Although the Crystal Cathedral won't officially turn Catholic for several years, the Diocese of Orange has appointed a rector to preside over the bishop's future home church.
Fr. Christopher Smith, who currently serves as vicar for priests in the diocese, will become rector of the planned cathedral July 1. As such, he'll preside over a church with no flock and, for now, no building.
(The after the iconic glass church fell into bankruptcy. The church will eventually be and reconfigured to serve as cathedral for the Diocese of Orange.)
Smith has served in number of roles over the past three decades, including pastor at St. Joseph Church in Santa Ana (where he launched a yearly Palm Sunday "blessing of the streets" march to counter gang violence), vicar for religious education, board member for Concern America and editorial council chairman for the diocese's monthly newsletter.
He also assists with Masses at the Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano.
He holds a Masters in Divinity from St. John’s Seminary and a Masters in Religious Education from Fordham University.
A spokesman for the diocese said Smith's appointment hadn't officially been announced and didn't offer any immediate comment.