Christ Cathedral Concerts
First founded as St. Callistus Parish in 1964, the parish community moved in 2013 to the campus of Christ Cathedral. From an initial 700 families, Christ Cathedral Parish has grown to include more than 4,500 families. We welcome new individuals and families to worship with us.
Then Bishop Kevin Vann led clergy, parishioners and staff in a procession to their new home. There, close to 5,000 St. Callistus parishioners attended the tri-lingual outdoor Mass, the first Eucharist celebration at their new home. The Mass was in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, allowing all to participate. The St. Callistus choir sang; St. Callistus liturgical dancers opened the Mass, and the entrance hymn was “St. Callistus Gentle Shepherd.”
“This is a joyful, historic day,” said Bishop Kevin Vann at the start of Mass. “Es un día de fe y celebración y de peregrinación también [It is a day of faith and celebration, and pilgrimage too].”
Father Juan Navarro of St. Callistus said, “We weren’t looking for a new beginning. Suddenly, we were called,” he said of the move across town. “It’s a way to reflect how we will serve better.”
Father Tuyen Nguyen, pastor of St. Callistus Church and now Vice-Rector of the Cathedral, has served the parish and congregation for ten years. “It was naturally sad when we left the old church, but [as] a people of faith, we are aware of the call to go forward in faith because we have ancestors and people in the Bible who made faithful journeys before us,” Father Nguyen says. “We are answering the call of the Lord to come to a new place.” “This is a gift from God,” he said.
With more than 1.3 million Catholics in Orange County, the Parish hopes to welcome more new members. Still, the transition hasn’t been easy. The Rector and Episcopal Vicar of Christ Cathedral, Father Christopher Smith, describes the transition as more than a simple move to a new building. It is, he says, “a very complex and challenging process.”
“As St. Callistus Parish, the community’s radius of care was largely focused on those either registered or living within the territorial boundaries of the parish,” says Father Smith. “As Christ Cathedral, the parish’s radius of care is greatly broadened because, as the bishop’s church, its celebrations and events regularly include participants from the larger Diocese of Orange and beyond. This new role is a challenge. It is also a profound privilege.”