THEN AND NOW: A LOOK-BACK AT OUR WORLD AS THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE COMES OF AGE – CELEBRATING A REMARKABLE 40-YEAR LEGACY – AND THE PROMISE OF MORE TO COME

Virtual Reality Cathedral Tour will Highlight the Anniversary

Garden Grove, calif., (Sep. 1, 2016) The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is ranked twelfth among all North American Catholic Communities and serves the spiritual and social needs of over 1.3 million registered Catholics; while extending charitable and other services to the general population. With 62 parishes and centers, 41 schools and other organizational facilities the Diocese of Orange may also be the nation’s most economically, culturally and geographically diverse. This was not always the case. To illustrate – consider the United States and the world-at-large on the eve of the decision to create the Diocese of Orange from its parent, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1976.

1976 Conditions and events:

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average – 1000
  • Interest Rates – 6.25%
  • Average Cost of a New Home – $43,400
  • Average Income per Year – $16,000
  • Cost of one Gallon of Gas – 59 cents
  • First Class Stamp – 13 cents
  • The United States Celebrates its Bi-Centennial
  • President Gerald Ford is succeeded by President Jimmy Carter
  • Israeli commandos free 103 hostages at Entebbe airport, Kenya
  • The Concorde makes it first Commercial Flight
  • In World Series play The Reds beat the Yankees
  • Pittsburgh tops Dallas at the Superbowl
  • A high-tech Polaroid Camera costs $28.00
  • “Rocky” – “Taxi Driver” – “All the President’s Men” top the box office
  • Eccentric billionaire / inventor Howard Hughes dies at 70, after 20 years in seclusion
  • The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada is completed and becomes the tallest free standing structure
  • Elfin Gymnast, Nadia Comaneci delivers seven perfect performances at Montreal Olympics
  • And…a start-up tech company established by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak seeks to create something called the ‘personal computer’…they name the company, APPLE.

Such were the conditions when Pope Paul VI and other Church leaders made the decision to establish a new American diocese to serve the growing needs of what has become one of California’s most important regions. Over the succeeding decades the world, nation and Orange County itself have experienced unimagined change.

With the 40th anniversary celebration looking back is less important than looking forward. Here, a new cathedral campus heralds the future and to demonstrate that future a remarkable opportunity will be presented to those attending the Sept. 18 anniversary mass and celebration programs.

“Many in the Diocese – and most of those who will benefit from our continued growth – had not been born when Pope Paul VI appointed the Most Rev. William Johnson, our first Bishop. That decision was made well in advance of the technological revolution that we take for granted today. By comparison, the Diocese of Orange will invite all attending the anniversary celebration to tour Christ Cathedral in VIRTUAL REALITY,” said Ryan Lilyengren, Director of Communications, Diocese of Orange.

Using complex software and high-tech Virtual Reality equipment MEDIA and the PUBLIC will be invited to tour the remarkable new interior designs while seated in the cathedral space.

“We may be the first Catholic Diocese to introduce a new cathedral by inviting congregants and media into a Virtual Reality experience. The fully immersive program will be a breakthrough for Church communications and further evidence of how the Diocese cherishes its past but clearly focused on the future,” he added.

The VR ‘tour’ will also be shared with all attending the anniversary program – presented in a 3D format that will be mobile phone enabled and should permit thousands of regional Catholics their first personal experience with their future Cathedral – almost two years before final completion.

What should be noted when comparing history to present times should be obvious: Many of the people, places and things that were important four decades ago are no longer relevant. Alternatively, the once marginal Diocese of Orange is today a critical part of the Roman Catholic American Church. It’s Bishop, Kevin Vann – the principal architect of contemporary diocesan growth and a dynamic leader in touch with both history and the promise of tomorrow is well-suited to the task of bringing the diocese further forward at every level.

“I am a pastor first and a Bishop by appointment. Any growth we have enjoyed over these first 40 years has been the result of work by others. I am deeply grateful to the laity and parish-based organizations that enhance the work of the clergy at every level. It is they who will carry the Diocese into the future – not technology or expanded services or new buildings. A diocese is people. This anniversary reflects their commitment to our faith and has already outlasted four-decades of challenge and change. I’m confident they will continue that success,” said the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange.

Event Program Schedule

  • 5K Run/Walk & 1 Mile Fun Run: 7:30AM
  • 40th Anniversary Mass: 9:30-11AM
  • Carillon Concert: 9 – 9:30AM
  • VR Cathedral Tour: 11:30AM – 3PM
  • Family Fun Zone with Real Snow Sledding Area: 11:00AM‑4PM
  • Live Music on the Plaza Stage: 12PM‑3PM
    • Performers: Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Phil Wickham, Andy Mineo, and Jordan Feliz
  • Speakers Series in the Freed Theater: 12PM‑3PM
  • Music Festival: 3-9:30PM
    • Doors Open at 3PM – Performances start at 4PM and conclude by 9:30PM
  • Photo Exhibit All Day in Cultural Center
  • Family friendly games, rides, etc.: 11AM-4PM
  • Food vendors and beer garden: 11:30AM-9:30PM

Pastoral Center: Communications Department

13280 Chapman Ave.

Garden Grove, CA 92840

office: 714-282-3075

fax: 714-282-3029