Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton

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Diocese of Stockton
Dioecesis Stocktoniensis
Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton.svg
Coat of Arms
Country United States
Territory Counties of Alpine, Calaveras, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne
Ecclesiastical province Province of San Francisco
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2017)
298,061 (21.6%)
Parishes 35
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established January 13, 1962
Cathedral Cathedral of the Annunciation
Patron saint Our Lady of the Annunciation
Secular priests 105
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Myron Joseph Cotta
Metropolitan Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco
Emeritus Bishops Stephen Blaire
Diocese of Stockton map 1.png
Logo of the Diocese of Stockton

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton, also known as the See of Stockton, is a Latin rite diocese (ecclesiastical territory) of the Roman Catholic Church in the Central Valley and Mother Lode region of California in the United States.

Its episcopal see is the (Marian) Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton. It is a suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco

Extent and statistics[edit]

As per 2015, its bishop pastorally serves 250,692 Catholics (18.4% of 1,361,162 total) on 15,995 km² in 35 parishes with 97 priests (83 diocesan, 14 religious), 51 deacons, 66 lay religious (15 brothers, 51 sisters), 6 seminarians and 12 missions.[1]

It covers the secular Counties of Alpine, Calaveras, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne.

The diocese is geographically and ethnically diverse. The majority of the population lives in the San Joaquin Valley. The two major population cities are Stockton and Modesto. The diocese has shown a significant population increase in all counties except Alpine County. The majority of San Joaquin Valley is farming, and there are many migrant camps in which the Church has a presence.

Calaveras, Tuolumne and Alpine counties are located on the western side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Most parishes in these counties date back to the gold rush days. Mono County is on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and is usually cut off from the rest of the diocese during winter. The parish church located in Mammoth Lakes provides for the spiritual care of vacationers during the winter and summer.

The largest racial/ethnic groups in the Diocese are White and Hispanic. There are also many of Filipino and South East Asian descent. The largest Azorean Portuguese population outside the Azores is found in the Diocese of Stockton. It is estimated that 60% of the diocesan Catholic population is Hispanic. However, this does not imply that Spanish is their first language, only that their heritage is Spanish. The largest Pacific Island community is the Filipino community. Then the next largest ethnic concentration is Vietnamese. The USCCB statement Asian and Pacific Presence[2] lists the Diocese of Stockton as among the top thirty dioceses in the United States with the highest Asian and Pacific Island population. Within the Diocese, Mass is celebrated more than 180 times each Sunday in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin and Laotian. Weekday masses are celebrated in these languages and Vietnamese.

Its fellow suffragans in the -mainly Californian- ecclesiastical province of the Archbishop of San Francisco include the Dioceses of Honolulu (on Hawaii), Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa.


  • The bishopric was established on 13 January 1962.01.13 as Diocese of Stockton / Stocktonien(sis) (Latin), on Californian territories split off from the Archdiocese of San Francisco (which remains its Metropolitan) and from the Diocese of Sacramento.
  • On 1966.09.15 it gained further territory from the above Diocese of Sacramento[1]

In 1998 a jury awarded two brothers $30 million in a judgement against the Diocese of Stockton over its handling of a priest who abused the men while they were boys, allegedly starting when they were three. At the trial it was revealed that in a 1976 letter to his superiors O'Grady, the abusive priest, had admitted to sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl. In 1984 an attorney for the diocese promised to get O'Grady away from children, a promise recorded in a police report. O'Grady abused the boys who later brought the suit from 1978-1991. In 1993 he pleaded guilty to abusing them and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.[3] During the O'Grady trial Mahony claimed that O'Grady was the only accused priest he dealt with in Stockton. Later in 2004 Mahony admitted under oath that parents had confronted him with accusations against another priest in the diocese, Antonio Munoz.[4]

Episcopal Ordinaries[edit]

Suffragan Bishops of Stockton [1] :
  1. Hugh Aloysius Donohoe (1962.01.27 – 1969.08.22), installed as the first bishop on April 24, 1962; previously Titular Bishop of Taium (1947.08.02 – 1962.01.27) as Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco (USA) (1947.08.02 – 1962.01.27); next Bishop of Fresno (USA) (1969.08.22 – retired 1980.07.01); died 1987. During his stewardship the diocese saw the growth of St. Joseph’s Hospital (Stockton), the beginning of the Cursillo movement in the area, and the first diocesan pastoral council. Bishop Donohoe supported the farm workers’ right to organize and other social issues.
  2. Merlin Guilfoyle (1969.11.12, installed on January 13, 1970 – resigned 1979.09.04), died 1981.11.20; previously Titular Bishop of Bulla (1950.08.24 – 1969.11.12) as Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco (USA) (1950.08.24 – 1969.11.12). During his tenure, there was both great growth and great financial struggle within the Catholic schools of the diocese.
  3. Roger Mahony (1980.02.15 installed on April 17, 1980 – 1985.07.16), previously Titular Bishop of Tamascani (1975.01.02 – 1980.02.15) as Auxiliary Bishop of Fresno (USA) (1975.01.02 – 1980.02.15); next Metropolitan Archbishop of Los Angeles (USA) (1985.07.16 – retired 2011.03.01), created Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Quattro Coronati (1991.06.28 – ...), Member of Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organisational and Economic Problems of the Apostolic See (1991.07.15 – 2011.03.01). In the late Seventies after the Vietnam War, great numbers of Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians and Hmong settled in the Stockton and Modesto areas. Catholic Charities and the St. Vincent De Paul Society worked with the Southeast Asian community to begin the slow, difficult process of integration. In 1981, Bishop Mahony conducted a diocesan-wide convocation, resulting in a mission statement for the diocese and ten major goals with an emphasis on spiritual renewal.
  4. Donald Montrose (1985.12.17, installed February 20, 1986 – retired 1999.01.18); previously Titular Bishop of Vescovìo (1983.03.25 – 1985.12.17) as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles (USA) (1983.03.25 – 1985.12.17). Bishop Montrose brought a contemplative community of religious women, the Religious of the Cross of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to the diocese.[5] Bishop Montrose oversaw the growth of the School of Ministry, the RENEW program, and the increase of Spanish speaking priests in the diocese. He died on May 7, 2008.
  5. Stephen Blaire (1999.01.18, installed on March 16, 1999 – retired 2018.01.23), previously Titular Bishop of Lamzella (1990.02.17 – 1999.01.18) as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles (USA) (1990.02.17 – 1999.01.18). Bishop Stephen E. Blaire held the diocesan Synod in 2006.
  6. Myron Joseph Cotta (2018.03.15 - ...), previously Titular Bishop of Muteci (2014.01.24 – 2018.01.23) as Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento (USA) (2014.01.24 – 2018.01.23). He is the current Bishop of Stockton.



Catholic education[edit]

High schools[edit]


Elementary/Junior High schools[edit]


Active Ministries, Movements and Orders[edit]

See also[edit]


Sources and External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°58′32″N 121°18′03″W / 37.97556°N 121.30083°W / 37.97556; -121.30083