Today the Press Office of the Holy See announced that Bishop-elect Timothy Freyer, current Vicar for Priests in the Diocese of Orange, has been appointed by Pope Francis as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Orange, assisting Bishop Kevin Vann. The date of his episcopal ordination will be Jan. 17, 2017.
“I am both humbled and honored to accept this appointment,” said Bishop-elect Freyer. “I am grateful to Pope Francis and to Bishop Vann for their trust and confidence in me and I pray that I may live up to their expectations. In addition to my gratitude to the Holy Father and Bishop Vann, I am also grateful to Bishops Brown and Luong for their friendship and affection over these past years.”
In his new role, Bishop-elect Freyer says he will assist Bishop Vann in any way he can, including continuing to develop the diocese’s new pastoral plan. He will also continue to focus on evangelization, including creating experiences, ministries and structures that will bring people closer to Christ.
“We are blessed as Diocese to continue to benefit from kind and humble leadership offered by Bishop-elect Freyer, as a priest, and now a Bishop,” said Bishop Vann. “Bishop-elect Freyer’s deep love of God is evident in every encounter shared and he always seeks to show the merciful and inspiring face of Christ to those facing their darkest days. I am truly blessed to work with Bishop-elect Freyer in the garden of the Lord.”
Bishop-elect Freyer’s roots are in Southern California. He was born in L.A. and grew up in Huntington Beach, a short drive from Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, where he will serve in his new role as Auxiliary Bishop.
After graduating from Huntington Beach High School he entered the St. John’s Seminary College in Camarillo, CA where he earned his bachelor’s degree, followed by four years at St. John’s Seminary where, as a graduate student, he studied Theology.
Bishop-elect Freyer was ordained a priest on June 10, 1989 and his first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Hedwig Church in Los Alamitos, within the Diocese of Orange. He served in that role for five years before being assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Church in San Clemente. Five years later, he moved to St. Catherine of Siena Church in Laguna Beach where he remained for two years.
In 2001, Bishop-elect Freyer was appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Fullerton, and then in 2003 was reassigned as pastor for St. Boniface Church in Anaheim.
He was named Episcopal Vicar for Priests in 2012, with responsibility for the care and ongoing formation of the priests of the Diocese of Orange. Additionally, he was named the first bishop’s liaison to the Jovenes para Cristo (Young Adults for Christ) movement from 1998-2004, helping them to write their statutes and revise their plan of formation as well as assisting them as they opened chapters in California, Texas and Oregon.
Bishop-elect Freyer served as one of the founding board members of the Anaheim Family Justice Center (now called the Orange County Family Justice Center) that assists victims of domestic violence. He served two terms as a member of the board of trustees for St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton and continues to serve on the Community Benefits Committee that oversees the Medical Center’s care-for-the-poor programs. He is currently a police chaplain for the Anaheim Police Department.
Bishop-elect Freyer is the only child of Jerry and Patricia Freyer. His father died in 1977 and his mother currently resides in Huntington Beach.