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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Orange County Diocese Details Expansion Plans

November 18, 2000

SANTA ANA — With its membership rolls growing rapidly, the Catholic Diocese of Orange has launched an aggressive expansion campaign that will include six church renovations, five new parishes and perhaps a new, grand cathedral in Santa Ana, church officials announced Friday.

The officials said they have agreed to buy 15 acres of bean fields near South Coast Plaza from C.J. Segerstrom and Sons for what could be a new cathedral, the home church of Bishop Tod D. Brown.

A study to be completed in mid-January will help determine whether the new Santa Ana property will house the cathedral or a neighborhood parish, diocese officials said.

The bishop's current seat is at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange--a parish that, like many others in the county, is fast outgrowing its space. Nearly 5,000 families attend services there. The church must celebrate seven Masses each Sunday to accommodate everyone.

The officials said church membership in Orange County has grown to more than 1 million, up from 598,663 in 1995. Latinos make up more than half of the county's Catholic population, Baird said.

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