Already bursting at the seams, Christ Our Savior Catholic Church hit the breaking point. That is, breaking ground Saturday, June 1, to build new church buildings on the undeveloped campus in Santa Ana, bounded by Alton Avenue, Bear Street and MacArthur Boulevard.

With Bishop Kevin Vann and Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan in attendance, and filmed by Saigon TV, a packed house of 600 congregants came out for an 8 a.m. Mass, followed by the groundbreaking and a reception.

The new facility will be built on a land that had formerly been used to grow lima beans. Officials hope to begin work on the first phase of the project in August with move-in and dedication by November, 2020.

Construction of parish offices and other facilities will follow.

Because of its central location in Orange County and convenient freeway access, the Diocese of Orange purchased the land from the Segerstrom family in 2002 with the intention of making it the Diocese seat with a large cathedral, parish and diocesan offices.

However, after the former Crystal Cathedral property became available and was purchased in 2012 plans changed. Christ Cathedral is scheduled to be dedicated in July.

A 6.7-acre portion of the Christ Our Savior campus was rezoned for residential use and sold to Shea Homes for a development.

The parish is using $15.6 million in proceeds from the sale, plus more than $2 million raised by the congregation, for the new construction.

At a time when Catholic churches in the U.S. are closing and parishes merging, the Diocese of Orange continues to grow. And Christ Our Savior is a poster child for the continued growth, spurred in part by a vibrant and diverse immigrant congregation.

Masses at the parish are celebrated in English, Spanish and Vietnamese languages, as well as American Sign Language for the deaf community. Parish membership has grown to 1,700 registered families and continues to grow.

Full story at Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange website.