New foundation formed for Christ Cathedral undercroft chapel, Our Lady of La Vang Shrine
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (Oct. 18, 2022) — With the blessing of Bishop Kevin Vann, a new independently run nonprofit in the Diocese of Orange has been formed that will help with project management and fundraising for the Christ Cathedral campus.
The OLLV Foundation has been tasked with completing the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine and the creation of the St. Callistus Chapel, to be located in the cathedral undercroft.
The OLLV Foundation takes its name from the success of the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine, a testament to the 1798 Vietnamese Marian apparition. In its first year, the shrine has quickly become a major site of Catholic worship and reverence for the Christ Cathedral parish and the region at large. Diocesan priests and countless volunteers who helped fundraise more than $17 million for the shrine are looking to replicate that success to complete the shrine's second phase and create the St. Callistus Chapel.
Heading the OLLV Foundation is its new chief executive and board chairwoman, Dr. Elysabeth Nguyen, a Christ Cathedral parishioner, longtime Diocese committee member and volunteer. She managed the fundraising and the architectural strategies for the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine since its inception, a project that culminated on July 17, 2021, with 8,000 people attending its Solemn Blessing Day.
A Silicon Valley veteran who's well-connected in the Vietnamese-American community, Nguyen will provide leadership that helps steward the Christ Cathedral campus into a new era.
“I am humbled by the appointment to lead the OLLV Foundation and the ability to continue to serve the greater church," Nguyen said. “I came to Orange County from the Bay Area with the intention only to be closer to my family, and now I'm proud to be part of the extended family of Christ Cathedral and the Diocese of Orange."
Also serving on the OLLV Foundation board are:
• The Rev. Tuyen Nguyen, founding board member and pastor, Blessed Sacrament parish
• The Rev. Quang Chu, founding board member and pastor, St. Mary's by the Sea parish
• The Rev. Christopher Pham, founding board member and parochial vicar, Blessed Sacrament parish
• The Very Rev. Angelos Sebastian, pastor, St. Kilian, and vicar general and moderator of the curia, Diocese of Orange
• Steve Pellegrini, chief finance and administrative officer, Diocese of Orange
The second phase of the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine focuses on the completion of its east side, which will feature Marian gardens that delineate the life of Mary with interpretations of her life events, prayer areas and walking tours. A water feature in front of the shrine's martyr wall will also be added, as will a digital library of Our Lady of La Vang information. Donor name engravings will also continue.
The St. Callistus Chapel will have space for about 250 people and be designed to host small weddings and baptisms. The chapel will also contain a crypt and burial spaces for generations of bishops.
The chapel is being co-designed in a modern Byzantine style by the architectural firm Johnson Fain and the Diocese's Sacred Arts Committee.
The OLLV Foundation will present sponsorship opportunities for St. Callistus during a campaign that will grow in the coming months. The chapel is named after St. Callistus Catholic Church in Garden Grove. The parish closed and its congregation moved to the Christ Cathedral campus in 2013 as part of the Crystal Cathedral sale to the Diocese of Orange.
The OLLV Foundation will be based in the Pastoral Center. It will complement the work of The Orange Catholic Foundation, which fundraises for Catholic schools, priest retirement funds and the Hazel Wright Organ.
* About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange
With 1.3 million Catholics, 57 parishes, five Catholic centers and 35 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest and most diverse faith communities in the United States. The Diocese empowers Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools welcoming all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Bishop of Orange, was dedicated in July 2019.