The Diocese of the West

St. Katherine Mission is part of the Diocese of the West, a district of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) that covers a huge geographical area. Our diocese includes parishes and monasteries in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Our hierarch bears the title “Archbishop of San Francisco and the West." His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, was elected to lead our diocese in 2007, following the retirement of Bishop Tikhon.

The Diocese of the West, which has 58 parishes and five monastic communities, has strong historical links to the arrival of Orthodoxy in the United States. While the title “Diocese of the West” has only been used since the 1970s, the ecclesiastical center of our diocese—San Francisco—has been at the forefront of Orthodox activity in this country, beginning with the arrival of Russian missionaries in the mid- to late-1800s.

For more information about our diocese, or to find parishes and monasteries you can visit while traveling, see the Diocese of the West website.  


The Orthodox Church in America

St. Katherine Orthodox Church is part of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), one of multiple Orthodox "jurisdictions" within the United States.

The OCA traces its origins to the arrival in Kodiak, Alaska of eight Orthodox missionaries from Russia in 1794. The missionaries made a great impact on the native Alaskan population and were responsible for bringing many to the Orthodox Christian faith.

Today, the OCA numbers over 700 parishes, missions, communities, monasteries, and institutions throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Mission of the OCA

  • The Mission of the Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all [things that He has] commanded” so that all people may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth:
  • To preach, in accordance with God’s will, the fullness of the gospel of the Kingdom to the peoples of North America and to invite them to become members of the Orthodox Church.
  • To utilize for her mission the various languages of the peoples of this continent.
  • To be the body of Christ in North America and to be faithful to the tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church.
  • To witness to the truth, and by God’s grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to reveal Christ’s way of sanctification and eternal salvation to all.

Popular Pages at OCA.org

Common Prayers
A selection of Orthodox prayers. Available also in downloadable PDF format.

Recommended Readings
ecommended Orthodox Christian books. Scroll down to see purchasing information below.

Feasts & Saints
An online library of icons, saints lives, and liturgical commemorations for every day of the year.

Scripture Readings
Let us attend! Read today's Epistle and Gospel here.