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History of the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese

The Los Angeles Archdiocese was originally part of the gigantic diocese of upper and lower California (Baja) founded in 1840. The original diocese, overseen by the Franciscan Friar appointed as Bishop, Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno, extended from the Oregon boundary in the north to the tip of the Baja peninsula in the south. Upon the incorporation of California into the United States in 1850, the diocese became the Monterey Diocese. In 1852, Baja California separated from the diocese. The much smaller diocese was renamed the Monterey-Los Angeles Diocese in 1859 when Bishop Thaddeus Amat moved the diocese headquarters to Los Angeles. St. Vibiana Cathedral was built in 1876 under Bishop Amat's oversight. Some 63 years later, in 1922, Pope Pius XI divided the diocese under Bishop John J. Cantwell and created the Los Angeles-San Diego Diocese. In 1936, San Diego became a separate see and Los Angeles became an Archdiocese with a promotion to Archbishop for Bishop Cantwell. In 1952, Pope Pius XII, recognizing the growing prominence of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, appointed Archbishop J. Francis McIntyre to become the first Cardinal in the western United States. In 1973, Irish-born Archbishop Timothy Manning became the second Cardinal to head the Los Angeles Archdiocese. When Cardinal Manning retired in 1985, Bishop Roger M. Mahony of the Stockton Diocese was appointed the to become first Los Angeles-born head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. In 1991, Archbishop Mahony himself became the third Cardinal to head the largest Archdiocese in the United States. In 2011, Cardinal Mahony retired and was succeeded by Mexican-born Archbishop José Horacio Gómez, the first Hispanic to serve as Archbishop of Los Angeles.

See Bishops/Archbishops/Cardinals of the Los Angeles Archdiocese

Source: Catholic Almanac and the Los Angeles Archdiocese



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