About Our Diocese
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is the growing Catholic community in Orange County, California on a journey of faith together. We are one of the most diverse Catholic communities in history, but we are united through our salvation in Christ, serving across languages and cultures, politics and lifestyles, to live out the Gospel and share the love of our Lord. Officially established in 1976, the Diocese of Orange’s history dates back to 1776 with the founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano, our diocese’s Historic Mother Church. Today, as it is home to more than 1.6 million faithful believers, the Diocese of Orange is the 7th largest and one of the fastest growing in the nation.
The Diocese of Orange was formally established by Pope Paul VI with 44 parishes and more than 300,000 Catholics in 1976. William Johnson, an auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles, was appointed as its first bishop. In accepting his appointment, he said, “The very name, ‘Orange,’ suggests a golden treasure and the new diocese is all that in its physical characteristics, its people and its traditions. The area is small enough to be unified as a true community and large enough to encompass a substantial number of generous hearted people.”
The Diocese is now organized into 62 parishes and centers led both spiritually and organizationally by its fourth Bishop, Kevin Vann, and served by the men and women who staff the Pastoral Center. Home to the ministries, offices, and administrative departments of the Diocese, the meaningful service of those within the Pastoral Center empowers all aspects of the Catholic experience in Orange County.
As the symbolic center of Catholicism in Orange County, Christ Cathedral is a beacon of faith within and beyond our diocese, a gathering place for all on their journeys of faith. In 2011, we were blessed with the opportunity to acquire this phenomenal property – the former Crystal Cathedral, a site of spiritual significance and architectural renown. The cathedral itself is undergoing a multi-year remodel, transforming it into a place appropriate for Catholic worship, but Catholic life on the campus at large is vibrant and thriving.
Together, our community is growing closer to God and closer to one another as we explore, experience, and share the mystery of Christ and the love our Lord. Joining us for Mass at a local parish, attending one of our many Catholic schools, participating in local outreach efforts, or fellowshipping with others in your life stage are just a few of the many opportunities for you to join our community. We invite you to journey with us in faith.
We are diverse Catholics united in Christ. We follow the Gospel’s call, live out our faith and share our lives in service to others.
As members of a Christ-centered community, we gather the hopes, inspirations and struggles of all Orange County Catholics together:
- To worship by listening actively to the Word, praying for the needs of all, actively participating in the liturgy and receiving God’s grace in the Sacraments.
- To evangelize by the way we share our lives and treat each other, by the Gospel that we share and by the strength we find in our community of faith.
- To respect and cherish our diversity, discovering the way our many cultures reveal the greatness of Christ’s presence.
- To serve others as faithful servants, sharing our gifts with respect, compassionate care, justice and generosity, with those among us who are vulnerable and underserved.