GARDEN GROVE – For almost fifty years, the Crystal Cathedral famously housed Reverend Robert H. Schuller’s weekly “Hour of Power” sermons. But this week, the Crystal Cathedral in California re-opened its doors as Christ Cathedral—a Roman Catholic church.
For over thirty years, the building housed Crystal Cathedral Ministries, a congregation of the Reformed Church in America. But Crystal Cathedral ministries filed for bankruptcy in 2010.
The ministry sold the enormous glass building to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in 2012 for $57.5 million. The Diocese announced soon after that they planned to renovate the building and use it as the new diocesan cathedral.
The renovations took seven years and $77 million to complete.
Renovations included the instillation of a 1,000 pound crucifix, an Italian marble and stone altar, and a large baptismal pool. The relics of Saint Pope John Paul II and Saint Junipero Serra can be found in the new altar.
When the Crystal Cathedral opened in 1981, it was called the “largest glass building in the world.” The church also houses the Hazel Write Memorial organ, one of the largest musical instruments in the world.
Starting this weekend, the Mass will be celebrated multiple times a weekend in four different languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.
“The cathedral stands as a physical sign of unity of the 62 parishes in the Diocese of Orange,” Father Christopher Smith explained in an interview. “We’re kind of the center of town for Orange County Catholics and others.”
The new Christ Cathedral campus includes seven buildings and thirty-four acres. An EWTN studio is housed in one of the buildings.