Monday, September 23, 2013

Changing faiths at the Crystal Cathedral

The crown jewel of Orange County, California is now Catholic!

"Catholic on the inside, but kind of Protestant on the outside," said Duncan Stroik, professor of architecture at Notre Dame. Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.

The County's community of 1.2 million Catholics deserved a place of worship that would match its impressive size.
"I want people to come in and be overwhelmed by the sense of God and the sense of beauty," said Rob Neal, the Orange County property developer.

The change to Catholicism, although intimidating, requires much faith.
"The worship itself is what will give it a Catholic identity," said Brother William Woeger.

The diocese bought the Crystal Cathedral campus for $57.5 million and launched a project to refurbish the complex for $53 million.

'The first Mass is said to be held in 2015,' Woeger predicts.

Towering like the Emerald City, the cathedral formerly known as Crystal sits at what  might be Orange County's nucleus, a trinity of confluencing freeways, the Angels and Ducks stadium and a glimpse of a sacred place of a different kind - Disneyland.

From that gleaming sanctuary, evangelist Robert Schuller delivered sermons that were beamed to television sets around the world. His ministry became synonymous with the megachurch, designed so the light and the breeze could stream through, a grand replica of his humble beginnings preaching on the roof of an Orange drive-in's snack shop.

The Crystal Cathedral was to Schuller what Graceland was to Elvis. Now it has been bought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which has long coveted having a cathedral that sat at the centre of its vast footprint of 1.2 million Catholics.

For full story, see the Los Angeles Times website.

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