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Bishop Floyd L. Begin

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Bishop Floyd L. Begin

Begin Official Portrait



Of Norman French and Scotch ancestry, Floyd Begin was born in Cleveland, OH, on February 5, 1902.  He was raised and educated Catholic and was the first valedictorian of Cleveland’s Cathedral Latin High School in 1920.  He attended Saint John’s College, a preparatory seminary and later the North American College in Rome.  On July 27, 1927, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Ignatius Dubrowski.

Continuing his education he received doctorates in sacred theology and philosophy and in 1930 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Canon Law from Apollinaris College in Rome.  Within a few years after his return from Italy, Father Begin was appointed secretary to Bishop Joseph Schrembs and assistant chancellor in Cleveland. In 1934 Pope Pius XI designated the young priest a Papal Chamberlain (Monsignor) and two years later elevated him to the rank of Domestic Prelate.

He was also appointed secretary to the National Eucharistic Congress of the United States and within the next few years became vice-chancellor, officialis, and vicar general.

On March 22, 1947, Pope Pius XII appointed Msgr. Begin as Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland, OH.  Msgr. Begin was ordained Bishop of the Titular See of Sala (Sardi), Turkey, on May 1, 1947.

In January of 1962, Pope John XXIII established the Diocese of Oakland from the eastern portion of the San Francisco Archdiocese.  Bishop Begin was appointed as the Ordinary of the new Diocese on January 27, 1962.  He was installed as Bishop of the Diocese on Saturday, April 28, 1962, at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral.  The installing prelate was the Most Reverend Edigio Vagnozzi, titular Archbishop of Myra and Apostolic Delegate to the United States.  Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken was present in his capacity as Metropolitan of the Archieposcopal Province of San Francisco.  The Oakland Tribune reported on Bishop Begin's opening address, stating:

He requested that his followers join him in making "the love of God and love of neighbor" the theme song of their lives.  He said that Catholics should so put God first in their lives that He and we shall know that we love Him above everything else, that we belong to Him completely and irrevocably.

On Sunday, April 29th, Bishop Begin offered a Solemn Pontifical High Mass in the Cathedral.  That evening there was a welcoming testimonial dinner for the new bishop held at the Oakland Kaiser Center.  The next day Bishop Begin took over the administrative offices, located at a rented property on West Grand Avenue, naming the officials for the Diocese.

Bishop Begin was a Council Father at all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council.

On May 2, 1975 Bishop Begin ordained Rev. Clarence Richard Silva to the Presbyterate.  Rev. Silva was subsequently ordained bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawai'i.  He was also the principle co-consecrator of the following:

  • †John Francis Cardinal Dearden (May 18, 1948)
  • †John Joseph Cardinal Krol (September 2, 1953)
  • †Archbishop John Francis Whealon (July 6, 1961)
  • †Bishop Clarence Edward Elwell (December 26, 1962)
  • Bishop John Stephen Cummins (May 16, 1974)

During his tenure as bishop of Oakland, the following parishes were established:

  • Our Lady, Queen of the World, West Pittsburg (August 28, 1962)
  • St. Agnes, Concord (November 1, 1964)
  • St. Charles, Livermore (June 10, 1964)
  • Good Shepherd, Pittsburg (May 20, 1965)
  • St. Anne, Walnut Creek ( July 10, 1965)
  • St. John Vianney, Walnut Creek (May 20, 1965)
  • St. Monica, Moraga (1965)
  • Santa Paula, Fremont (May 20, 1965)
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel, San Leandro (July 1, 1966)
  • St. Stephen, Walnut Creek (July 1, 1966)
  • St. James, Fremont (April 13, 1972)
  • St Anne Mission, elevated to St. Ann Parish (1973)

Bishop Begin died on April 26, 1977.  He was originally buried in the Bishop's Crypt at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, California. On November 2, 2008, his remains were re-interred in the Cathedral Mausoleum of the new Cathedral of Christ the Light.



Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron

Archishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