Sign Up for Our Newsletter!

Sign-Up to receive updated stories from OC Catholic.

EPISODE#42
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: CONCERN AMERICA

On today’s episode of Cathedral Square, Fr. Christopher Smith welcomes 2 people who are truly “world changers.”

John Straw (Executive Director) and Catharine Quinn (Field Program Coordinator) join us to talk about how CONCERN AMERICA helps to transform need into self-sufficiency.

Since their beginning in 1972, Concern America’s vision has been to build health care, clean water, education, and economic opportunity with communities worldwide

Tune in for some powerful stories and reflections!

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/17/20

EPISODE#33
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: THE CHRIST CATHEDRAL COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Welcome to another episode of Cathedral Square featuring our host, Fr. Christopher Smith.

We welcome two very important guests to the studio today; and, each of them offers a tremendous contribution to the materially poor and marginalized of our community.

Mary Lou Walters is the Director of the Christ Cathedral Community Outreach on the Christ Cathedral campus. Our other guest, Nancy Savage, labors right alongside in assisting with financial matters and many other details (too numerous to count).

You will be inspired by their shining example.

Be sure to listen and share this podcast!

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 5/30/20

TIME ON OUR HANDS

While Orange County Catholic schools remain in a distance-learning format for the remainder of this school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, students, families and staff at various school sites have continued to put serving their communities at the forefront. 

At St. Justin Martyr School students stepped up to make thank you cards for essential workers in the community. Inspired by TK teacher Elva Pelayo, whose husband is a doctor, and Kindergarten teacher Kelsey Aguilera, whose husband is a police officer, TK through eighth graders got to work on their handmade expressions of thanks for those who continue to put their lives on the frontlines. 

Once completed, the cards were delivered to a number of grateful recipients at LAPD Central Division and Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center. The project was so well received by the students and families that Aguilera believes there will be a second round of card making in the school’s near future for grocery clerks and other essential workers. 

“I think it’s really important for [the students] to know all the people that are sacrificing their time and their lives for us,” says Aguilera. “This was our way of donating.” 

Each year, third graders at St. Cecilia School learn about Catholic service and stewardship through a fundraising project and field trip to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC). But with the Laguna Beach facility currently closed to the public, Angela Goodwin and her third-grade class needed to switch gears. 

In lieu of garage sales and lemonade stands that would otherwise be used to raise funds for the center, Goodwin’s class is coordinating alternate fundraising efforts, including online donations, to maintain their commitment to the rescue and rehabilitation services that PMMC provides for local marine mammals. 

And instead of seeing the center’s seals and sea lions in person this year, PMMC is offering a virtual “Stewards of the Sea” field trip for the school’s third graders. Goodwin knows that even in the disappointment of not being able to visit PMMC, finding ways to continue to serve in the midst of crisis is a life lesson well learned for her students. 

“I think it’s important to show that while things might be different right now, and they aren’t going the way we were expecting, we can still do things to really help out our environment and the world around us,” says Goodwin, “even though it might look different than we originally planned.” 

Christ Cathedral Academy Interim Principal, Ashley-Rose Cameron did not need to put out a call-to-action in order to see service come to life in the school’s community. 

Mr. Kwang, the school’s Director of Marketing and Enrollment, served at the Catholic Charities Food Bank in Santa Ana distributing groceries to local families in need. Additionally, CCA families joined school secretary Julia Nguyen in sewing more than 1,000 masks for essential workers in support of Sister Thu Hong’s cause. The school also donated wipes to local homeless shelters, and students created videos and cards of thanks for essential workers. 

Having only served in the interim principal role for a few months, Cameron was touched by the selfless acts of the school community that came without prompting. 

“To see everyone come together on their own during a time that has been difficult for our school, but also globally, has been a beacon of hope and inspiration for all of us,” says Cameron. “Knowing people stepped up on their own for the greater good is just another testament to our family community.”

CALL ME CATHOLIC: GUESTS ARE DAVID AND TRISH NEVAREZ

Team Call Me Catholic is always happy to welcome David and Trish Nevarez into the studio. Today, they shared the great news about their newest online enterprise, Catholicseniors.com – an excellent lifestyle resource for “maturing” Catholics with lots of fun and interesting links, articles and resources for living your faith to the fullest! If you have some questions or comments for David about this new website, you can reach him at info@catholicseniors.com.

