Name of Church Our Lady of Fatima Byzantine Catholic Church

Address 5920 Geary Blvd., San Francisco 94121 (in the Richmond district, four blocks north of the Golden Gate Park)

Phone number (415) 752-2052


 Mass times Divine Liturgy of Our Father among the Saints, St. John Chrysostom, first Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. (an agape meal follows in the parish center).

Confessions  Ask the priest.

Names of clergy Father Vito Perrone, COSJ, pastor.  Kyril (Bruce) Pagacz, deacon.

Special activities Reader’s Matins are read most Sundays at 8:30 a.m.  Reader’s Vespers are read most Saturdays at 4 p.m.

Music The Byzantine liturgy is sung without musical accompaniment.

School No.

Fellow parishioners While primarily established to serve Russian expatriates, the center also serves a secondary purpose of introducing Latin-rite Catholics with the Byzantine rite and Russian spiritual heritage.

Parking Park in the lot behind the church, or there is metered parking on the street.

Additional observations  The Our Lady of Fatima community of San Francisco was established in 1950.  Its purpose was to serve Russian Byzantine Catholics fleeing Communism in the Soviet Union.  Their first center, an old mansion on 20th and Lake Street, was purchased in 1955.  The center was named for Our Lady of Fatima because of the Blessed Mother’s promise to the three children of Fatima that one day Russia would be converted.

Our Lady of Fatima recently relocated to a former convent of St. Monica’s Roman Catholic Church.  The church is in union with Rome, and is a parish of the archdiocese of San Francisco.  But, being a Byzantine church, Latin-rite Catholics will notice many differences in its liturgy.  Byzantine worship follows its own liturgical calendar, has its own ritual and even uses leavened bread.  Prayers are lengthy; when mentioning God’s name, for example, you’ll find it accompanied with multiple adjectives about His goodness, mercy, power and providence.  The interior of the church, with its many icons, including an icon screen, stresses that worshipers are in God’s presence and the company of saints.  Lots of incense is used; processions are part of the services.  The faithful stand for most of the liturgy (but sit at the homily).  Reception of the “precious gifts” is on a spoon.