The Diocese of Orange, and by extension OC Catholic newspaper, has lost one of the best writers and editors it has ever had. Patrick Mott, former OC Catholic editor and the author of virtually every great article this publication has published, passed away July 1 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. His wit, his writing and his depth of understanding of our faith will be sorely missed.
Not only was his work at OC Catholic recognized with honors by the Catholic Press Association, but Mott was an award-winning journalist and editor in Orange County press circles as well. His work at the Orange County Register, OC METRO and other regional media was well known. His was honored several times by the Orange County Press Club.
The first time I noted Mott’s byline was when he was the restaurant reviewer for OC METRO magazine. I’ll never forget laughing out loud at one review Mott wrote about the spicy food at a particular restaurant. The dish was so hot, he said, “that I was audibly perspiring.”
Mott wrote masterfully. He had the ability to tell a story in depth and in detail, yet he never talked down to the reader. In doing so, he brought us all closer to the subject of his stories. That, I believe, was his greatest contribution while on this earth.
When I became a part of the OC Catholic editorial team under Mott’s leadership, I remember being a little nervous about attending the first of our monthly editorial planning meetings. Mott, after all, in his early days attended St. John’s seminary during the time he was discerning a calling to the priesthood. He knew so much about Catholicism. He didn’t end up becoming a priest because, I think, God called him instead to bring others closer to him through his gifted writing.
Mott made believing easier. He did so because he wrote from his heart. He made our faith more understandable and accessible because he was gifted with the skills to write so elegantly, yet with humor and wit that compelled you to read everything he wrote, and then to want to share it with someone else. He made others, including me, comfortable asking questions about our faith. And he answered those questions so beautifully, both in person and in prose.
If we are all called to use the gifts God gave us to help bring others closer to him, then Patrick Mott served the Lord well.
Editor’s Note: In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either of the following organizations:
If you would like to donate to the Patrick Mott Scholarship endowment, please do so per the following instructions:
Acknowledgement letters will be sent to all donors. The Pacific Chorale is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our tax ID is 95-2585505.