It was named for the infant William V of Orange, whose mother Anne, daughter of King George II of Great Britain, was then regent of the Dutch Republic.
In 1771, Orange County was greatly reduced in area.
Diocesan offices are situated at Marywood Pastoral Center in Orange.
In addition to its 56 parish churches, the diocese oversees 44 schools, three general hospitals, plus one disabled and five ethnic ministry centers.
It also sponsors a variety of programs and activities in conjunction with other local organizations. The Catholic Church presence in present-day Orange County dates to the 1776 establishment of Mission San Juan Capistrano, a Spanish mission founded by Father Junipero Serra and the Franciscan order.
At the time the region was part of the Las Californias province of New Spain.
Orange is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, from whose territory it was erected in 1976.
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In 1804 present-day Orange County became part of Alta California when Las Californias was split in two; Alta California then became part of Mexico when the latter gained independence from Spain in 1821.
From the mission the missionary priests set out to convert the native population to Catholicism; over 4,000 people were converted between 17.
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