The following comes from a July 22 OC Catholic article by Bishop Vann:
Many of us, when we have had the chance to visit a great church like the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., St. Peter’s in Rome and other cathedrals and houses of worship, also have a chance to visit smaller chapels in these great places of prayer, worship and music.
What a blessing we now have on the Christ Cathedral campus. Right before our eyes is living history as chapels of prayer and worship, thanks to the generosity and goodness of so many, now come to life right before our eyes. All of these chapels on the campus are surely signs of the “living House of God” as each is blessed and dedicated.
Just this past Sunday I blessed and dedicated the “Chapel of Unity and Reconciliation” on the third floor of the Cultural Center in honor of the Sisters of St. Joseph. There is a magnificent mural by the great local artist John Swanson that depicts Jesus washing the feet of the 12 Apostles. Then there is the “Chapel in the Sky” in the Tower of Hope, which has a magnificent view of Orange County. That was also recently blessed. Then there is the large gallery, often used for prayer and funerals by the parish.
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is a visible testimony of the necessity of “praying always” when we see folks there in prayer with their intentions before the Blessed Sacrament. There will soon be an oratory for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament on the fourth floor of the Christ Cathedral Academy building, as a place for the staff of the Pastoral Center to pray.
There is the beautiful colored marble “Crean Chapel” in the base of the carillon.
Then there is the original Garden Grove Community Church, now known as the Arboretum, which was Dr. Robert Schuller’s original church. This now is the home for the worshipping community of the parish of Christ Cathedral, where more than 10,000 people come to celebrate Mass and pray each weekend. And most incredibly, this is all taking place before the actual Cathedral building is complete!
All of these chapels not only invite us to pray and reflect, but to show how the living Body of Christ is growing daily on the Christ Cathedral campus. I would invite everyone who reads these words to come and visit our campus. The Lord is calling you to find a “home” and blessing there.
The following comes from an August 2 OC Catholic article by Nicole Gregory:
The Chapel of Unity and Reconciliation at the Cultural Center on the Christ Cathedral campus honors the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, who have lived and worked in Orange County since 1922, educating children, offering job skills training, teaching the deaf, advocating for social justice, and healing the sick. The chapel project was funded by a contribution from St. Joseph Health, which the sisters founded in 1920.
The story of the order actually begins centuries ago. “The Sisters were started in 1650 by a Jesuit named Jean Pierre Medaille, who gathered a group of women in the small town of Le Puy, France,” explains Sister Katherine “Kit” Gray, CSJ, Director of Mission Integration and Ongoing Formation at Christ Cathedral.
The contemporary social climate was filled with divisions and feuds all around, and Father Medaille urged the sisters to work for reconciliation—and this has been the No. 1 charism for the order ever since.
“That’s the driver for us,” says Sister Kit. “We can do almost anything for that mission of bringing people together and bringing them to God.”
Creating the chapel in a way that reflects the mission of the sisters took two years, and naturally includes a statue of Saint Joseph. “As Sisters of St. Joseph, we wanted a place where all could come together as a community, seeing and praying with each other,” says Sister Mary Therese Sweeney, CSJ, a board member of St. Joseph Health who was part of the planning committee. “We value simplicity. Our depiction of Joseph is of a simple working man who openheartedly welcomes all.”
Careful consideration was given to the artwork chosen for the chapel. “At the 1650 founding of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the language of ‘deserving poor’ was coming into use to separate the more sympathetic or attractive poor from those who could be excluded with a clearer conscience,” explains Sister Mary Therese. “For the sisters, there were only neighbors without distinction. John August Swanson’s ‘Washing of the Feet’ mural perfectly depicted the message of reconciliation that we wanted to emphasize.”