Come back soon, David and Trish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 7/7/18

COMMUNION IN COMMUNITY

For many of us, Holy Communion – the Holy Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper, the most central of the seven sacraments – is a deeply personal experience. Offered at every Mass, it marks the moment when we receive Jesus into our hearts and it involves intense, personal and private prayer. When we receive Holy Communion, we’re intimately united with Christ; He literally becomes a part of us.

“What the Second Vatican Council said about Holy Communion is that the celebration of Mass [including this sacrament] is ‘the source and summit’ of the life of faith for a Catholic person,” says Father Christopher Smith, rector and Episcopal Vicar of Christ Cathedral.

How, then, is something so intensely personal also so closely related to sharing, fellowship and community? And how is community essential to something so personal?

The answer is rooted in what it means to be Catholic, both as an individual and a member of a strong faith community.

“When we enter into Holy Communion, we are being united with the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus,” says Katie Dawson, director of parish faith formation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. “However, we should remember that we are also being united with all those who received the Eucharist.”

Holy Communion, says Father Smith, “is really an act of being in communion with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. … So when you stop to think about it, there is Holy Communion, the sacrament, and holy communion, which occurs whenever we gather together in the name of Jesus.”

When we are part of the body of Christ, explains Dawson, it puts us into communion with each other in a unique way. “That should be expressed by loving a relationship within each community. So we should be coming together into communion.”

A faith community differs from a secular group in a number of important ways. With secular associations, notes Father Smith, the group dynamics are the same: relationships are built, roles are established, leaders come to the fore and so on.

“When we gather in the name of Christ, the fellowship in His name actually makes Jesus in our presence,” he says. That is to say, Christ is present where two or more are gathered in His name. The Eucharist is made by Christ through the priest and the consecration whether or not the community is present, although it’s always better to have the community present.

Dawson points out that relationships in the context of communion are given to us, rather than chosen. “So in a secular setting we gravitate to those with common backgrounds, interests and circumstances. We tend to hang out with people who are substantially like ourselves.

“But in the body of Christ,” she adds, “We hang out with all kinds of people. We are intended to care for people who are very different. The average parish community has a lot of economic, ethnic and age diversity in it.”

So the upshot is this: In order to strengthen your Catholic faith as an individual, find a strong community. Christ Cathedral, for example, tries to exemplify what it means to be a strong community of faith rooted in a Eucharistic Communion.

Located in Garden Grove, Christ Cathedral is home to one of the most diverse Catholic communities anywhere, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. Serving more than 1.2 million Catholics, the Diocese is the 10th largest and one of the fastest-growing in the nation.

Christ Cathedral Parish offers Mass in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Mandarin, as well as more than 20 parish ministries that help those in need by connecting them with those with a desire to serve. Some include:

  • Faith Formation – Welcomes new members and provides spiritual formation for each person’s needs
  • Liturgical Service – Oversees the worship life of Christ Cathedral
  • Outreach & Support – Provides help for the poor, marginalized and homeless with meals and a variety of emergency services
  • Bereavement Ministry – Helps those who are grieving over the loss of a loved one.
  • Ministry to the sick and homebound – Brings prayer and Holy Communion to those who can’t come to the Christ Cathedral Campus.
  • The Diocese also oversees a number of groups and organizations that focus on the Gospel and are united in Christ. They include:
  • Christ Cathedral Academy – The Dominican–affiliated elementary school opened in 2013 after transitioning from its 50 years as Saint Callistus Catholic School. It serves children from preschool through 8th grade.
  • Orange Catholic Foundation – The nonprofit OCF raises funds for the Diocese and administers special events for that purpose.
  • New Hope Crisis Center – The center operates a 24/7 telephone hotline, as well as live online counseling.
  • Orange County Catholic Radio – Programming includes original content that airs on Immaculate Heart Radio, AM 930 and AM 100.
  • Augustine Institute – Through a variety of academic and parish programs, the Augustine Institute serves the formation of Catholics for the New Evangelization.
  • Magis Center – The center explores and shares the connection between reason and faith through new discoveries in physics and philosophy.

Regardless of the faith group you choose, Dawson reminds us, “We have a tendency to skip the source of our community [Jesus] and jump ahead to community-building itself. However, when we are truly incorporated in the source, a strong community is a natural result.”