Liturgy of the Western tradition

About Our Parish

St Michael’s is a parish in the Orthodox Church, which is the second largest Christian group in the world. Most Orthodox parishes are in Russia, Greece, Serbia, Romania and the Middle East.

Our Parish was formed in 1977, and entered the Orthodox Church in 1981. The congregation consists of people from the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area who come from various ethnic backgrounds: Mexican, Ecuadorian, Ukrainian, Russian, Palestinian, Eritrean, Lebanese, Indian, Greek, English, German, Irish, South African, etc.

Members from St Michael’s are involved in many different projects that help the disadvantaged and aid the Whittier community.

If you desire more information about St Michael’s Church, please feel free to contact our Pastor, Father John, by phone or email.

Please know that you are welcome to visit anytime. Our Sunday Mass is at 10 a.m., followed by a fellowship time that includes a full meal.



Metropolitan Archbishop St Michael Church is under the omophorion of The Most Reverend SABA, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Metropolitan SABA was born and raised in Syria, and has been Metropolitan of North America since 2023. His complete biography can be accessed here.

Bishop John St Michael Church is a parish in the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese. The Right Reverend Bishop JOHN (Abdalah) is the Auxiliary Bishop for all Western Rite parishes. Bishop JOHN is also the Auxiliary Bishop for the New England diocese, yet visits St Michael regularly. Bishop JOHN’s full biography can be accessed here. St Michael also fully participates in all the events of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

Parish Pastor The Very Reverend John W. Fenton was appointed the Third Pastor of St Michael’s by Metropolitan Joseph in October 2015. Fr. John Fenton came to Orthodoxy after 16 years of service as a Lutheran minister. Ordained a priest by Bishop MARK on 11 February 2007, Fr John was first assigned to form Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church. Fr John has earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Sacred Theology. In 2009, Fr John was appointed Assistant to the Vicar General of the Western Rite, and continues in that role assisting Bishop John, the Auxiliary Bishop for Western Rite parishes. He has taught on all levels–elementary, high school, community college, online University, graduate school–and has been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as magazines (online and print); edited two books including “With What Zeal;” is the current compiler of the Vicariate Ordo; contributes to the Vicariate website; and is the project manager of the official Missal for the Western Rite Vicariate. Fr John is married to Matushka Julie. They have seven children and 15 grandchildren.

Other Clergy

Sdn Michael
Subdeacon Michael

Life at St Michael's

Life at St Michael’s

Holy Mass

Holy Mass (Divine Liturgy) is the chief activity and service of the parish. It is celebrated on:

  • Sundays at 10 a.m.
  • Tuesdays through Saturdays at 9 a.m.
  • Holy Days at 7 p.m. as announced
  • Mass is celebrated in Latin on Saturdays

Every Sunday, after Mass, all parishioners and guests are invited to a full lunch.


Lauds and Vespers are ancient prayer services centered around the Psalms. They are offered regularly on:

  • Saturdays: Vespers at 5 p.m.
  • Sundays: Lauds at 9:15 a.m.
  • Tuesdays through Saturday: Lauds at 8:15 a.m.
  • Thursdays: Vespers at 6:30 p.m.


In addition to the regular schedule, special services are offered during Lent:

  • Wednesdays: Rosary at 6:30 p.m., Mass at 7 p.m.
  • Fridays: Stations of the Cross & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 7 p.m.

These services are followed by a light meal in the parish hall.

Learning the Orthodox Faith

Numerous opportunities for Scripture study and understanding the Orthodox Faith are also offered at St Michael’s.

  • Didache (di-dah-kay) is a lively and informative inter-generational presentation of various biblical, doctrinal and practical aspects of the Faith. All presentations are designed to interest children as well as teens and adults. It meets on Sundays during lunch and is taught by Father John.
  • Father’s Bible Study on a particular book of the Holy Scriptures is led by Fr John every Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. Currently, the group is studying the book of Job.
  • Reading St Augustine is a read through, with commentary by Fr John, on one of the teachings of St Augustine or another Orthodox patristic writer.
  • Men’s Group meets every Thursday from 7-8:30 p.m. It is open to all Orthodox Christian men and inquirers. The meetings follow a rotating schedule: reading through “The Imitation of Christ” on one Thursday; Tools for Living Repentance on another Thursday; and open conversation (social night) on a third Thursday.
  • Exploring Orthodoxy is an informal discussion of the doctrines of the Orthodox Faith for inquirers (seekers), catechumens and parishioners. No commitment is expected. It meets according to the schedules of interested persons.
  • Antiochian Women of St Michael meets on the second Sunday of each month after the lunch. The meetings include a discussion of a biblical topic or book specifically suited to Christian women.
  • The Society of St Benedict is a prayer society open to persons of all Christian faiths. In addition to following regular prayers, discussions on meditation and portions of the Rule of St Benedict are also offered, as well as service projects and annual retreats.

