Name of Church Holy Angels Byzantine
Address 2235 Galahad Road, San Diego CA 92123-3931
Phone number (858) 277-2511
Worship Schedule Sunday Divine Liturgy, 9 a.m. Holy day vigil, 7 p.m. Holy day liturgy, 9 a.m.
Confessions 30 minutes before services, or by appointment.
Names of priests Father Robert Pipta has served as pastor since 2004. He is a reverent liturgist, and an able homilist. He’s friendly and is pleased to explain the Byzantine traditions to Latin-rite Catholics with limited knowledge of the rite.
Special activities Check the online calendar for the times of Matins and Vespers (prayer services),activities of theteen and young adults groups, and adult enrichment classes. If you like ethnic foods, parishioners regularly bake and sell items, which serve as a fundraiser for the church.
Liturgy Liturgies are mostly in English and entirely sung. There is no kneeling, parishioners usually stand or sit. All ages receive Holy Communion; the host is dipped into the chalice with a spoon and administered to the faithful. (If your small children are in attendance, they must first join the parish—and the Byzantine rite—before going to Communion.) Other features of the liturgy you’ll notice include bowing, incense and singing by the congregation.
Fellow parishioners The rite’s origins are Ruthenian (Eastern European), but at Holy Angels this is a spiritual patrimony rather than being representative of a particular ethnicity. You’ll find English-speaking Catholics from the surrounding area; stay after liturgy for the social and meet the parishioners.
Parking No problem.
Cry room None. If you have unruly children, take them into the narthex (vestibule), which is separated from the main body of the church by glass.
Additional observations Holy Angels Byzantine enjoys union with the Bishop of Rome, but is an Eastern Catholic rather than Roman Catholic church. They have the same faith and seven sacraments, but different customs and ways of celebrating liturgy. The rite traces its roots back to Constantinople (once called Byzantium). Two Greek missionaries, Cyril and Methodius, brought the Byzantine way of worship to Central and Eastern Europe. Some of these Catholics emigrated to the United States and brought with them the Byzantine rite and traditions. Holy Angels is part of the Holy Protection Eparchy (diocese) of Phoenix (www.eparchyofphoenix.org). Liturgy was first celebrated for the mission community in 1958. Holy Angels became a parish in 1960; it moved to its current location in 1973, the current church having been built in 1978. The church was renovated in 2005; phase II of the renovation is now underway. One of the church’s most prominent features are its icons, or “windows into heaven,” and an icon screen in the front of the church. The screen has “holy doors” in the middle, which represent the gates to heaven.
“Contemporary” but apparently beautiful. It’s a shame that the Latin Rite in recent decades has missed so many opportunities to combine the two qualities in its new church buildings.
Thank God and His Mother, for the most part, the Eastern Churches escaped the destruction brought about through the “Spirit of Vatican II!
The Eastern Churches have been a refuge for many, far too many, Roman Catholics who were scandalized by that “spirit”!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Your are very correct Mr. Fisher
KENNETH’S frequent rants against the second vatican council remind me of a quote, i forget from whom, about some old curmudgeon priest complaining:
“the HOLY SPIRIT is doing a lot of things in the CHURCH which the HOLY GHOST would never have permitted!”
Thank you so much for featuring my home parish on your site. We definitely will welcome those who drive to our parish, and hope you can experience breathing with the “other lung” of the Church in so doing! Merry Christmas!
Our separated brethren often talk about ‘spirit filled’ churches as a sign of God’s presence. As Catholics we know that Jesus is present in every Catholic church but the ancient Eastern liturgy, the icons and very engaged congregation at Holy Angels enhances the spiritual experience. The life of Christ and Mary are depicted among the many icons covering the walls and ceiling and creates many opportunities for contemplating the mysteries of our faith. Fr. Robert is a very good pastor of souls and an orthodox preacher whose sermons are understood by not only the adults but also the little children. It is a small parish, very welcoming with many converts to Catholicism and provides excellent religious instruction for children and teens.