, the workers are doing a form of sacred work. Although some do not like the cathedral, these workers are transforming a House of Worship for all for many years, perhaps a century. May God bless and guide their hands and tools.

    • Linda Maria says:

      I am not a fan of modern Catholic churches and cathedrals. However— I think this safety record sounds great! It is also impressve, more than 10,000 Mass-goers every Sunday! It is a comfort to me, the wonderful guest sermons of beloved Ven. Abp. Fulton J. Sheen, at the Crystal Cathedral– he and Rev. Robert Schuller were good friends! (the sermons are available on YouTube, and other places, too!) Just bought the beautiful book, “You Are Beloved,” by Schuller’s grandson, Rev. Bobby Schuller– inspired by Fr. Henri Nouwen– he based the core of his ministry on Nouwen’s work. Beautiful book! Wonder what can be done, regarding the big problems at Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light??

  2. So encouraging to see our Bishops eating a meal with working people- probably many of whom are union members. This is reminiscent of the 1950’s and 60’s when many Bishops were for the working people instead of for the very wealthy. This often does not seem to be the case these days.

  3. Bob One says:

    This is an amazing safety record for this type of construction work. Nice Job!
    What is also impressive is that 10,000 people attend Mass at this location every Sunday. Not your average sized parish! Nice Job!

  4. St. Christopher says:

    What a complete and utter waste. This monstrosity is a Protestant Church and always will be so. There is, in practical effect, already two Catholic churches in the USA. In OJ, under its present and past bishops, you have a retreat into “dunk ’em” Protestant-Catholicism. Very little of the rituals and language of the actual Church survive here, or will survive.

    Now the “hand-holding” at the “Our Father” is de rigeur (have you ever said, “no thanks” during this?). How many of the NewChurchers even understand the Real Presence, or care to know? This church is for them.

    • Bob One says:

      St. Christopher, think about it! 10,000 people each weekend for Mass. That is not a bad thing in any language or modern rituals.
      Imagine the audacity of faithful Christians who want to say the Prayer conceived by Jesus, and to say it as a united community. The gates of hell surely open wide when people pray together, you say? Get over it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most churches I attend here at home and while traveling do not hold hands during the Our Father. If you do not want to hold hands just fold your hands in front of you and bow your head.
      The most annoying thing I see is people adopting the orans position that the priest uses during the Our Fatheer. Every Catholic Church understands the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
      It is heresy to refer to Catholics who are faithful to the Church as NewChurchers.

  5. My o my St. Christopher- the glass is certainly half full isn’t it. The priest at the English mass I attended last Sunday (Feast of Corpus Christi) gave an outstanding homily on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Not all is lost!

  6. Linda Maria says:

    Regarding the work of Fr. Henri Nouwen– Of course, Catholics are blessed to find Christ, their “Beloved,” and their true “belovedness,” as Brides of Christ– in the Real Presence of Our Lord, in the Blessed Sacrament!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The safety of the workers is important, and this is an impressive record. When I hire contractors I try to always make sure they are bonded and have worker’s comp. It protects the workers and keeps the home owner from being sued if an accident happens, which one prays does not happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      This Anonymous post June 9 at 7:02 pm is mine — Anne TE.. Both workers and employers have rights. God help us to find the right balance. Both immigrants and American citizens have rights, too. God help us to find the correct balance, so that there is fruitful work for all that truly need it and that will not destroy our nation..

  8. St. Christopher says:

    “Bob One” and “Harold”: Your comments miss the point, although that was your intent, as Novus Ordo apologists. The NO is “licit” although defective (a topic written on by so many; see,e.g., Michael Davies) The Crystal Cathedral is a Protestant house of worship that will “transform” into a gigantic megaphone of Catholic NewChurch symbolism. And, that is the tragedy.

    Catholics need their true Tradition. The institutional Church is dying because it cannot survive by rejecting its own DNA. Form of worship reflects and influences on beliefs. Surely you are familiar: Lex Orandi, lex Credendi, lex Vivendi.

  9. Linda Maria says:

    St. Christopher– many of us mourn the loss of our authentic Catholic faith and traditions! However– the situation is out of our hands— we have no power at all, to change anything! However— one can always attend the beautiful old Latin Mass, in many churches, today– and join a little parish, of like-minded Catholics, served by Church-approved, all-Latin Mass priests– and just stay there, lifelong! Regardless- Jesus is always waiting for us, in all Catholic churches, in the Blessed Sacrament– including Christ Cathedral!! As for Rome– they have too many problems and scandals!– too “worldly” to begin with, as St. Francis of Assisi noted, in the 12th century!

  10. St. Christopher says:

    “Linda Maria,” thank you for your good words. But, I think “we” (Catholics believing in true Tradition) can do something (although it often seems as if we cannot). Use the internet, write, seek out place and means to object, and to show how Christ is to be glorified by Man. Just look at what has very recently happened in Chile, with the vile bishop Barros finally seeing the light and leaving his position. Francis was required to accept the Barros resignation, due to public pressure.

    Never fear, never back down, when proclaiming Christ. We can do something (although the “Benedict Option” is OK, too).

    • Linda Maria says:

      Thanks, St. Christopher! Well– in the Catholic Church, the power for all Church decisions, rightfully belongs to the Pope and his top Vatican clergy! It is true that sometimes, public opinion and prayer can influence them. However– over a lifetime– best to avoid mental anguish, and seek peace of soul! — to accept what we cannot change, and do what we can, in regard to our own spiritual needs!! Our true goal is: Heaven!! Many traditional Catholics join an all-Latin Mass parish, with excellent priests — and invite others to join, too! This also shows Church leaders, the needs of their Catholics! For me– best to walk with God happily, in peace — “And let the rest of the world go by!”

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