A Message from Our Pastor

Update June 9, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Gather & Rejoice Together in Christ! Bishop Kevin Vann has declared this June 12th and 13th as a historic weekend for all Diocese of Orange parishes. It is now time to start attending Mass in person, receive the sacraments, and offer praise to God together after months of pandemic isolation. Join us and receive spiritual nourishment and strength through the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

As we prepare to fully welcome all parishioners back to Church, we take this opportunity to offer some reminders and also to present some developments. Please note the following:

  • Bishop Vann is discontinuing the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass effective June 12th. Livestream Masses will be discontinued (except for the sick and homebound) and no longer be an acceptable way to fulfill your obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
  • Our Church will once again be open from 1:30-4:30 pm, Monday-Thursday, for personal prayer beginning June 14th.
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Church will be on Thursdays from 9am-3pm, and on First Fridays for 12 hours, 9am-9pm. Please pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life as well as for the sanctification of the people of our Diocese.
  • Masks are now optional.
  • Food and drink will now be allowed at all parish events, including ministry meetings. In addition, St. Mary’s by the Sea will once again be serving coffee and donuts after Sunday Masses beginning on our country’s Independence Day, July 4th.

So to our parishioners, I join with Bishop Vann and all priests in the Orange Diocese as we say “Welcome Back!”  I look forward to reconnecting with all of you as we begin our return to normalcy.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Quang Vinh Chu, Pastor

UPDATE:  February 10, 2021

Dear Parishioners,
It is with a thankful heart I inform you that ALL Masses are now being held inside the Church; thanks be to God! Please note that all previous safety protocols will still be observed (ie: must wear masks, 6’ social distancing, disinfecting of pews after use, etc.). Thank you for your compliance.
In addition, I would like to mention that this weekend, February 13th (after the 5pm Mass) & 14th (after ALL the Masses), we will be holding a Mini-Ministry Fair – Mardi Gras themed. The purpose of this is to provide the opportunity for more participation from parishioners in serving the Lord by serving His people. Many of you may not be aware of the number of ministries here who are quietly at work in the background. There are many things a person can become involved with in the parish, and many of them don’t require a lot of time. All of our ministries will have a table set-up with a representative on hand to describe their activities and to answer any questions you may have. Some ministries, however, may not be active currently, but we hope they will be back to regular activities soon.

UPDATE: November 25, 2020

With regard to Covid 19, since California has changed over into purple, we now must hold Masses outdoors in the Courtyard again. Please be aware that we have installed a cover overhead and will also be using heaters. We are requesting that you still wear masks and will continue to practice social distancing, with the exception of families who are able to sit together.

On a positive note, however, we have changed our Mass schedule and Adoration Schedule. They will be as follows:

Daily Mass (Monday-Saturday): 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil Mass: 5:00 pm

Sunday Masses: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am – all in English

12:00 pm – Latin Low Mass

4:30 pm – English

Adoration & Benediction: Every Thursday (except Thanksgiving day) from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and Every First Friday – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm


July 13th Notice from the Diocese of Orange

Statement from the Diocese of Orange

Response to Gov. Newsom’s July 13 mandate regarding statewide closure of indoor
activities in houses of worship.
We believe that it is our responsibility to protect the health of our parishioners while preserving
their religious and essential right to attend Mass.
Given the increase in Covid-19 cases in the State of California and the County of Orange, and for the sake of the common good, the Diocese of Orange will be advising our parishes to suspend indoor services until further notice.
However, we encourage our parishes to offer outdoor Masses with proper Covid-19 safety protocols and to continue their livestreaming of services to the faithful.


Dear Parishioners

NOTE: The following information about indoor Mass has been suspended until further notice.

The Diocese of Orange has announced that we can begin celebrating public Mass on the solemnity of Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 14 (including Saturday June 13 Vigil Masses). In addition, the Bishop of Orange, Kevin W. Vann, extends a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation until such time as it is deemed safe to have large gatherings at Mass.

Those over age 65 and/or in an at-risk health group or who do not feel comfortable attending a public gathering should stay home. Also, anyone who has a fever or temperature or who is sick or has been exposed to the coronavirus should refrain from attending Mass as it is an act of Christian charity to safeguard the health of others.

