Friday, December 23, 2011
KYRSTAL KATHEDRAL IN KALIFORNIA IS A MIRACLE OF KATHOLICISM AND AN EKKLESIAL KOMMUNITY OF KRYSTAL AND LIGHT
ADVERTISEMENT FOR MIDNIGHT MASS AT THE KRYSTAL KATHEDRAL (KLICK TWICE ON VIDEO FOR FULL SCREEN):
THIS WILL BE A COMMERCIAL DURING THE MIDNIGHT MASS FROM THE KRYSTAL CATHEDRAL:
But he quickly saw the bankruptcy as a chance to fulfill his dream in a different way and began a bidding war for the church property with Chapman University.
In the final 24 hours, Brown said that even he thought "it was all over." Then Schuller, who had won over millions of believers through his credo of "possibility thinking," told the court he could not abide the thought that Chapman might someday use the cathedral for nonreligious purposes. The deal was struck.
Diocesan officials were elated, with one attorney calling it a miracle. As Brown put it, "ecumenism has got a shot in the arm."
The acquisition unquestionably raises the profile of the nation's 10th-largest Roman Catholic diocese and could help it emerge from the shadow of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
"It was a tactical decision," said Father Thomas Rausch, a professor of Catholic theology at Loyola Marymount University. "Here's this beautiful church with a rich history in Orange County and an identity that's already established. It's a bargain for the local church."
It was a bittersweet victory, though, because Brown knew it marked the end of an era for Schuller's world-famous Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which has three years to vacate under terms of the deal, whereupon the Catholic diocese will use the campus.
Sheila Schuller Coleman, the founder's daughter, is senior pastor and continues to preach "possibility thinking," though the philosophy has not brought the $50 million in donations that could have staved off a sale.
"There's plenty of time for God to perform a miracle," she told congregants on a recent Sunday. At the front of the church, a table was set up with sign-up sheets for a "miracle" prayer drive.
Congregant Jillian Carter of Torrance said she still holds out hope.
"I feel like it's not over until it's over. Anything can happen," she said. "This place has its trademark. Nobody can take that."
That trademark is exactly what appealed to the diocese.
When Brown succeeded Bishop Norman McFarland in 1998, there were 600,000 Catholics in Orange County. There are now 1.2 million. That growth can be seen on almost any Sunday. For many parishes, the norm is standing-room-only turnout for Mass; at others, the Sunday crowds spill out the doors. Mass is said in 10 languages, including Vietnamese, Polish, Mandarin, Korean, Indonesian and Spanish.
During Brown's tenure, he dedicated nine churches, bringing the diocese total to 57. He also appointed Latinos and women to key positions and gave a new parish a Vietnamese name, Our Lady of La Vang, a first for a Catholic church in Southern California.
But he never lost sight of building a cathedral, first announcing plans in 2001.