The Most Reverend William R. Johnson was installed as First Bishop of Orange and served his flock during the formative years of the diocese until his death on July 28, 1986. Auxiliary Bishop John T. Steinbock served as Apostolic Administrator until February 24, 1987, when the Most Reverend Norman F. McFarland was installed Second Bishop of Orange. On September 3, 1998 Bishop Tod D. Brown was installed as Third Bishop of Orange, upon the retirement of Bishop McFarland.
When the Diocese was first established, there were 42 parishes and 179 Priests serving 330,000 Orange County Catholics. Today, 25 years later, there are 55 diocesan parishes and 289 Priests serving 1,044,191 Catholics in the county of 2,760,948 people.
Along with the tremendous growth during these years, the large numbers of non-English speaking Catholics who have emigrated from Latin America and Asia have presented the greatest challenge to the Diocese: ministering to their special needs and assimilating them into the Church of Orange.
The Historical Background of Marywood Center
In 1934 St. Joseph Academy in Anaheim, California, was purchased by the Sisters of Providence from the Dominican Sisters of Cuba, who had established it in 1912. Renamed Marywood Central Catholic High School, it served as a day and resident school for the high school girls of Orange County. During the first few years a small number of elementary students were also taught there. In addition the Anaheim site was the Provincialate and the Novitiate of the Western Province until l949. Over the years the need for expansion became evident. In 1963 the property was sold to United California Bank and a new school was built on the Nohl Ranch site. The student body moved there in the spring of 1964.
The Marywood Music Center (no longer in existence) and the Providence Speech and Hearing Clinic (now incorporated separately from the Sisters of Providence) both began at Marywood in Orange.
The Congregation's Contingency Planning in 1975 put in motion efforts to sell the school. In July of 1979 the Diocese of Orange purchased the property. The school closed after graduation in June, 1981. The buildings and grounds are now known as the Marywood Pastoral Center for the Diocese of Orange.