Churches worth driving to

St. Raymond, Downey

St. Raymond Church, Downey, exterior

Name of Church St. Raymond

Address 12348 Paramount Blvd., Downey, CA 90242

Phone number 562-923-4509


Mass times Saturday vigil, 5 p.m. Sundays, 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. (Spanish) & 5:30 p.m. (Life Teen). Daily, 6:30 a.m. & 9 a.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.

Confessions Saturdays, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday, 8:30 – 9 a.m. or by appointment.

Names of priests/homilies Fr. John Higgins, pastor. Fr. Paul Thomas, associate pastor. Fr. Ambrose and Fr. Etienne Khumbah, in residence. Fr. Higgins was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Southern California. His mother was widowed; his father was killed in the Korean War. He is a Downey High School graduate. He is a convert to the Catholic faith who was ordained to the priesthood in 1981. Fr. Higgins is solidly pro-life, and stresses the need to bring God back into every aspect of our lives, including our local community. He is also dedicated to spreading devotion to the Holy Eucharist [see video below]. He achieved some notoriety recently when he was temporarily banned from Facebook for a post he made about the history of Islam.

School Yes, grades K-8.

Liturgy/Music Saturday evening and Sunday 7 a.m. Mass have a cantor, the 9 a.m. has a traditional adult choir and the 11 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. have a contemporary choir. The 1 p.m. has a Spanish choir.

Special groups/activities Men’s group, Monday night prayer group, Legion of Mary, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Handmaid’s Ministry

Parishioners This is a majority Anglo, English-speaking community, with smaller Latino and Filipino communities.
Parking No problem.

Acoustics Good.

Cry room No.

Additional observations St. Raymond Church was established in 1956, and is part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Downey is a modest bedroom community about a dozen miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is home to the historic parish of Our Lady of Perpetual help (founded 1909), as well as the oldest surviving McDonald’s restaurant (built 1953). Velvet-voiced 70s singer Karen Carpenter resided in Downey much of her life, and died there in her parents’ home in 1983.

Watch Father John Higgins lead a “Eucharistic Adoration Flash Mob” in his community:



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  1. St. Christopher says:

    Outstanding post, Fr. Higgins: Islam is not and never was a religion at all, much less one of peace. You are obviously a man of Faith, so why not learn more about, and teach, accurate and faithful Catholic Tradition? Start off with a TLM, scheduled at a convenient time every SUN. Teach everyone why it is key to receive on the tongue, while kneeling.

    Also, be sure to preach the Gospel about the evils of sexual sin. They will hate you for it, but you will be closer to Heaven. And, stop the Spanish Mass, there is no need.

  2. St. C. If we have a Mass in English for those who speak English, why no Mass in Spanish for those who speak Spanish? One objective of the Ordinary form of the Mass is to bring it to the people in the vernacular. In LA over half of the people speak Spanish at home. Of course, we could have only the Latin Mass, but then you still need masses scheduled by language so that people can understand the readings and the sermon. And, its not just Spanish. Just like the old days in this country, mass is said in 20+ languages every weekend.

  3. St. Christopher says:

    “Sigh.” Your comment, “Anonymous,” is entirely predictable and reflective of your NewChurch beliefs. Come on, the language of the Church is Latin, its history and Tradition is spoken and written in Latin; even modern popes, like St. John XXIII, in Veterum Sapientia, said that all seminarians should be conversant in Latin.

    Your point about English is obvious; there should not be an English Mass. And, as every Catholic who actually went to Mass knows, the missal is easy to follow, with English and Latin side by side throughout the Mass. You are only parroting the Democratic Party speaking points on this point. The masses should all be in Latin. Only pride stops this from happening.

  4. St Christopher: are you a practicing Roman Catholic? Your misunderstanding of church teachings regarding the Mass and other religions, including Islam, reflects a need for more catechesis about the fundamentals of the Catholic faith.

    • anonymous 2 says:

      Yes, Ralph, St Christopher probably believes Islam “is a collection of maxims extracted from various religions, which if practiced, bring about the destruction of every moral principle.”

      He probably believes it “a monstrous mixture of Judaism, paganism, and Christianity” and the Q’uran “is a series of errors, the most enormous ones being against morality and the worship of the True God.” In fact, these words of catechesis–and much more—are the position of St. John Bosco in [ “Conversations with Students: On Mohammedanism”, (XIII, p. 50-56)] and are trustworthy as true catechesis.

      I have no doubt St Christopher holds this view of Islam: I certainly do. So, Ralph have YOU been properly catechized in Islam?

  5. Perhaps the Mass should be celebrated in Aramaic- the language Our Lord actually spoke! Jesus did not speak Latin.

    • Anonymous 2 says:

      That old canard (“Well then, the Mass should be in Aramaic, because that is what language Jesus spoke..”) is the standard disingenuous neo-primitivist claim.

      It is disingenuous because the proponents dont really desire a primitive Church either, say, with all-night scripture vigils and fasts (presumably in Aramaic), nor the Faithful actually reciting all 150 psalms weekly (also in Aramaic) with daily morning and evening prayer.

      So it is just a vain effort to ‘take down’ the ancient traditional Latin Rite of Ss. Peter, Paul, Linus, Cletus, Clement etc.

  6. Beautiful Eucharistic Adoration Flash Mob., Fr. Higgins. Keep up the wonderful work. I think Fr. Illo has Eucharistic processions in San Francisco that are similar. You two have a great website. These flash mobs, including the Christmas ones with music, are very beautiful and a lovely surprise for a lot of people.

  7. Anonymous 2: did not know that “Mind Reading” was one of the gifts resulting from attendance at the Traditional Latin Mass. The Chaldean Catholic Church, which is in full communion with the Holy See, uses the Eastern Syrian Rite in its liturgy. The Syriac language is a dialct of the Aramaic language. The Eastern Syrian Rite is beautiful and enables one to celebrate the Mass and pray in a language very closely related to the language used by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Try it…you might like it. Latin never has been the sole language used in the Catholic Church – particularly the “Eastern Lung” of the Church.

    • Anonymous 2 says:

      The same modernist canard (“Aramaic is Jesus’ original language, so the Mass should be in Aramaic?”) continues, even though the anti-Latin Rite people disingenuously employ the fake neo-primivist argument for a primitive Church whose practice they dont really desire.

      It is merely an effort to divide and pit one ancient rite against another. For example.

      The Maronite Rite has the canon in actual ancient Aramaic: so maybe the Chaldean Rite is corrupted? Is the Maronite rite therefore “more authentic”?
      All nonsense. The Latin Rite stands on its own merits.

      • Anonymous 2 says:

        Do you know what the real problem is?

        The real problem, regardless of its later institution by a less-than-fully informed pope, is that the Novus Ordo rite was created out of whole cloth with the barest facade of pseudo-scholarly basis and is a deliberate man-made break with the Latin Rite’s ancient and true tradition. Read Jungmann, Bugnini, Gamber, Buoyer on the matter. Or dont and live with the consequences.

        That is the basis for most people’s axe to grind against the Latin Mass, and they know it. They have chosen Esau over Jacob.

  8. Just to clarify: One can be a faithful and practicing Roman Catholic Christian and not be an adherent to the Traditional Latin Mass.

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