Like the one-of-a-kind handcrafted items within the store, the Christ Cathedral Shop offers a unique Christmas shopping experience.
The shop is located on the first floor of the Cultural Center building on the grounds of Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove. It is operated by Steve Peters of Catholic Books and Gifts. The Peters family have owned their main store in Fountain Valley for 26 years and expanded last year to open the Christ Cathedral Shop.
“A lot of people who love our regular store make the trip out even if they’re far away because there aren’t a ton of Catholic stores around, but now they are able to come to the Cathedral store because it’s closer for them,” said Steve Peters, manager and owner.
The shop re-opened its doors recently with safety protocols in place and offers a welcoming, clean and safe shopping experience for customers. Currently, the store is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“The cleaning crew has been doing a great job,” said Peters. “After every Mass, the chairs are cleaned and sanitized. The crew also sanitizes the store more than once daily. We also have hand sanitizers for customers and everyone wears masks.”
The shop showcases a good selection of Christmas and Advent season prayer books, nativity sets, Advent wreaths and candles, as well as other non-seasonal items. Shop for Catholic statues, icons, rosaries, jewelry, religious medals, home and kitchen décor and one-of-a-kind handmade items by local artists. The following is a preview of only a few of the shop’s many faith-inspired items:
OUR LADY OF LA VANG STATUE
The radiant statue of Our Lady of La Vang stands 24 inches tall and is available in white and blue. It is made of marble composite and designed in Italy by Vittoria, a family-owned company that specializes in religious marble statuary. The proceeds will go toward a fund that will help with costs associated with the future Our Lady of La Vang Shrine on the Cathedral campus.
Nativity sets are popular items during the Advent season. Standing at 10 inches tall, the singular statue features the Holy Family and the three kings.
ROSARIES BY GOD’S GIFTS
Christine Smith of God’s Gifts is a local artist based in Orange County. She makes custom handmade rosaries using Swarovski crystals and several precious gemstones. Most rosaries will commonly have sterling silver on only some pieces of the rosary, however, Smith’s rosaries have sterling silver on every piece and every link.
Price: Starts at $100
CROSS PENDANTS & NECKLACES BY LISA MARINO
Lisa Marino’s crosses are popular items at the Cathedral Shop. Marino is an artisan and certified gemologist based in Orange County. All of her items are made entirely by her, without a crew. Her jewelry has a distinctive antique look. The crosses are made of gold vermeil and a variety of gemstones on the necklace.
Price: Starts at $79
HAND-CARVED MOTHER OF PEARL PENDANT BY EMILIO AND MARIKA SOTELO
Emilio and Marika are a married couple based in San Francisco. Emilio is a silversmith and designer who carved every piece of the pendant and Mary’s face by hand. The piece is solid sterling and also oxidized to add an antique look.
ICON OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL BY DANIEL CERVANTES
Cervantes is a Diocese of Orange parishioner and iconographer based in Orange County. Recently, St. Michael the Archangel items have become popular at the shop. Many churches have added the prayer of St. Michael at the end of Mass and people want to display St. Michael in their homes. The image of St. Michael is featured on a piece of 8 inch by 12-inch solid wood and is about two inches thick. Iconography is a very symbolic art form where every material and detail used in creating the icon has a specific meaning to Christ.
OLIVE WOOD TABLETOP CROSSES
Standing at ten inches tall, the crosses are made of clippings from olive wood trees from the Holy Land. The region preserves the olive wood trees and people have created beautiful crosses from only the clipped branches of this distinctive tree that is mentioned regularly throughout the Bible.
Price: Starts at $38.95
After marking off your Christmas gift shopping list at the store, guests are welcome to enjoy the other areas of the campus. Although the cathedral is temporarily closed as a result of state COVID-19 orders, the campus, as well as the chapel at the bottom of the bell tower and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel remain open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. On the weekends, Masses are celebrated under the outdoor tent in front of the Cultural Center.
“We have individual prayer at this time and all of our kneelers and seats in the chapel are already social distanced,” said Kymmberly Binnquist, senior property manager for the cathedral. “In both prayer chapels we also have candles available for visitors to light as well. The Bishop loves seeing the lighted candles in the chapel.”