By Christopher White, The Tablet’s National Correspondent
In advance of the highly anticipated unveiling of major renovations to Orange County’s Christ Cathedral, Bishop Kevin Vann has declared a “Holy Year of Preparation” ahead of next summer’s cathedral dedication.
The proclamation came during a Mass on June 29, where he issued a formal decree in order that “no one should be denied an opportunity to participate in this historic endeavor in a tangible way.”
The dedication of the cathedral will take place on July 17, 2019 and will become the new seat for the diocese’s 1.5 million Catholics.
“After years of planning, prayer and Faith, and due to the hard work, diligence and dedication of many, we find ourselves, by the Providence of God, rapidly approaching the completion of the renovation of Christ Cathedral,” said Bishop Vann.
“I would be most pleased if the faithful were on fire for Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that his Holy Name be always on our lips as we prepare this place for Christ forever,” he continued.
The decree includes a stated desire for “all people of good will” to enter into a “spirit of prayer” for the workers in charge of the renovations, for the project to stay within the budget, for other benefactors to come forward, and for the campus to be welcoming for “an encounter with Christ.”
Bishop Vann’s decree also includes an exhortation to Catholics within the diocese to attend regular Eucharistic adoration and weekday Mass during the course of the next year, as well as to offer special prayers for the souls in purgatory.
Formerly known as Crystal Cathedral, in 2012 the Diocese of Orange purchased the building and its surrounding property for $57.5 million following the bankruptcy of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, a Protestant congregation of the Reformed Church in America.
Completed in 1981, the iconic, all-glass structure is considered by many to be one of the most ambitious and notable architectural undertakings of the late-20th century.
Since purchasing the property, the diocese has embarked on a major overhaul to make it more suitable for Catholic liturgies. The closely watched renovations are budgeted at $72 million.