St. Mary’s by the Sea will be celebrating the Mass together as a community using social distancing, maximum capacity guidelines for attendance, and guidelines for sanitization set by Bishop Kevin Vann and the State of California, no exceptions. Additional Masses are being offered to attempt to accommodate everyone who desires to attend.

MAXIMUM CAPACITY IN THE CHURCH DURING MASS IS (30) PEOPLE. Everyone will sit    6 feet away from one another (unless you are attending the Sunday 4:30 pm Family Mass), with the exception of small children who will be allowed to sit with their parent. If all seats are filled, we will provide overflow seating for (25) additional people in Fr. Johnson Hall and in the Courtyard, where Mass will be viewed on a large screen.

Please plan to arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to the Mass. All households will line up at the Main Entrance of St. Mary’s by the Sea (following social distancing tape placed on the sidewalk). Ushers will be waiting at the steps to seat you and your household. Please use the single entry when entering and exiting the Church. For those who need to use the ramp to enter the church, an usher will be available to provide assistance.

All individuals attending Holy Mass at this time must wear masks, unless medically unable to do so. You will be allowed to remove it only when receiving Holy Communion. If you should forget to bring your mask, one will be provided for you.

Holy Water fonts will be empty, but you are encouraged to still make the sign of the cross.

The sign of peace and distribution of the Precious Blood is suspended. Instructions for receiving Holy Communion will be announced during each Mass. If you are uncomfortable receiving the Eucharist at this time, you are always welcome to remain in the pew and make a Spiritual Communion.

In accordance with the Bishop’s directives, there will be no singing by the congregation until otherwise noted. In addition, all missals, prayer cards or other paper resources are currently not available.

Hand sanitizer will be available to all people. Pews and high-contact areas will be thoroughly sanitized/cleaned in between Masses. Please follow the instructions at the end of the Mass.

A large container will be located at the Church entrance/exit doors to drop off collection envelopes and donations.

Our first consideration must be for the health and safety of our parishioners and those whom they will encounter. As Bishop Kevin Vann said on Friday, “We know that God is with us, but at the same time we have to be careful and make sure that we protect each other in this challenging time.”

We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we come together for the Holy Sacrifice with measures in place to minimize risks.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Quang Vinh Chu – Pastor




May 22, 2020

Garden Grove, Calif., (May 22, 2020) – The Diocese of Orange announced today that public Masses can begin in Orange County on the solemnity of Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 14 (including Saturday June 13 Vigil Masses) in a phased-in approach with measures in place to safeguard public health. In addition, the Bishop of Orange, Kevin W. Vann, extends a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation until such time as it is deemed safe to have large gatherings at Mass.

After extensive consultation over these past few months with civil authorities, County of Orange Health Authority, as well as with our medical advisors, the decision was made to gradually open the churches for Mass with strict guidelines for attendance including important requirements for the distribution and reception of Holy Communion and the safety and health of all who attend. Bishop Vann acknowledges the hard work of Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, on behalf of all the California bishops, who met frequently with Governor Newsom and his staff. The positive cooperation of all involved – working together for the common good – has helped bring us to this important moment.

“The pandemic is far from over so we will begin with small steps,” said Bishop Vann. “Realizing that reinfection is a concern, as we saw occurred in Texas and elsewhere, I am asking our pastors to prepare their churches to ensure that these guidelines are followed without exception.” Indeed advisors to the bishop have been working on guidelines for weeks, in consultation with county officials and other experts.

The Diocese announced that phase one brings smaller groups of healthy Catholics back to a limited Mass with strict social distancing guidelines and rules. Phase two would allow larger groups while phase three would allow choirs to return to church and social gatherings to resume. At this point, it is unknown when we might be able to enter phases two and three. Phasing our return allows for the ability to re-evaluate the process as necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of the community going forward.

All phases of this plan require following strict guidelines for social distancing and sanitization.

  • Those over age 65 and/or with a co-morbidity will be encouraged to consider not returning to Mass just yet, and anyone showing any symptoms of sickness, or anyone who has a household member who is sick or showing symptoms of sickness should not come to church.
  • The church will be thoroughly sanitized/cleaned before and after each service, including all entryways and doors. Holy water fonts will be empty, and hymnals removed.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all churches.
  • All local safety orders specifically relating to proper face coverings will be followed.
  • People will be instructed to not engage in any physical touch, such as by greeting each other.
  • Signs and other instructions will encourage normal safe practices necessary to avoid the spread (e.g. cough or sneeze into a shirtsleeve, handkerchief, or tissue; avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth).
  • Ventilation will be increased as much as possible by opening windows and doors, as weather permits.
  • The sign of peace and distribution of the Precious Blood is suspended.

