Name of Church St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral

Address 1627 Jamacha Way, El Cajon, CA 92019

Phone number (619) 579-7913


Mass times Saturday vigil, 4 p.m. (English). Sunday, 8 a.m. (Arabic), 10 a.m. (English), noon (Chaldean/Aramaic), 4 p.m. (English). (View Masses on their Facebook page,

Music Most of the liturgy is sung; hymns are in Aramaic, the language of Christ.

Confessions Sundays, 8 a.m. – noon, during Masses.

Names of priests Fr. Simon Esshaki, acting rector. Fr. Michael Bazzi, rector emeritus. Fr. Simon has been at the parish since 2014. He is a first generation Iraqi-American; his parents are from Baghdad. Fr. Bazzi is from Tel Keppe, a formerly Christian village in northern Iraq. Islamic state fighters have forced most of the Christians to leave his former village, however, as well as nearby Mosul, another former Christian enclave. Fr. Bazzi came to the United States in 1974, and has served at St. Peter’s since 1985. He has done much to settle Iraqi Christians in the San Diego area.

School No.

Special activities The parish has a new 24-hour adoration chapel behind the statue of Mary and to the left.

Fellow parishioners The parish serves 5,000 Chaldean Catholics from Iraq. El Cajon has a large Chaldean population of 50,000, with another 10,000 in the surrounding San Diego area. There are two other Chaldean Catholic parishes in El Cajon, St. Michael’s and St. Thomas the Apostle. Parishioners frequently rotate between parishes.

Parking There is ample parking on the grounds.

Additional observations The cathedral is the seat of the Eparchy (diocese) of St. Peter the Apostle. It, and the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle headquartered in Detroit, serve 210,000 Chaldean Catholics in the United States. They are in union with Rome. St. Peter’s was built in 1983, and for most of that time its pastor/rector has been Fr. Bazzi, who is retired. He will leave the cathedral at the end of 2018.