Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tradition, New and Improved!

The Diocese of Orange in California, U.S.A. recently received a $20 million donation from an anonymous parishioner. It will be used to help fund the planned multimillion-dollar renovation of the 34-acre campus of Christ Cathedral, a building formerly known as the Crystal Cathedral, which was recently acquired by the diocese. While reading about the extraordinary donation, I came across the following paragraph in an article by Chris Haire, a staff writer for the Orange Country Register:
The $20 million does not have any specific uses attached to it, but it must be used for the renovation of the campus, which, at more than 50 years old, is showing its age and needs to be altered to adhere more closely to Catholic tradition.
That last bit caught my attention. I was already vaguely familiar with the architectural qualities of the building from the stories published back when the property was first acquired. How, I wondered to myself, did architects plan on altering what has been described by critics as a compound composed of "cement cubes, glass boxes, crazy shapes and confused spaces" so as to make it "adhere more closely to Catholic tradition"? Short of razing it to the ground, that is? My curiosity piqued, I went in search of the renovation plans.

Here are some highlights:

Well, this just screams "Catholic tradition," doesn't it? I especially appreciate the Stations of the Cross panels. Can you say 8th century diptych?

Rumor has it that the team of Eucharistic Ministers will be equipped with a fleet of white and gold Segways to collect donations and distribute Holy Communion. Just like in the Middle Ages.

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