GARDEN GROVE ( — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange plans to get rid of memorial stones honoring people’s loved ones at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.

Last week, hundreds of people received a letter from the Christ Catholic Cathedral Corp., which recently purchased the cathedral, that explained why the 1,800 “Walk of Faith” stones had to be removed.

The letter said, in part, “While we have made every effort to preserve the ‘Walk of Faith’ stones, in the process of preserving and restoring the campus, it has become necessary to remove them.”

Judy De Clercq, 88, couldn’t stop crying as she read the note.

“I feel horrible. Because these were both very, very important to me and my two boys,” she said.

De Clercq said she spent $6,000 for two engraved granite memorials for her late husband of 39 years and her son who died of cancer three years ago.

She said it was her husband’s dream to have a “Walk of Faith” stone, which she thought would be there for centuries.

“This is their dream, what they wanted, and I managed to do it, and now they’re going to just tear them up,” said De Clercq.

The grieving widow and mother said she was told the church is making a website where family and friends can view a picture of the memorial, but she doesn’t own a computer or know how to use one.

She told KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper that she’s now left with a broken heart by the church she’s been going to for decades.

“He’s not obeying God’s will because these are religious icons, I believe, and they mean something to every person who put them in,” said De Clercq.


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