Very Reverend Christopher H. Smith has been with Christ Cathedral from the very beginning of its transformation into a Catholic house of worship. Smith was appointed by the Most Reverend Tod D. Brown to serve as Episcopal Vicar and Rector of Christ Cathedral in March, 2012.
Still serving as Episcopal Vicar and Rector of Christ Cathedral, Father Smith was the first staff member of the Diocese of Orange assigned to the cathedral. As Episcopal Vicar he has been designated by Bishop Vann to oversee the administration, development and carrying out of the mission of the Christ Cathedral campus. As Rector of the cathedral, he is responsible for the pastoral ministry of Christ Cathedral Parish.
Fr. Smith has spent his entire priestly ministry in the Diocese of Orange. He is a member of the first class of seminarians who were ordained priests for the new Diocese of Orange on June 3, 1978. On June 1, 2018 he observed his 40th anniversary as a priest by celebrating a special Mass at Christ Cathedral Parish. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from St. John’s Seminary and a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Fordham University.
He has served in numerous capacities in the Diocese of Orange, including parochial vicar, Director of the Office for Religious Education, Vicar for Religious Education, Pastor of St. Joseph Church, Santa Ana, and Episcopal Vicar for Priests.
He has served on numerous directorial and advisory boards, including the Board of Directors of St. John’s Seminary, the Advisory Board of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange Educational Network, the Advisory Board of the Vatican II Institute, the founding Board of Taller San Jose Hope Builders and the Board of Concern America. He was the coordinator of Mission Education for Concern America and is chairperson of the Editorial Council of the Orange County Catholic.
Fr. Smith is a seventh generation Californian whose family was integral in the early settlement and development of California. His sister, Teresa “Tita” Smith, is Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Orange County.