The Genesis of Corpus Christi Catholic-Christian Community
The journey of Corpus Christi in Aliso Viejo opens in the summer of 1997, when a small band of volunteers met with an associate pastor at St. Timothy's in Laguna Niguel. The topic: Starting a Sunday Mass in Aliso Viejo.
After obtaining permission from then-Bishop Norman McFarland, the founding group rented out the auditorium at Oak Grove Elementary School, and began distributing fliers door to door. The first Mass was celebrated Jan. 4, 1998, launching what was officially known as “The Pastoral Extension of St. Timothy's to the People of Aliso Viejo.” Unofficially, the Sunday morning service was dubbed “St. Oak Grove.” The group quickly outgrew the auditorium, and by August had taken up residence at Aliso Viejo Middle School. There, too, the community attracted overflow crowds of people – and one four-legged bystander. Buck the Horse was stabled across the street from the school, on a privately owned field that handled excess parking. He roamed among the cars, and parishioners were advised to not disturb him as they left Mass.
The next turning point came June 6, 1999, when Bishop Tod Brown established Corpus Christi Catholic-Christian Faith Community as a full-fledged parish in the Diocese of Orange. Fr. Fred, our bacon-loving friar, was installed as founding pastor.
In late 2002, the parish packed up and moved again – to an office park at 6-A Liberty, the final stop before landing at its permanent home in November 2006. The new building, patterned after the American Craftsman movement of the early 20th century, is rich in symbolism and artistic flourishes, including a rosary from Pope John Paul II embedded in the floor, and a baptismal font carved from a 2,000-pound block of New Mexico granite.
Continuing Corpus Christi's story, then-Bishop Todd Brown appointed our current Pastor, Fr. Tim Ramakers to shepherd the family here in AV. On July 2, 2012, we welcomed Fr. Tim in true Corpus Christi fashion. Born in Long Beach, Fr. Tim and his family moved to Orange County in 1963. He was ordained in 1982 and prior to joining Corpus Christi served as Pastor of St. Joseph Parish for 15 years.
Today, Corpus Christi strives for a doctrinal but energized and vibrant approach to Catholicism, one based not on rote memorization or habit, but on a living, breathing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But that's just the introduction to Corpus Christi's story. For the rest of the tale, please join in and help us write the next chapters.