From the Bishop


An overview of the progress being made to ensure the Church in Orange County remains strong and vibrant.

By The Most. Rev. Timothy Freyer, Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Orange     7/27/2018


The Diocese of Orange is in the midst of a historic transformation. Our parishes are growing, young men are hearing the call to serve Christ by becoming priests and Christ Cathedral, our spiritual home, will be dedicated in less than a year. It is truly a wonderful time to be a Catholic in Orange County! 

As our Diocese continues its transformation, we want to ensure Our Church remains strong and vibrant.  

Under the direction of Bishop Kevin Vann, work began in 2016 by Diocesan leadership, clergy and staff to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to guide our faith community far into the future. The plan, is a proactive and trailblazing approach setting a clear, sustainable path forward for our Catholic community.  

The planning process seeks to create a unified vision across the Diocese and increase collaboration among our 62 parishes and Catholic centers spread across Orange County. The plan focuses on six key areas: evangelization, faith formation, financial stewardship, governance, schools sustainability and the Christ Cathedral Campus experience. 

An important part of this process is soliciting feedback from stakeholders across the Diocese. To that end, workgroups comprised of staff and talented lay leaders met through the spring to listen, interviewed and surveyed hundreds of stakeholders from across the Diocese, researched, prayed and discussed how to make the best recommendations to Bishop Vann for consideration. The workgroups wrote their reports and recommendations in late May and early June. Those reports were submitted to Bishop Vann on June 20. The recommendations were then presented to a Diocesan leadership team and then to a group of pastors.  

After listening carefully to the presentations and reading the reports, Bishop Vann met with his Episcopal Council for further review and discussion. Bishop Vann will continue to pray and discern about the recommendations and will soon begin to make decisions about the vision of the Diocese and the priorities that will be adopted from the strategic planning process.  The strategic plan is expected to be finalized by the end of September.  

This plan will help ensure the future growth of our Diocese, so that generations far into the future will be able to be a part of a rewarding faith journey in a Catholic community that continues to bring people to know God’s great love.  


  1. Terry Mc Dermott

    Silent Suffering

    Every Sunday I sat in the pew,
    Wondering if anyone knew.
    Suffering in silence,
    Because of the violence.
    I walked through a door,
    My child to be never more.
    When I walked out she was dead,
    I am still going out of my head.
    The elephant in the room,
    Abortion, my little girl’s tomb.
    I needed my church to be a voice,
    Help me live with a wrong choice.
    In church there are many like me,
    You just cannot let it be.
    Needed to hear that Jesus will forgive,
    My only chance to once again live.
    Grace needed to be the message of the day,
    But now I just continue to pay.
    If my church had discussed my loss,
    I could have laid it at the cross.
    Handed Jesus all my shame,
    Moved beyond all the blame.
    To the cross my guilt I’d pin,
    Then the healing would finally begin.
    Hearing the soft sound of sandaled feet,
    As Jesus’ eyes and mine would meet.

    JESUS, I Hand Her to You

    A little hand raised high in the air,
    Wondering if anyone cares?
    She reaches for the hand of God,
    As pro-lifers we need to applaud.
    It is way beyond time for the truth to be told,
    Like JESUS in the temple, we need to be bold.
    Sold out for life is our call,
    Not one more child, Lord, let fall.
    Hands raised across our nation,
    Standing firm for abortion cessation.
    The killing applauded from the gates of hell,
    We need to speak up and forever tell.
    Every abortion kills a living child,
    Why does that not drive everyone wild?
    Are these deeds of darkness in control,
    As every lost life takes its toll?
    JESUS, rend the heavens and come down,
    Rivers of blood are all around.
    Hearts must change and be broken,
    And the word “abortion” must be spoken.
    Stolen property You need to take back,
    Expose the difference between lies and fact.
    JESUS, we cannot do this alone,
    The horror of it all chills to the bone.
    Let every mother hear as you end the strife,
    “Mom, take my hand, not my life.”

    Midnight Blue
    Her life and death a rendezvous,
    These words forever true.
    Echoes from the grave,
    Preborn children we need to save.
    A head punctured, her worst fear,
    Her tiny hands clutching a tear.
    Arms and legs beginning to tear,
    When she needed someone to care.
    A little angel treated like trash,
    Now nothing but dust and ash.
    The womb, a tomb just her size,
    Death was life disguised.
    Broken wings, she never flew,
    Her rainbow now midnight blue.

  2. John Gremer, Jr.

    Having observed the workings of The Diocese of Orange and many parishes within the County of Orange for more than 20 years, I have one very powerful prayer. I pray that, somehow with the help of the Holy Spirit, there will be a transformation in the relationship of Chancery with pastors of parishes.

    Time and again, Bishop Brown and now Bishop Van have done heavy lifting to provide resources and guidance to pastors and parish staff but, like much of the seed in the parable of the sower, those resources wither and die.
    Please God, let the strategic plan have the follow-up and (dare I say it?) holding folks accountable for implementation in all our parishes and institutions.

  3. Joan Ingram

    I recently heard that the Tabernacle will not be in the center of the Church, but in another location (downstairs). If this is true, I am deeply troubled. I look to Christ Cathedral as an example to all other parishes that moved the Tabernacle off to the side or to an adjoining Chapel.

    The Tabernacle, which holds the body and blood of Christ, as signified by the red candle, tells me I am in a Catholic Church. This is the most important aspect of our faith. If I walk into a church and can’t find it, I might just as well be in a Protestant Church.

    Please reconsider this. I heard that the Bishops Chair will be in the center. He is not the most important person here.

    I hope I am wrong about what I heard and you will correct me. If I heard right, please seriously consider where you are putting Jesus! He should be front and center!

    • Donald Schnake

      The Tabernacle will not be downstairs but in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the east side entrance of the cathedral. The chapel under the glass of the cathedral will be open whenever the campus is open (early morning to 10 pm) for prayer even when the main part of the cathedral is closed.


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