Who We Are
The Diocese of Fresno is one of the largest dioceses in the nation, covering over 35,000 square miles in an eight-county area. Our diverse Parishes, Missions, and Stations serve a population of over one million Catholic faithful, out of a total population of about 2.7 million. The diocese boasts a rich multicultural and multi-ethnic population in metropolitan, rural, agricultural, mountain and desert communities.
As God’s beloved people we are called in and through the Spirit to live in unity and love and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus, especially amongst the poor and marginal of our society.
Como pueblo amado de Dios estamos llamados en y a través del Espíritu Santo a vivir en unidad y amor, y para anunciar la Buena Nueva de Jesús, especialmente entre los pobres y los marginados de nuestra sociedad.
- Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D.,Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno
- Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Our Patroness
- Getting to know the Diocese of Fresno
- Our 50 year history — a timeline
- Central Calfornia Catholic Life
- KNXT TV
- Diocesan Directory
- St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers
- Santa Teresita Youth Conference Center
- The Holy See
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- The Catholic Church in Calfornia
Estamos llamados a crecer en amor y conocimiento de las Buenas Nuevas de Jesús. | We are called to grow in love and knowledge of the Good News of Jesus
- Catholic Schools
- Catechetial Ministry
- Family Life Ministry
- Youth and Young Adult Ministry
- OFE Newsletter
- Media Center
- School of Ministry
- Social Justice Ministry
- Catholic Social Teaching 101
We are called to proclaim the Good News of Jesus, especially amongst the poor and marginal of our society | Estamos llamados a proclamar las Buenas Nuevas de Jesús, especialmente entre los pobres y marginados de nuestra sociedad
Care for our common home, God’s creation
- Laudato Si’
- Environmental Stewardship (US Conference of Catholic Bishops)
- Catholic Climate Covenant
- Care for Our Common Home (California Catholic Conference)
Protect the life and dignity of persons at all stages of life
- Pro-Life Activities (US Conference of Catholic Bishops)
- California Catholic Bishops
- Health Ministry
- Catholics Organizing Against the Death Penalty
Promote the human development of persons, families and communities
- Family Life Ministry
- Hispanic and Multicultural Ministries
- California Catholic Bishops
- The Church and Cultural Diversity (US Catholic Conference of Bishops
Stand in solidarity the with those on the margins – the poor, the sick, the stranger and all those seeking justice
Estamos llamados a edificar la Iglesia. | We are called to build up the Church
- Office of Stewardship
- Bishop’s Annual Appeal
Human persons are willed by God; they are imprinted with God’s image. Their dignity does not come from the work they do, but from the persons they are. (St. John Paul II, Centesimus annus]
The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliar, and episcopal documents. The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition.
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty. The intentional targeting of civilians in war or terrorist attacks is always wrong. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
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Call to Family, Community, and Participation
The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society — in economics and politics, in law and policy — directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
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Rights and Responsibilities
The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities–to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
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Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
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The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in Gods creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.
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We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that if you want peace, work for justice.1 The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
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Care for God’s Creation
We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of Gods creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.
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September 12, 2017
In the wake of two devastating hurricanes in just two weeks, the Executive Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the following statement:
With lives and livelihoods still at risk in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean, we pray for the safety and care of human life in the wake of two catastrophic hurricanes. The massive scale of the dual disasters and the effect it has on communities, families and individuals cannot be fully comprehended or adequately addressed in the immediate aftermath of the storms.
At this time of initial recovery, we mourn the loss of life, homes and other property, and the harm to the natural environment, and we pray for all those affected and in need of assistance. We also pray for the safety of, and in thanksgiving for, the first responders who are risking their lives at this very moment in care for their neighbors, especially those who are elderly, sick, homeless, or otherwise already in need of special assistance.
We share Pope Francis’s trust that the Catholic faithful here in the United States will respond to the needs presented by these disasters with a ‘vast outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the best traditions of the nation.’ We encourage the faithful to respond generously with prayers, financial support, and for those who have the opportunity, the volunteering of time and talents in support of those in need.
For more information on how you can help, please go to: http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/emergency-collections-and-disaster-relief.cfm
MISSION STATEMENT / DECLARACIÓN DE LA MISIÓN
“As God’s beloved people we are called in and through the Spirit to live in unity and love and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus, especially amongst the poor and marginal of our society.”
“Como pueblo amado de Dios estamos llamados en y a través del Espíritu Santo a vivir en unidad y amor, y para anunciar la Buena Nueva de Jesús, especialmente entre los pobres y los marginados de nuestra sociedad.”
Armando X. Ochoa
Bishop Armando Xavier Ochoa was born in Oxnard, California, in 1943, the second child to Angel and Mary Ochoa. He received his education at Santa Clara Elementary and Santa Clara High School, also in Oxnard, and graduated in 1961. In 1962 he entered St. John’s Seminary College and having graduated, continued his studies at St. John’s Seminary School of Theology. Bishop Ochoa was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on May 23, 1970, by Cardinal Timothy Manning.
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Thérèse of Lisieux
St. Thérèse of Lisieux is the patroness saint of the Diocese of Fresno. St. Thérèse was born January 2, 1873, in Alcon, Normandy, France. She became a Carmelite nun at the age of fifteen, when she defined her path to God as “The Little Way,” which consisted of love and trust in God. She died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897, in Lisieux, France, at the age of twenty-four. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925, and in 1997 St. Thérèse of Lisieux was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II.
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What is now the Diocese of Fresno was a sparsely populated desert and forestland that was but one small portion of the vast Diocese of Guadalajara (established in 1770) which was then comprised of some two-thirds of the total area of Mexico plus what became California. In 1840, the large diocese was reconfigured and divided and the diocese of the “Two Californias” (Baja and California) was created and administered by the first Bishop, Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno, O.F.M. Another division occurred in 1859 when the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles was created. It was comprised only of the southern half of California. Presiding Bishop Thaddeus Amat y Brusi, C.M., soon relocated the seat of the See from Monterey to Los Angeles.
1922 brought yet another change when the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles was divided and the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno erected. The new diocese included the counties of Mariposa, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Kern, Inyo, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Cruz. Most Rev. John B. McGinley was the first bishop of the new diocese and he served until his resignation in 1932 due to ill health. Bishop McGinley attended the canonization of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus in Rome in 1924 and immediately petitioned the Vatican to designate the new saint as the Patroness of the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno. This request was granted and the diocese has the distinction of being the first diocese in the world so dedicated. Bishop Philip Scher followed Bishop MacGinley and Bishop Aloysius J. Willinger, C.Ss. R., followed next in 1946. Bishop Willinger retired in October 1967 shortly before the Diocese of Fresno was formed from that of Monterey-Fresno on December 15, 1967.
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