Editor’s note: Bishop Vann was installed as the third bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas on July 13, 2005. Pope Benedict XVI announced his appointment as the fourth Bishop of Orange on Sept. 21, 2012.
The day before my ordination as bishop, I was getting my hair cut at a barber in the neighborhood near St. Patrick’s Cathedral. My cell phone rang and I was informed that Bishop Delaney of Fort Worth had been found dead in bed. At that time my life flashed in front of my eyes a second time, because I was supposed to have been the coadjutor for a year and learn the diocese. Well, fine theory, but it didn’t turn out in practice. That, for me, was Act 1 of a series of drama that continued in the ups and downs of the years.
While first a bishop in Fort Worth, Texas, I visited many dioceses in the Lone Star state and learned to love the people there. There, I got to know then-Bishop Ochoa, originally from Oxnard, and through him began to know a bit about California as well.
I found that the days in Fort Worth prepared me to come here to Orange County, in God’s Providence, to be here with all of you.
Not long ago, I mentioned to Bishop Freyer and Fr. Fred Bailey, about some matter, and I reflected that, “Well, I am not from here.” Fred said, and Tim agreed, well, “That was a long time ago now, and you are part of here and from Orange County now.”
I thank you for your love, patience and witness of Faith and care for me. As the so-called Bishop of Disneyland, I find myself now clarifying misconceptions of California to friends of mine from the Midwest. Not bad for a former Midwesterner.
Even with the drama that still continues in some degree, I am grateful that, as one with you, we can say together, “My heart and my soul ring out their joy to God, the living God.”
Full story at Orange County Catholic.