St. John the Baptizer, La Mesa, exteriorName of Church St. John the Baptizer

Address 4400 Palm Avenue, La Mesa CA 91941

Phone number (619) 697-5085


Divine Liturgy Schedule Sundays at 9:30 am; on weekdays as requested.

Confessions 30 minutes before services or by appointment.

Names of priests Father James Bankston, pastor.  Father Bankston is an orthodox, welcoming pastor, with a wealth of knowledge about the eastern rite Church.  Fellowship with him and St. John the Baptizer parishioners after the liturgy, when the parish hosts a coffee social.  Father Bankston, who is married and has children, came to the parish in 2008.

St. John the Baptizer, La Mesa, interiorSpecial activities Saturdays and Vigils of Feasts, 6 pm Great Vespers (in English); monthly men’s prayer breakfast (sponsored by the Knights of Columbus).

Liturgy The liturgy is sung, the congregation stands throughout the service.  (Although you sit at the homily, or at other points of the liturgy if you need to.)  You do not kneel during the liturgy.  The liturgy uses a mix of Ukrainian and English.  To receive Holy Communion, open your mouth and tilt your head back (do not stick your tongue out); the priest will give you the Host dipped in the chalice on a spoon.  Do not be surprised if you see small children, even babies, receiving Holy Communion, as it is the practice in this rite.  You’ll enjoy the colorful icons in the church, which are incorporated into the liturgy.

Parking No problem.

Fellow parishioners Most of Ukrainian descent, some Anglos.

Parking OK.

Cry room Yes.

Additional observations This is a parish of about 50 families.  It is in union with Rome and is part of the Saint Nicholas Eparchy, which includes the Western and Midwestern United States, led by Bishop Richard Seminack.  The eparchy encompasses about 45 parishes; the bishop is headquartered in Chicago.  The parish began as Our Lady of Perpetual Help mission in 1960; the church building was purchased in 1966.  The church was relocated to the La Mesa site in 2001.  (It was a former wedding chapel and rehabilitation center.)  It was renamed St. John the Baptizer at that time.