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 Fr. Brian Escobedo. Fr. Brian was born and raised Roman Catholic, became Byzantine and was ordained a priest a few years ago. He is married.
Special activities Check the online calendar for the times of Matins and Vespers (prayer services) and religious education classes. If you like ethnic foods, parishioners regularly bake and sell items; it serves as a fundraiser for the church.
Liturgy Liturgies are reverent, 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 continuous singing/chanting. See the parish website for more liturgical information: https://www.holyangelssandiego.com/liturgical-life/.
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 in 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. It 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, with the current church having been built in 1978, followed by renovations beginning in 2005. One of the church’s most prominent features is its icons, or “windows into heaven,” which are all over the church, and an icon screen in the front of the church. The screen has “holy doors” in the middle, which represent the gates to heaven.
Take a look at the church interior and listen to liturgical singing here:
I encourage you to attend Divine Liturgy (Mass) there sometime. Or, participate in any of the sacraments or prayer. All Catholics are welcome. It is a beautiful church. Full disclosure: I, too, am a Byzantine or Greek Catholic and have attended services at Holy Angels. I also know Fr. Brian, a fine priest. The article made me chuckle, it stated that Fr. Brian was “raised Catholic, became Byzantine…” Feel free to check with Christ or the Pope, but we’re still Catholic! This church is definitely worth driving to.
Thank you! We’ve updated the article.
Different customs and ways of celebrating liturgy. In union with Bishop of Rome. Married priest.
I’m Orthodox now (in the OCA) but I was a parishioner at Holy Angels for 11 years back in the late 80’s and 90’s. Wonderful friendly people and this parish was the place I first discovered Eastern Christianity and I will never forget it or them