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The Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann
Bishop of Orange
At the end of 2016, Bishop Vann became the first episcopal leader appointed to chair the CLINIC board for two consecutive three-year terms. As bishop of Orange since 2012, he leads a diocese with large Hispanic, Vietnamese and Muslim populations.
In a recent blog on the diocesan website, Bishop Vann called on Catholics to be “a light of reason and dialogue and clarity” in a time of uncertainty about immigration matters. He recalled “the history of my own Irish ancestors, who like many of the Irish, were rejected by the Nativist, “Know Nothing” and other prejudicial and xenophobic movements of the day” and said, “In the present day, sadly, those clouds are once more making their presence felt.”
Born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, Kevin W. Vann was the oldest of six children of William M. Vann Jr. and Theresa Jones Vann. He attended Springfield College and earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. After working three years as a medical technologist, he entered the seminary in 1976.
Following studies at Immaculate Conception Diocesan Seminary in Springfield and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, he was ordained a priest on May 30, l981. He was then assigned to graduate studies in canon law in Rome.
Upon returning to the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, Father Vann served as pastor of parishes ranging in size from 35 to 1,300 families, two of which had large schools. He taught canon law at Kenrick Seminary and served as vicar for priests and the diocesan contact for Hispanic ministry.
Bishop Vann was ordained and installed as the third bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, in 2005. He provided leadership for various initiatives in the Texas Conference of Bishops and in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he is a member of the committees on Migration and Canonical Affairs.
Pope Benedict named him the fourth bishop of Orange on Sept. 21, 2012.