Irvine, CA (December 10, 2012) --- His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI announced September 21, 2012, that Bishop Kevin W. Vann, formerly Bishop of Fort Worth, would succeed Bishop Tod D. Brown as the Bishop of Orange. Today, the Papal Nuncio, the official representative of the Holy See for the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, read the Apostolic Mandate at Bishop Vann’s Installation at UC – Irvine Bren Center. Catholic cardinals, bishops, abbots and priests from across the United States and thousands of lay Catholics filled the Bren Center for the liturgical ceremony. As the Fourth Bishop of Orange, Bishop Vann will lead the diocese into a future which includes the transition to its new home – Christ Cathedral.
A native of Springfield, Ill., Vann is an expert in canon law and gifted organizer. Bishop Vann has distinguished himself during his seven year tenure as Bishop of Fort Worth and in prior assignments as priest, pastor and member of important Church committees and panels. He is recognized for innovative parish-based and diocesan initiatives.
Bishop Vann is a leading member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration. Working within the Texas Catholic Conference, Bishop Vann encouraged comprehensive immigration reform in the State of Texas and nationally. His outreach to all immigrant communities, including the growing Vietnamese and Asian populations in Texas, will be an important asset in the multi-cultural Diocese of Orange. Bishop Vann is fluent in Spanish and Italian and is developing his Vietnamese language skills.
Much of Fort Worth's diocesan growth is credited to Bishop Vann's expansion of existing parish communities and widespread capital improvements. These improvements included the construction of one of the largest Catholic Churches in the United States serving a Vietnamese congregation - the Arlington (Texas) Vietnamese Martyrs Church.
He restructured the local Catholic School system to a cost-based tuition system to ensure the financial viability of each school, while also creating a multi-million dollar scholarship fund to provide tuition assistance. His leadership further contributed to the expansion of Catholic Charities in the region and the opening of a new facility to accommodate that ministry's growing needs. During Bishop Vann's tenure the number of seminarians, ordained priests, women religious and lay Catholics serving the Diocese of Fort Worth increased significantly.
Bishop Vann is the Ecclesiastical Delegate of the Holy See for the Pastoral Provision in the United States, which was established by Pope John Paul II in 1981 to accommodate full communion with the Catholic Church for Episcopal priests and laity. One former Anglican priest was recently ordained a Catholic Priest to serve in the Diocese of Orange.
Bishop Vann will shepherd the nation’s 10th largest diocese, which is one of the fastest growing Catholic populations in the country – the Diocese of Orange.