Catholic Diocese of Orange Announces Cathedral Name:
Fr. Christopher H. Smith to Serve as Episcopal Vicar
Orange, CA (June 9, 2012) --- The ordination of Catholic priests today at St. Columban Catholic Church in Garden Grove carried additional significance for regional Catholics and other people of faith. As part of an elaborate ordination ritual attended by over 1500, the Most Reverend Tod D. Brown, Roman Catholic Bishop of Orange took the opportunity to acknowledge Vatican approval of the name chosen for the Diocese’s future cathedral and the appointment of Fr. Christopher H. Smith to serve as Episcopal Vicar to Christ Cathedral.
The Diocese of Orange acquired the former Crystal Cathedral campus in 2011. While occupancy and comprehensive use of the property by the Diocese will not be immediate, a gradual transition process has begun. The first significant effort to identify the iconic venue as a Catholic religious center and place of worship begins with the selection of the name, Christ Cathedral.
In his remarks at the conclusion of the Ordination Mass, Bishop Brown noted, “We hold Rev. Schuller and his ministry in the highest esteem. It was important that any change of name for the cathedral itself be respectful of its spiritual legacy while accommodating our needs to clearly define this important facility as a Catholic center of worship.”
The formal process for the naming of a Catholic Church, calls for the proposed name to be submitted to the Congregation of Bishops, the curia in Rome responsible for all matters pertaining to bishops and their churches. Bishop Brown submitted Christ Cathedral as the proposed name and received approval, April 26, 2012.
When considering a name for the future Catholic Cathedral, Bishop Brown’s primary requisite was to ensure a clear Christological reference. “Today, I am honored to participate in the ordination of four new diocesan priests and congratulate them on the fulfillment of their vocation. I am equally pleased to acknowledge a senior member of our clerical staff – Fr. Christopher H. Smith – and to announce his appointment as the first Episcopal Vicar to our new Cathedral, which will be called Christ Cathedral, a clear proclamation of why this Church exists and will be of continuing importance to people of faith across the region.”
The first Catholic liturgy to be celebrated in Christ Cathedral has yet to be scheduled. Bishop Brown also noted, “Catholics throughout the diocese, and all across America, are eagerly anticipating that important day.”
In his new capacity as Episcopal (or Cathedral) Vicar, Fr. Smith will oversee all administrative and policy matters for Christ Cathedral and the adjacent campus. He will supervise a variety of internal departments and be responsible for the liturgical and clerical oversight of the Cathedral campus.
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