Follow Progress of Renovation



March 1, 2017

After months of work, restoration experts have completed the reconditioning of the more than 11,000 panes of glass that the former Crystal Cathedral was named for. The project was important because many of the panes required resurfacing and resealing to protect the interior of what is now Christ Cathedral. Each individual pane was painstakingly removed, cleaned, replaced and sealed.

The project was completed early and came in under budget.

Watch this video on the complex process.


April 30, 2017

In a symbolic moment that marks significant progress in the renovation of Christ Cathedral, the massive doors were opened one last time before being permanently sealed. The reason for the permanent closure is to maintain optimum climate control inside the cathedral. The Hazel Wright Organ, which was restored and is now being stored in an Irvine warehouse, scheduled for reassembly in late 2018, requires a dust-free environment. The closure of the doors will assure that birds, dust and debris will not interfere with the organ and that the sanctuary is further protected against the elements.


September 17, 2017

The interior of Christ Cathedral has once again been transformed in appearance as construction continues. Nearly 60 construction crewmembers are working in the space each day. Here’s what’s going on now.

• Massive scaffolding has been erected on the east, west and south balconies
• Cleaning and painting of the space frame at the east balcony is now underway
• Structural demolition is 95 percent complete
• The worship-level floor strengthening is almost finished
• The undercroft plumbing lines and structural beam work is in process

Following all of this, the uni-struts will be attached to the framing and the quatrefoils installed. Next up will be the installation of the lighting, sound equipment, fire sprinklers and mechanical equipment. The scaffolding will be in place into early next year.


October 29, 2017

Work continues on the undercroft. The public areas of the undercroft will be accessed from the east entry and down the stair from the cathedral. The public zone of the undercroft will feel somewhat austere and of the earth, supporting the cathedral above. Built as part of the first phase, the Bride’s Room and Family Room will be located near the restrooms serving the entire building. Also included will be the major support spaces for the cathedral, including the vesting sacristies, work sacristy, choir practice room and multi-purpose room. Additionally on this level, future phases will include the Chapel of St. Callistus, the Bishop’s Crypts and Columbarium.


November 10, 2017

Pictured is the construction work underway to build the elevator shaft within Christ Cathedral. The Mitsubishi elevator will carry visitors from the undercroft to as high as the choir loft, with access to multiple levels. At its height, the elevator will rise to 26’ 11”.


January 1, 2018

While the work of renovating the interior of Christ Cathedral continues, the creation of important elements such as sacred art is underway offsite.

Pictured is one of the Stations of the Cross for Christ Cathedral that are being designed and created by Pablo Eduardo, a renowned sculptor based in Gloucester, MA. Eduardo’s works are displayed worldwide and include a 15-foot-tall sculpture of St. Ignatius of Loyola that stands at Boston College.


February 1, 2018

Construction continues at Christ Cathedral, as the iconic structure transforms into a welcoming, versatile worship space for Catholics across the Diocese of Orange.

“It’s been a phenomenal project,” said Construction Manager Eric Flynn. “We continue to make outstanding progress in line with our original schedule.” Construction has been underway for 7 months and is scheduled to finish in 2019. The average current work force on site is 90 workers each day.

Watch our latest update with Fr. Christopher Smith.


April 27, 2018

The interior of the Cathedral scaffolding installation is now installed at one hundred percent for all “high work” to proceed. The concrete at choir balcony and predella has been poured. Drywall is ongoing in all undercroft locations.

That’s just some of the progress happening at Christ Cathedral, where work continues to transform the famed house of worship into a home for Catholics across Orange County.

Christ Cathedral’s transformation is about 40 percent complete, said Construction Manager Eric Flynn.

“It’s been in incredible project,” Flynn said.

The Diocese of Orange purchased the 78,000-square-foot cathedral in 2011 and the initial design concept was unveiled in late 2015.

The project is tracking to the budget and construction schedule, with the cathedral’s dedication set for July 17, 2019, Diocese officials said.

About 110 construction crewmembers are on site each day, logging approximately 100,000 work hours since the project began in June 2017. Irvine-based firm Snyder Langston is overseeing the work as general contractor.

In early April, Bishop Kevin Vann visited Italy, where he toured a stone and marble factory in Carrara to review the fabricating of marble for Christ Cathedral. Carrara is a town along the Carrione River in Tuscany, famous for the white and blue-grey marble quarried there.

“This marble is beautiful and rare and will also be behind the Cathedra and Presider chairs,” Bishop Vann said.

The marble will be shipped to the U.S. for installation into the cathedral.

Recent work at Christ Cathedral includes:

• The installation of cold water pipes, 5-6 feet underground so cold water can flow from the Cultural Center to the new air conditioning system inside the cathedral. The site piping is expected to be completed in May.

• Structural steel supports have been installed at the baptistry and Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

• Scaffolding has been installed within the cathedral’s interior. The scaffolding is required to install quatrefoil panels and fire sprinklers. It also is necessary for the painting of trusses, the cleaning of interior glass and interior lighting. The quatrefoil panels will help with shade by reducing glare, sunlight and assisting with the acoustical. The installation of panels has begun on the cathedral’s west side.

• The concrete floor of the choir balcony has been poured. The balcony sits above the altar on the cathedral’s east side.

• Drywall installation and wall framing in the undercroft is nearly complete, with rooms starting to take shape. Electrical, mechanical and plumbing work continues. The undercroft includes worship spaces, offices, a choir practice room, restrooms, bride and groom areas, equipment and storage space.

Cathedral construction workers log 100,000 hours of work on renovation

May 21, 2018

Construction workers on the Christ Cathedral renovation project have logged 100,000 hours of work without a single accident. They were celebrated with a catered luncheon and a blessing from Bishop Kevin Vann.

Bishop Kevin Vann selects stone and marble for Christ Cathedral

Bishop Kevin Vann shares his experiences as he travels to the quarries and fabricators in Italy where he selected the marble and stone for the interior of Christ Cathedral.

Construction Update: August 2017 / Installation of stone and tile is underway

September 22, 2018

Take a look inside Christ Cathedral as the renovation continues to convert the iconic symbol of Christianity into a Catholic place of worship. The quatrefoil installation is almost complete, the stone and tile work is in progress and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is taking shape. The dedication of the cathedral will take place on July 17, 2019.

Construction Update: Time-lapse video taken July 2017 to July 2018

September 23, 2018

Watch the progress of the renovation of Christ Cathedral through this time-lapse video. See the demolition, the construction of the scaffolding, the installation of the quatrefoils and more.


Installation of the Crux Gemmata

December 6, 2018

A closer look at the sacred art piece – the Crux Gemmata – that is installed over the altar at Christ Cathedral.


Altar and Ambo are being placed

December 18, 2018


Pews arrive and are installed

March 28, 2019


A closer look at the artwork on the festal doors of Christ Cathedral

April 6, 2019

Artist and sculptor Pablo Eduardo shares his experience creating the bronze artwork that appears on the Christ Cathedral festal doors.

The Solemn Evening of Prayer and Vigil with the Relics

July 23, 2019

The evening before the dedication of Christ Cathedral (July 17, 2019), a Solemn Evening of Prayer and Vigil with the Relics took place. The 10 first-class relics of saints and martyrs were venerated and prayed over by more than 1,000 people representing diverse cultures. Lesa Truxaw, director of the Diocese of Orange Office for Worship, explains the significance of the evening.