The OCeeker: Holy Family Cathedral and the Finger-Lickin' Liturgy

holyfamily.jpg
Now that's how a church service ought to be done. Shuffle the people in, grace 'em over with some rote righteousness, and shuffle 'em out.

If you've got 15 minutes, Holy Family Cathedral in Orange has a heapin' helpin' of forgiveness. The OCeeker took a smoke break on Friday afternoon and headed over to the church, located next to Yen Ching Restaurant and across the street from Hart Park, where Chapman University plays its home baseball games, and where Maria Magdalenes give blowjobs.


According to church lore (Gustavo can fact-check the history, the bumpkinly OCeeker just trusts whatever the Catholic Church says), on July 28, 1769, a Spanish expeditionary force, under the leadership of Don Gaspar Portola, cut diagonally across our fair county, likely crossing the Santa Ana River north of what is now Chapman Avenue. They believe a Mass took place before the march resumed, and that it was first Mass for what is now Holy Family Cathedral.
 
Father Francis Burelback was appointed the first pastor in October 1921, and a property at the corner of East Chapman Avenue and Shaffer Street became the site of the first Holy Family Church, with the first Mass held in 1922 on Palm Sunday. Its present building at La Veta Avenue and South Glassell Street was completed in April 1958.

A religious quickie

But whatever. Let us, ye heathen, get down to what was the equivalent of a religious quickie at Holy Family Cathedral. They have banners that read "proud to be Catholic in Orange County," and a fine sanctuary with an A-frame, wooden ceiling and stained glass throughout. About 100 believers peppered the wooden pews in the long and spacious hall.

Reverend Timothy Nguyen, sporting a vicar-esque white robe, was in mid-Mass form as the OCeeker arrived, vainly scanning the pew for babes, and took his seat near the front-left of the sanctuary, looking up at Jesus, who hung on a cross stuck to a wall of red bricks.

"Many times in life we think that we may find joy in something else," Nguyen said. "But things will get outdated. Things will get old. People will get old and our tastes will be  changed. And it's very important for us to be able to seek fullness of joy in the presence of God."

After wrapping up his homily, Nguyen quickly moved to an altar at the middle of the stage, where he prepared the Eucharist and read Scripture that told of the Last Supper. The congregation of whites, Mexis and Asians--mostly middle-aged and up--dutifully listened, readying themselves for the little pious exercises that mark a Mass. 

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We stood to our feet (a wheelchair-bound man stood in his heart) as a white man read prayers for pregnant women and new mothers, the sick, and that Notre Dame would soon again be able to recruit inner-city football players. Kidding. One of the neat things about Mass, besides not needing a Bible, is that the professional Christians up front do all the work for you. We sin. They pray. Amen. All we had to do was utter "Lord, hear our prayer," and e'erthing was okey dokey. 

It all gets a little blurry, but the OCeeker recalls taking a knee a la Joe Montana in the huddle, as Nguyen continued fixing holy things up front, and we prayed that our sacrifice would be acceptable to God. We stood. We knelt. We prayed. Nguyen presented us with the consecrated elements, and declared "the mystery of faith." After more blessings and prayers, Nguyen lifted up the paten--a plate used to hold the Eucharist bread--and the OCeeker joined the saints for the Lord's Prayer, leaving out the part about not getting led into temptation.

Before we hit the altar for our sanctified snack, we greeted one another with the sign of peace, more less a "howdy, neighbor" that is kinda important, as Jesus told his disciples that before they present their gifts at the altar, they should first reconcile with their brethren. All the OCeeker got was one old lady who mumbled a rather limp "peace" at him; he threw an F-Troop gang sign her way. 

Finger-lickin' good
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Not this F-Troop, the Other One

After some assistants up front got their communion on, the pews proceeded to empty toward the altar. 

Now, when it comes to lady parts and whatnot, the OCeeker is a foot man. Nothing like the taste of toe to spice up sexytime. But ye know something heathen? A lady digit is just as delicious. So when the OCeeker had the opportunity to take his wafer from ol' Nguyen, he made a quick left and headed for the older gal awaiting to deliver.

"This is the body of Christ," she said.

The OCeeker opened wide, and she placed that puppy right smack on his candy tongue, as he curled his bottom (and full, thank you) lip and sucked some sweat off her fine little finger. Yums.

Over to the blood the OCeeker went. Another gal held the cup, which was low on the liquid gold, and the OCeeker was faced with a dilemma: take a l'il sip and leave the rest for the remaining saints behind him, or make merry and down that bad body just to see what they all would do with an empty cup. Guess what ol' cowboy did? Let's just say that cup didn't runneth over. That's what happens when you make a man sip from the same cup as a hundred other believers.

With bellies full o'Jesus, we hit hit the pews again. Nguyen prayed, and a big group of us headed for the parking lot. 

The OCeeker gave the Mass three out of five crucifixes. Fast-tracked forgiveness is fine and all, but dang it if it didn't feel more dutiful than devotional. 

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Alt-country angel
The OCeeker fired up his car, and some Hayes Carll: "she left me for Jesus and that just ain't fair/she says that he's perfect, how could I compare?/she says I should find him and I'll know peace at last/if I ever find Jesus, I'm kickin' his ass."

Holy Family Cathedral meets about 3,000 times a week at 566 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 639-2900; www.hfcathedral.org

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25 comments
JoshDulaney
JoshDulaney

I'm disappointed I haven't gotten 'godless' or 'liberal' yet.

Here's how to write a real letter to the editor:

Dear pricks,

I have been a loyal reader of _____ for many years. I use it to line my birdcage (always a good one!). I used to be able to put up with the left-leaning bias, but in recent times, the flat-out liberal propaganda that poses for "news" (always put "news" in quotation marks to show how scarcasticy you are) has got me fed up! 