Sacraments & Other Services

  • The Sacrament of Penance (Private Confession) is available on Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. or by appointment.
  • The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is offered to those unbaptized persons who desire to become Christian. It includes the Sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation) and First Communion. Instruction in the Orthodox Faith and regular participation in the life of St Michael’s Church are necessary per-requisites to Baptism.
  • Biblical counseling for those intending to marry, or for those in any need, is offered by Fr John. Please call for an appointment. (562.692.6121)
  • Non-Sacramental Anointing is offered to any Christian who desires prayers for healing of body, mind, or spirit.
  • Regular visitation of the sick and homebound is provided by Father John.
Joining St Michael's

Joining St Michael’s

St Michael’s Church is a family of Orthodox Christians who care for each other, and are cared for by our Bishop and Pastor.

Becoming a member of St Michael’s begins with attending regularly the Mass and other liturgical services. In this way, you get to know us and we get to know you so that we can care for you.

If, after several visits, you decide to become part of our church family, you will be received by one of three routes:

  • If you are an Orthodox Christian, then you simply need to declare your intent to Fr John and offer what you can of yourself or your resources. You will also want to communicate your desire to your previous parish.
  • If you are from another Christian tradition and wish to become Orthodox, you will need to be received by the Sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation). Instruction tailored to your background and schedule is required. This instruction requires that you join us in at least one of the major fasts (Advent or Lent). Proof of baptism in a previous Christian group is also required.
  • If you have not been baptized, you will need to be instructed in the Orthodox Faith. Instruction tailored to your background and schedule is required. This instruction generally takes one year.

To explain our terminology, those who are visiting and just “checking us out” are known as “Inquirers.” Inquirers may participate in all our liturgical services and activities, but are not permitted to receive the Eucharist or other Sacraments. Additionally, no commitment or obligation is expected or Inquirers.

Those who have decided that they wish to become Orthodox are known as “Catechumens.” As they prepare for their First Eucharist, Catechumens integrate themselves into the parish by making the commitment to attend liturgical services and participate in the life of the parish.


Those interested in the Orthodox Faith are encouraged to attend regularly an Orthodox parish for at least six weeks.

The following books or pamphlets may also be helpful:




7th Home

After many years of toil, the parish finally founded their present home in 1990, and His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Saliba consecrated the new building to the glory of God. The Chancel Arch Mural depicting Jesus Christ as Savior and Judge accompanied by the angels of the last judgment was completed and dedicated on March 3, […]

Sixth Home

The sixth location was on the present site. Before construction was complete on the present structure, a portable trailer was used for services with coffee hour being held under the trees. Return to previous post.

Fifth Home

Our fifth home was the Miller, Mies, McComb Mortuary in Downey. The location was later destroyed by an earthquake. See also Fourth Home and sixth Home.

Fourth Home

August, 1977 On Paramount in Downey. Previously: Third Home

Third Home

July 17 – August 14, 1977 Third temporary home of St. Michael’s Mission was the Mr. & Mrs. Burl Baker residence, 11541 Rives, Downey, California. Services were held here July 17, 1977 through August 14, 1977. Read about Second Home.

Second Home

June 5 – July 3, 1977 Second temporary home of St. Michael’s Mission was the Mr. & Mrs. Frank Cunard Sr. residence, 13461 Downey Ave, Downey, California. Services were held here June 5, 1977 through July 3, 1977. We also enjoyed a potluck dinner here during June. Click to see more posts tagged with photos.

First Home

April 10 – May 29, 1977 First temporary home of St. Michael’s Mission was a building formerly St. Michael’s Monastery, 6567 Fry Street, Bell Gardens, California. St. Michael’s Mission held services here starting Easter Sunday (April 10, 1977) through May 29, 1977.

Fr. Michael Trigg, Memory Eternal

Fr. Michael Trigg was born Elwood Bellew Trigg on March 23, 1940 to Earle Bellew Trigg, MD and Emily Daley Trigg, RN of Inglewood, California. He had one sibling, his older brother, Earle, who died in middle age. Deeply religious from his youth, Fr. Michael showed a passion for reading, research and scholarly pursuits, especially […]