Catholics should visit the website of their parish for eventual specific instructions on how their parish will offer Masses and how attendance will be allowed. In most cases, only one-third of the church space will be available per Mass. Bishop Vann has granted a temporary dispensation from the requirements of canon 932, which will permit priests to celebrate Mass outside the sacred space of a church building, thereby permitting parishes to utilize other spaces for Masses including gymnasiums, parish halls and outdoor spaces.

Since the Sunday obligation has been dispensed from, Catholics will be encouraged to attend other Masses during the week instead of on Sunday, in order to spread out the number of people attending. More Masses than usual will be offered to attempt to accommodate everyone who desires to attend Mass during this phase. In addition, many parishes will continue to livestream Masses.

Anyone who is in an at-risk health group or does not feel comfortable attending a public gathering should stay home. Also, anyone who is sick or has been exposed to the coronavirus should refrain from attending a public Mass as it is an act of Christian charity to safeguard the health of others.

“Please continue to pray for those who have died, those who are sick from this disease and for the people who care for them,” said Bishop Vann. “I wish to thank everyone for their sacrifices over these last weeks to benefit the common good. It has been a time of reflection, prayer and growth in faith for many of us. We will continue to take one day at a time and walk in faith together until the day we can all gather to rejoice in the Lord. The Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ) is a very fitting feast day to begin our journey to once again gather together as the Lord’s people.”

About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange

With 1.3 million Catholics, 57 parishes, 5 Catholic centers, and 41 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest and most diverse faith communities in the United States. The Diocese encourages Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools welcoming all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Diocese, was dedicated in July 2019.

Learn more about the Diocese of Orange at https://www.rcbo.org.


A Message from Our Pastor
Dear Parishioners:

Like you, I am deeply troubled by the incredibly rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects on our local Catholic community.  We at St. Mary’s by the Sea continue to suspend public Mass in light of the warnings of international health organizations and the CDC in order to take reasonable precautions to halt the coronavirus.  Click here for more information on how to stay safe during this crisis.

We need your prayers and patience as we prayerfully and carefully consider all that is in front of us.  Thank you for your faithfulness and devotion to St. Mary’s by the Sea and your generous support during this coronavirus crisis. My prayers are with you and may the Lord bless you during this season of Lent and always.  It is in this time of crisis that we need to pray for God’s mercy and kindness.

We would like to inform you that St. Mary’s by the Sea has been closed since Friday, March 20, 2020 and will remain closed until further notice in observance of California Order N-33-20.  Please know, however, that members of our staff are working remotely from home. If you’d like to speak with one of us, please leave a voicemail on our office line and we will respond to your message as soon as possible, or you can send us an email. Thank you and may God bless you and your families. 

Phone #: (714) 536-6913, x-112  Email: officesmbs@gmail.com

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Reverend Quang Vinh Chu, Pastor

CLICK HERE for prayer card   CLICK HERE for letter from Pastor and spiritual communion readings and links for prayers.

Sunday Mass will be livestreamed in English at 9:45 a.m. at facebook.com/christcathedralca. Daily Mass will be livestreamed at 8:15 a.m. on Monday through Saturday and on Sunday at 9 a.m. at http://stedward.com/stedcast/.  Latin Tridentine Mass at www.livemass.net 


From the Office of the Bishop of Orange

In light of the GOVERNOR’S ORDER FOR ALL CALIF. RESIDENTS TO REMAIN AT HOME, EXCEPT ESSENTIAL SERVICES INDIVIDUALS, we want to provide further clarifications and reminders about public and private gatherings.

What does this mean for our Parishes, Schools, Pastoral Center and Cathedral Campus?


ALL NON-ESSENTIAL Parish Staff, School Staff, Pastoral Center Staff, and Campus Staff will need to work from home effective as of midnight on 03-19-20, per the Order, until further notice.

Daily Confessions are suspended at this time. Further clarification will be provided to you as soon as possible regarding both Confessions and Holy Week Services.

St. Mary’s by the Sea parish grounds are now closed to public entry. 

CLICK HERE for latest Coronavirus Updates from the Diocese.    CLICK HERE for message from Diocese.