When you think of cathedrals you think stained glass windows, pointed arches and ornate decorations. But how about robo-cams, levitating video screens and electronic missalettes? Step into Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral in San Bernardino and soon you’ll see it all.

“We have smartphones, smart homes and slowly we’re building a smart church,” says Father Duong Nguyen, SVD, Pastor of Holy Rosary. “We have to upgrade our church with the times.”

During the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fr. Duong has spearheaded a major interior renovation of the 94-year-old church. So far, about $250,000 worth of repairs have been made to the the aging Cathedral in both form and function. High dollar items include state of the art sound and live streaming systems, new lights, carpeting and upholstery. Additionally, stained glass windows now gleam after being refreshed, and Bishop Alberto Rojas’ motto hangs near the altar to reflect the presence of a new Ordinary Bishop. The mottos of prior bishops grace the church’s entryway….

“The Cathedral is the mother of all churches,” explains Fr. Duong. “One of the aspects of this is our evangelization. We want to have an impact on society, an impact on the lives of people…With all this technology that we have here, we can go beyond the walls of the church to share the good news.”

What makes that possible is the advanced sound system and live stream cameras. Tired wires and speakers were upgraded to Bose equipment designed for churches and their specific sound needs. That includes an induction loop system which allows parishioners with hearing aids to connect directly to the sound system. At the entrance, you’ll see two mounted cameras for live stream events. Newly installed sensors underneath the floor trigger those cameras to follow the priest, lector or cantor wherever they go. No camera operators are necessary. The combined cost of the systems was about $140,000, with the Cathedral and the Diocese, through a grant from Caritas Telecommunications, splitting the tab….

The above comes from a June 13 story in the Inland Catholic Byte.