Hundreds of Vietnamese Catholics visited the campus of Christ Cathedral Saturday, Oct. 21, to participate in a Mass and witness the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, bless the site that will house a shrine for the Lady of La Vang.

A Marian apparition that graced and blessed persecuted Catholics in 1798 in Central Vietnam, the Lady of La Vang is viewed as a symbol of strength and resilience by the local Vietnamese community, said Elysabeth Nguyen, who chairs the committee that oversees this $25 million project.

Orange County is home to about 100,000 Catholics of Vietnamese descent and 15 Vietnamese-speaking parishes.

The shrine will be completed in two phases. The first phase, expected to cost $10 million to be raised by the community, will include the 18-foot statue while the second phase, a $15 million endeavor, will consist of a library, welcome center and activity area and will be a collaborative effort between the community and the diocese.

Construction on the shrine is expected to begin in April 2018. Nguyen hopes the shrine will be open to the public in early 2019 when the Christ Cathedral sanctuary is also expected to be fully renovated.

Full story at OC Register.