Since the September 21 story on California Catholic Daily about the new bishop of Orange, the Orange diocese has released the following statement.
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 and a leading member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration. Working within the Texas Catholic Conference, Bishop Vann has encouraged comprehensive immigration reform in the State of Texas and nationally.
His outreach to all immigrant communities, including the growing Vietnamese and Asian populations now present in Texas, will be important assets when beginning his assignment in the multi-cultural Diocese of Orange. Bishop Vann is fluent in Spanish and Italian and is developing his Vietnamese language skills.
A native of Springfield, Ill., Vann is an accomplished pianist, an expert in canon law and gifted organizer. When installed as Bishop in 2005, the Diocese of Fort Worth served 400,000 area Catholics. Under his leadership the Diocese of Fort Worth has become a larger and more dynamic Catholic community serving over 700,000 Catholics, more than 50 percent being Hispanic.
Much of Ft. Worth’s diocesan growth is credited to Vann’s expansion of existing parish communities and an estimated $135 Million in 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 has significantly increased. In 2012, the Diocese established a new parish to serve university students and a new elementary school.
Bishop Vann was instrumental in the development of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter – to allow for the ordination of former Anglican priests and to accept former Anglican communities into the Catholic Church. One former Anglican priest was recently ordained a Catholic Priest by Bishop Brown to serve in the Diocese of Orange.
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.
To read the original press release, click here.