Churches worth driving to

Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Wilmington, California
Ss. Peter & Paul, Wilmington, exterior

Ss. Peter & Paul, Wilmington, exterior

Name of Church Ss. Peter and Paul

Address 515 West Opp Street, Wilmington, CA 90744

Phone number 310-834-5215


Mass times Saturday vigil, 5 p.m. (English); Sunday, 6:30 a.m. (Latin Tridentine), 8 a.m. (Spanish), 9:30 a.m. (English; Latin Tridentine High Mass on 3rd Sundays), 11 a.m. (English), 12:30 p.m. (Spanish), 2 p.m. (Spanish), 5 p.m. (English), 7 p.m. (Spanish); Monday – Friday, 6:45 & 8 a.m. (English); Saturday, 8 a.m. (English)

Confessions Fridays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 p.m.; and during the Sunday Masses, 8, 9:30 & 11 a.m., 12:30 & 2 p.m.

Altar at Ss. Peter and Paul

Altar at Ss. Peter and Paul

Names of priests Norbertine Fathers Hildebrand Garceau (pastor), Michael Perea (parochial vicar), Charbel Grbavac (school rector), Adrian Sanchez (Sunday auxiliary) and David Gonzalez (Sunday auxiliary). The Norbertines are reliably orthodox and deliver good homilies.

School Founded in 1944 by the Franciscan Sisters of Charity and Penance. Today, it serves grades pre-K through 8th grade and is under lay leadership. Nancy Kuria serves as principal and Fr. Charbel Grbavac as rector.

Special parish groups and activities Perpetual Adoration Chapel, Pro-Life Ministry, Poverty Program, Legion of Mary, Knights of Columbus, Third Order Norbertines and many others.

Liturgy Reverent and traditional

Music Cantors and choirs

Fellow parishioners The surrounding community is mostly Hispanic and Spanish-speaking, although many Anglos from further away are drawn to the parish because of its traditional character.
Parking The parking lot fills up for the Sunday Masses, so come early. There is parking on the street when the lot is full.

Acoustics Good.

Cry room No.

Stained glass window at Ss. Peter and Paul

Stained glass window at Ss. Peter and Paul

Literature Visit the St. Joseph’s Bookstore to purchase religious books and other items.

Additional observations Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Wilmington was founded in 1865, making it the second oldest church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Its first pastor was Franciscan Father Antonio Ubach, the last of the Franciscan padres in the line of Blessed Junipero Serra. In the Great Jubliee Year 2000, Ss. Peter and Paul Church was designated one of 20 pilgrimage churches in the Archdiocese. In 2006, the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado were assigned to the parish. The church is beautiful and well-maintained, and the priests foster an environment well suited to prayer. There is also a community of Norbertine Sisters that serves the parish, teaching in the parish school, serving the poor, working in the bookstore, maintaining the sacristy and teaching catechism and Confirmation classes.



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  1. St. Christopher says:

    Better than an N.O.-only Church, but why all (?any?) Spanish masses — have the TLM as the only Mass on every Sunday at, say, 9:30 or 11, instead of 6:30 am. Also, offer all sacraments in the E.F. Crazy to have the Church divided up like this (although it is a curious paradox how Liberal Francis may be the best ultimate friend of the SSPX, rather than the far more traditional St. JPII and Benedict. Why? Because, it seems, Francis does not see any problem with saying the Mass differently, or even believing differently’ while JPII and Benedict maintained the pride of Vatican II insiders. God uses chaos to His advantage).

  2. The non-Latin Masses are 50-50 English-Spanish. Years ago, that area was heavily Spanish speaking. Likely still is. The Latinos/Hispanic/Spanish speaking have always made great efforts to retain Spanish language skills, even though they also speak fluent American English. Many other ethnicities speak only American English by the third and subsequent generations.
    I understand the beliefs are identical. Its “Creo en un Dios, padre omnipotente…” just as its “I believe in one God, Father Almighty..” and “Credo in umum Deum, pater omnipotente..’

  3. A stunning church to say the least, they must remove the “dinner table” in front of the high altar this is just not needed since there is a high altar in place. It impedes on the TLM that I was watching on their website, there is no need for Spanish masses all should be in Latin according the Missal of 1962.

    • Bob One says:

      You, Janek, want the Mass in Latin, but those that want it in English, Spanish or other languages shouldn’t have that choice? It’s possible that the TLM would be more popular if it was said, word for word, in local languages.

      • St. Christopher says:

        “Bob One”: the Mass is not a matter of “choice” for Catholics and the Church should not let it be. Each Mass the sacrifice of Calvary, not a meal, not a communal gathering; it is the worship of God in one voice (Latin) and in one form (the extraordinary form is a misnomer). This unites the world and unites the Church to its glorious roots. If someone wants to worship where they use Spanish, or Tuareg or Ebonics, then let them find it somewhere else. The mish-mash of languages, forms, prayers and the like makes the Mass very disturbing from one parish to the next. But, the Church leadership, especially the Germans, does not like being Catholic, “too Medieval.” Time for them to leave.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because, as we all knew, the world was perfect and the earth stopped spinning, in exactly 1962.

