ORANGE : American Catholic Church Dedication

More than 250 parishioners are expected to attend the Sunday dedication of a new Catholic church in a converted commercial building.

The ceremony, said Father Peter E. Hickman, marks the first time that the Old Catholic Movement has situated a church in central Orange County. The new church, St. Matthew Old Catholic Mission Church of Orange County, joins St. Francis of Assisi, in Laguna Beach, as the county’s only two Old Catholic Movement churches.

“We’ve been having services in a Tustin mortuary and a facility in Huntington Beach,” Hickman said. “This is our first official building we can call our own.”

The Old Catholic Movement had its beginning within the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands in 1724. It then became a formal movement within Catholicism in 1870, Hickman said.


Hickman said the church, in contrast with Roman Catholic Church policy, welcomes all baptized Christians, including divorced Catholics who seek to have their second marriages blessed. In addition, movement priests may marry, he said, although other differences are more subtle.

St. Matthew was founded in Tustin in November, 1985. Bishop Paul Raible of the American Catholic Church-Old Catholic, will dedicate the new church at 10 a.m. The church is at 2207 W. Orangewood Ave.