The following comes from a Dec. 3 story in the Orange County Register.
A donor who asked not to be named has donated $20 million to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange to help fund its multimillion-dollar renovation and transformation of the 34-acre campus that was once home to Robert A. Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral.
The donation, which will be paid off within seven years, is the largest gift the diocese has received outside of land donations, said spokesman Ryan Lilyengren.
“I am blessed to offer my faithful and financial support to the diocese’s efforts to restore and renovate the campus and make its vision for the Christ Cathedral a reality,” the private donor, an Orange County resident, said in a statement released by the diocese. “I hope this gift will inspire other donors in our community to give as well.”
Church officials had approached the donor, said Tim Busch, the co-chairman of the capital campaign committee. He and the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, the bishop of Orange County, spent a year talking to the donor about giving the money.
The $20 million is the first donation toward the second phase’s $60 million goal; this phase targets large donations and will be spent on campus renovations. During phase one, meant for various diocese projects including the campus renovations, the diocese received more than $85 million from about 24,000 parishioners.
“This is one of the most important things going on in the Catholic world and America,” Busch said of the campus improvements. “And we think this is another milestone for us. We see the path to completing the funding in the next 12 to 18 months.”
The $20 million does not have any specific uses attached to it, but it must be used for the renovation of the campus, which, at more than 50 years old, is showing its age and needs to be altered to adhere more closely to Catholic tradition.
The campus renovation project includes, among other things, the recently completed upgrade to the 13-story Tower of Hope, and a years-long overhaul of the 78,000-square-foot glass cathedral now called Christ Cathedral. The project will cost as much as $113 million.
Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2015….
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