  4. I too find it ironic that Pope Francis may bring back the S.S.P.X. into the Church and yet Benedict the XVI would not go that far even though he was far more “traditional” and friendly towards the TLM, truly strange times for the Church. In any case the S.S.P.X. can do so much good should they come home to Rome and spread the TLM to all corners of the earth.

  5. Its more than just Latin, it is how the Holy Mass is offered and the traditional sacraments. Giant puppets, hand holding, kiss of peace, communion in the hand, dancing girls, altar girls, women running around the altar pretending to be priests, felt banners, no kneelers, guitars, drums, protestant hymns, dinner table, this is the NOVUS ORDO, compare with the TLM.

    • I attend this church just because one is able to kneel down and receive communion on the tongue from (9 times out of 10) a priest! I live about 10 or so miles from this church, but it’s so worth it!!

  6. The TLM is: Latin, silence, kneeling for holy communion, altar boys only, organ, proper attire, mantilla, suites & ties, Mozart, Palestrina, Hayden, communion rail, statues, crucifix, central tabernacle, high altar, Roman vestments, Gregorian chant, we have NEVER changed the Church changed! The saints would never recognize the Holy Mass today, it would be alien and strange for them to see the Novus Ordo performed. Attend a Mass at any F.S.S.P., Institute of Christ the King and S.S.P.X. church and the saints of the past would recognize it immediately. Yes the Novus Ordo is valid but it pales in every essence to the True Mass of All Times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ahhh, so it’s not just the TLM you love, it is the TLM lifestyle!

      • St. Christopher says:

        “Anonymous”: As you know, it is the “Catholic lifestyle” that is loved, with the Mass at its center. “Janek” is always spot-on with this observation. Of course, what also needs to be said is the NewChurch is trying to sell its own “NewChurch” lifestyle. In fact, this NewChurch style is very much known to many Americans, because it much like their pals down the street — the Protestants. Get rid of those statues, the emphasis on the Mass (its only a memorial after all), the focus on sin and Hell (we all go to Heaven), and come on down to the fried chicken dinner on Wednesday evenings. Many Baptist friends and they are fine people, but their worship is not what Christ started. The goofy CommitteeWorship of the N.O. should end…

      • Anne T. says:

        I cannot read Janek”s mind, but I think all he is saying as far as the beauty of worship goes is that we should give our best and finest to the Lord. Many men wear the same suit every Sunday to Mass and look just fine; others wear dress jeans with a nice long-sleeve shirt to the Traditional Mass, but I never see anyone in shorts in the sanctuary, even workers on the building, whenever I go there. (to be continued).

      • Anne T. says:

        (Continued) Also, many of the women’s clothing is bought at discount or with coupons or at outlets or even thrift stores or are homemade. The veils, hats and scarves are worn in honor of Our Lord and the Blessed Sacraments, and are often bought or made the same way. There is much symbolism behind them if one looks into it. So putting forth ones best foot at any type of Mass is not a matter of cost at all, unless it is on the upkeep of the building. No one knows how much you paid for anything.

    • Anne T. says:

      I really think we need both types of Masses (Traditional Latin and the newer Masses) as long as both are reverent as each has its good points. For one thing, we could not honor all the older saints and the newer ones if we did not have both. The newer Masses use more of the scriptures year round than the older Mass, too, and a lot of people like that. Nevertheless, it would be nice if somehow the use of so many different languages were limited as it does create a “tower of Babel” at times in some areas.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Great points. I might draw a different line than you do on your last point…Mass ought to celebrated in a language that parishioners understand. If that is Latin, great. English, great. Tagalog, great! Cantonese, great! Let them in all languages understand the Gospel!

      • St. Christopher says:

        You cannot have two churches “Anne T.” The Mass types are actually opposed (not that the N.O. is illicit). The Catholic Church needs one Mass, one language, one voice, one set of rules and rubrics. Ruin is waiting for us all by this nutty bifurcation of worship and beliefs. Cardinal Kasper is not the same as Cardinal Burke; they speak of a different Faith. Time to man up and be Catholic.

        • Anne T. says:

          St. Christopher, I do not like to talk about bishops and cardinals, but Cardinal Kasper has a problem. We all know that. That does not mean that every Catholic who goes to the newer Masses needs to follow him.

  7. Another beautiful church that we should all be grateful for . . . and yet so much ingratitude and incessant griping about perceived shortcomings. How sad Our Lord must be at our complaining.

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