But the last straw was _____'s hateful column on _____(whatever sacred cow you have).  I could barely read his fourth-grade level writing (a standard go-to) to make it through this waste of ink. (If you find a typo, this is a great spot to make fun of it by asking the editors if they've ever heard of spell check.) I've read better columns in my kid's high school paper. Is this what qualifies for "news" these days? And why doesn't the paper ever report on the good things in our community? Oh well, whatever sells, right? (Yahtzee!)

Anyway, I get better news on the Internet, and it's free. I only kept getting your godless, slanted newspaper for the Sunday comics, which are funnier than _____'s sophomoric humor. But no more.

Sincerely,

A former reader

Rjjb7
Rjjb7

Slow news day , huh.  Do you go to journalism school to learn how to write this?  Hateful and a waste of time, words and bandwidth.  I was married about twelve years ago in this Cathedral.  Headline caught my eye.  I'll never waste my time with the OC Weekly again.  In fact, couldn't care less if the paper expired in this new world of the Internet.  There's certainly nothing of quality worth seeing here.  1 out of 5 score for hope for humanity.  Hope this helps your journalism career, jerk-off.  

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

"All the OCeeker got was one old lady who mumbled a rather limp "peace" at him"

Ya know, I'm a little surprised by this, but maybe it's the neighborhood.  The catholic folks are usually very good about offering a "piece be with you" to everyone, front-sides-back. 

Cog
Cog

Whywould you allow this hateful article to be on this site? It is clearthat there is an all out attack against religion and the CatholicChurch in particular. Why not also praise the holocaust as just aparty. That would be in keeping with this type of reporting. Thisarticle is bigotry and a same on yahoo. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

You forgot something, you Godless, liberal freakazoid. if the sacred cow involves the writer's personal religion, you have to talk about praying for the journalist's soul. My favorite conversation ever on the subject went something like this:

Woman: "You're a terrible person. I'm going to light a candle and pray for your soul."Me: "Sounds good. I'm going to donate in your name to the American Atheists organization."Woman: "I am a God-fearing woman! I don't want to be associated with that."Me: "Huh. Imagine having something you don't want forced on you."

It's no surprise that religious busybodies are typically the people who think God is a divine busybody who micromanages everyone's life.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

I've just concluded that Catholics and Mormons are the biggest prima donnas in religion. Even Xenu-bots and Chuckie's crew have more fun!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Hey, idiot: Josh does a weekly church review column, so it's not a slow news day—it's his beat. And this was HARDLY negative--you should've seen what he wrote about the Mormons...

mitch youn
mitch youn

Indeed -- 'OCSeeker' is probably putting out a hostile vibe.

Seriously guys, anti-Catholicism is not exactly 'cutting edge'. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

You've never read any of the Weekly's coverage of the Desperate House-Priests of Orange County, have you... when the Catholic Church finally decides to clean house, I'm sure it'll be reported here too.

Also, you win for the fastest invocation of Godwin's Law in recent memory.

Mass is Mass. It's more or less the same Mass the Lutherans, the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, etc. do when they're not trying to rally the youth by introducing ear-splittingly loud rock music in an attempt to "modernize" the Mass.

There's comfort in the motions. It's why, in times of stress, Catholics pray the rosary; it's as much a psychological soma vacation in 53 Hail Marys as it is a devotion.

mitch young
mitch young

Bela Lugosi's dead -- and so is Christopher Hitchens.

Hitchens
Hitchens

It's called fredom of expression. Ever heard of it? It's the same freedom of expression that is trying to be drowned out by the Pakistani government right now over a picture of Mohammed on Twitter. If drown out all this noise because someone is offended because that what the Inquisition was all about.

Stephanie Richer
Stephanie Richer

It just seems rather pointless, Gustavo.  He goes to a weekday Mass (which actually tends to be more devotional than dutiful, gven it is not a day of obligation) and engages in weak humor.  Meh.  Methinks you have been spending too much time on your personal projects to give the OC Weekly reporters any real management or mentoring.

Guest
Guest

 Lemme guess.....you write for this rag too.  If its his "beat," I'd suggest his getting a real one.  I'm no hard-core Bible-thumper, but this pointess and hateful piece fails to be humorous in any way.  Stop hatin' and try to contribute something real to life.  Just saying.

mitch young
mitch young

I wait with baited breath for his peace on any Muslim institution. Of course, as a non-Muslim, he technically can't enter a proper mosque.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

That's good, because at least some of the people who make their living selling religion to pimps and prostitutes generally enjoy 'tweaking' little children.

mitch young
mitch young

"That's funny, because this company's bosses sure as hell love Josh's church reviews"

People who make their living selling ads for pimps and prostitutes generally enjoy 'tweaking' religion. 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

That's funny, because this company's bosses sure as hell love Josh's church reviews, and more than a few preachers he's profiled have written to him expressing their enjoyment of his reviews, warts and all. Stick to drinking moonshine and playing Daniella Boone, and leave the thoughtful commentary to adults.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Actually, I'm the editor of this infernal rag, and I respectfully disagree with everything you just wrote.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Well, at least you got one thing right, Gustavo has written a piece or two for the OCW.

Sure seems that Josh kinda struck a sore spot ...

mitch young
mitch young

From his review of the Muslims: 

"The OCeeker gave the khutbah an A+ because he doesn't want to get his ass kicked. "

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

As usual, you don't know shit. He reviewed the Islamic Society of OC and made a joke about a collection box being a bomb. Surprise! He still has his throat intact.

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