Our Diocese of Oakland
Our Diocese of Oakland
The Diocese of Oakland is rich in cultural diversity. Recent immigrants make up more than 25 percent of our parishioners. To accommodate the needs of our growing community and to serve as a force for social integration in the East Bay, we hold Mass in 14 languages, including Nigerian, Polish, Tagalog, Guatemalan, Portuguese, German, Chinese, and more. The Martyrs of Vietnam, St. Patrick, Our Lady of Guadalupe - invite us all to recognize the human dignity of each person.
There was no central place to gather after the loss of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Many of the distinct cultural liturgies that strengthen our faith and our society were often consigned out across the Diocese, making it difficult to observe inherited traditions together. The 2008 dedication of the Cathedral of Christ the Light allows us to again worship God in a shared home, celebrating together such occasions as Chautauqua and the St. Peter Claver Society. We honor special feasts such as St. Nicholas, San Lorenzo Ruiz, and particularly our Diocesan patroness, Our Lady Queen of the World.
The Diocese of Oakland celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2012. At the time of its creation in 1962 there were an estimated 329,000 Catholics among the East Bay’s population of 1.3 million people. Today within its 1,467 square miles the current estimated population of Alameda and Contra Costa counties is over 2.6 million people with a Catholic population projected above 700,000.
Currently serving the needs of the faithful are 323 priests, 115 deacons and 466 religious brothers and sisters in 84 parishes, 16 pastoral centers and other diocesan offices. Including religious education programs, there are more than 50,000 students under Catholic instruction in the Diocese at 46 elementary schools, nine high schools, two Catholic colleges and several schools of religious formation.
The Catholic Church throughout the diocese offers a range of service ministries assisting the elderly, the young, the poor, and the oppressed. As such the Church is the largest provider of social services in the East Bay, delivering shelter, meals, counseling, education and other critical services free of charge to over 400,000 people of all faiths each year.