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Anniversary of the Establishment of the Diocese of San Jose by Pope John Paul II
January 27, 2016
The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose in California is comprised of Santa Clara County. Its patron saints are Saint Joseph and Saint Clare of Assisi. The Roman Catholic Church in present-day Santa Clara County dates to the founding of Mission Santa Clara de Asís in 1777. Originally a part of the Diocese of Sonora in Mexico, in 1840 San Jose and the rest of the Californias became part of the Diocese of Alta and Baja California, headquartered in Santa Barbara.
In 1850, two years after the Mexican Cession, the Diocese of Alta and Baja California was split between the American and Mexican territories, and San Jose became a part of the Diocese of Monterey. In 1853, the northern half of the county became part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, while the southern areas around Gilroy and Morgan Hill remained in the Diocese of Monterey. In 1922 the American Catholic Church decided to use county boundaries for dioceses, and the southern half of Santa Clara County was transferred to the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Pope John Paul II granted the See of San Jose independence on January 27, 1981. The diocese was canonically erected later that year by archbishops Pio Laghi, Apostolic Delegate to the United States, and John R. Quinn, Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco, on March 18, the vigil of the feast of Saint Joseph. The first Bishop of San Jose was R. Pierre DuMaine, and the first cathedral of the diocese was Saint Patrick Proto-Cathedral Parish. The second Bishop of San Jose is Patrick J. McGrath, and the current cathedral of the diocese is the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph.