The Church describes Advent as a season of joyful anticipation. It is a time to joyfully anticipate the celebration of the first arrival of Jesus into the world on Christmas and looks forward to his return in glory at the end of time. Ever since the celebration of the first Mass on what was then the Crystal Cathedral Campus on June 29, 2013, we have anticipated the day when the former Crystal Cathedral would be dedicated as Christ Cathedral. On this 2nd Sunday of Advent we are having a parish wide update regarding the renovation of the building that will eventually be our parish church and the cathedral for the Diocese of Orange. This Sunday of Advent is a time for us to joyfully anticipate our new house.

Over the years, we have renovated the campus so that it continues as a place of beauty and serves the specific needs of the many ministries that are carried out here every day. Christ Cathedral Parish, building on the wonderful foundation of it’s beginning as St. Callistus Parish, is the heart of the campus and all that happens here.

In remodeling a house, we begin with our dreams. We then we see what we can do given the resources and finances that we have. In a similar way, the plans for the cathedral renovation have gone through many iterations. The guiding principles of our design process have been to fashion a cathedral that is beautiful and maintains the architectural integrity of the Philip Johnson building, that meets the specific requirements for Catholic worship, that will serve the larger community and is financially sound. We are confident these goals have been met and are reflected in the plans being presented this weekend at all the Masses.

When building a new church, it is said that a house is being built for the Church. Equally important is to build a Church, a community of faith, for the house. Building a vibrant, faith filled community has been the focus of our parish for over 50 years. We are grateful for what has been and what is now. We joyfully anticipate the completion and dedication of our new cathedral in the future, a house for Christ Cathedral Parish and the Church of Orange.

Together in faith,

Very Rev. Christopher H. Smith, Rector