I was on a business trip this week in southern California, and the hotel I was staying in was in Anaheim. On my way to the company I was visiting, one mile down from the hotel I drove by Crystal Cathedral. OMG, I said to myself, "I know that place, and the Catholic Church just bought it last year."
So I was thinking it was already under Catholic supervision, and I had to visit it. Perhaps they had a gift shop, or maybe an evening mass.
So after work I drove over. I walked in and was very politely greeted by a several women who were there to welcome guests. I had a nice conversation with one woman in particular. But much to my surprise, it had not been transitioned over to "the Catholics" as she called us...lol. She was originally a Mennonite but had settled at that Church since there were so few Mennonites in Southern California. They still had to put in a crucifix ("you know, the body on the cross" as she put it) and the kneelers and all these other banners "that Catholics have." I hope my characterization doesn't portray her as coming across as rude, because she wasn't at all. She was very kind and charitable in her reference to Catholics; she just had limited knowledge of us. She even mentioned an appeal for one church and Christian unity. I never got her name, but God bless her and keep her and shine His face upon her. She really was sweet. The Cathedral will be handed over to the dioceses on June 30th. So next time I get down there, if there is a next time, I will have to stop in and perhaps go to a mass.
The Cathedral was beautiful, both the outside and the inside, but especially the bell tower. I did not have a camera unfortunately, but here are some pictures I pulled off the Internet. The grounds are also very lovely and they had some beautiful statues. Who says Protestants don't do statues? They even had a statue of Bishop Fulton Sheen as one of four great televangelists of the 20th century.
It's certainly not your traditional church, but the angles and the light and the high ceiling really lifted you up toward the heavens. It was impressive, and I don't think the pictures do it justice. The organ is supposed to be the third or fourth largest in the world. Someone was playing it when I walked in. I wonder what other modifications "the Catholics" will make, such as the stations of the cross, candle shrines, or stain glass. By the way, when it does become Catholic it will be called Christ Cathedral.
And here are a three of the statues on the grounds (Moses with the Ten Commandments, The Good Shepherd, and The Holy Family).