The House of Prayer in the Diocese of Orange is the only structure built specifically as a home for priests. Designed in a simple Southwestern style and surrounded by trees and California native plants, it has provided overnight space for solitary, reflection and one-on-one counseling; a community room for social interaction, including support groups; a Mass Chapel; and a Blessed Sacrament Chapel, for private prayer – all in a quiet, peaceful setting on Santiago Canyon Road, in Orange. 

After 30-plus years, the House had become in need of a significant makeover. Last October, a thorough renovation that had been years in the making was honored with an official blessing by Bishop Kevin Vann, along with Fr. Domenico Di Raimondo, the House of Prayer’s director; other clergy who were instrumental in the project; the participation of the laity from the different Diocesan departments and the various contractors who were also instrumental in this project, and of course the generous donors. 

“There was a lot of deferred maintenance, a lot more than cosmetic fixes,” says Fr. Steve Sallot, former Vicar General and a member of the committee behind the project. “The roof leaked. Things were broken.” 

Along with a new roof and replacement of broken items, renovations to the House of Prayer include, among other efforts: 

  • Freshly painted exterior and interior walls
  • A new A/C system, water heater, showers and toilet in each of the eight rooms
  • Reupholstered furniture and new beds, flooring and artwork in every room
  • Redesigned and refreshed outdoor gardens, including greenery adorning the private courtyard accompanying every room (an original design element)
  • A repaved parking lot
  • An ADA-compliant room, with a wider entrance, a larger shower with a seat and grab bars, and more space to accommodate wheelchairs.

Since walls cannot be painted on faith alone, the renovation was made possible through generous donations. The Orange Catholic Foundation in particular played a special role, by administering and forwarding generous donations. 

Full story at OC Catholic.