Churches Worth Driving To

Cathedral of the Annunciation, Stockton

Name of Church Cathedral of the Annunciation

Address 425 West Magnolia Street, Stockton CA 95203

Phone number (209) 463-1305


Mass times Saturday vigil, 5:30 p.m.  Sundays, 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. (Spanish).  Weekdays, 6:30 a.m.

Confessions  Wednesdays, 7 – 7:30 p.m., Saturdays, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Names of priests Monsignor John Armistead, pastor.  Father Benjamin Puente, parochial vicar.

Special groups/activities Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Respect Life, Arise (faith sharing group), Knights of Columbus (although membership is low, and activities are on hiatus)

Music Saturday vigil & 7 a.m. has a cantor; 9 a.m. a traditional choir with piano; 11 a.m., folk

School Yes, K-8th grade, visit

Fellow parishioners Half Anglo and half Hispanic

Parking Parking lots on the east and west side, or park on the street.  The 11 a.m. is the busiest Mass.

Acoustics The sound is a little better towards the front.

Additional observations  This is the bishop’s cathedral in the diocese of Stockton.  It is a majestic Gothic church, beautiful inside and out.  Its features include a marble high altar with brass tabernacle, arching stained glass windows and a high vaulted ceiling.  Zip over and see it as soon as you can, because word is that Stockton’s bishop, Stephen Blaire, has plans to remodel it.

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  1. Well from the looks of it, the “wreckovation” of the Cathedral seems to be minor. High altar for the most part is still there, but the “peoples table” is in place and the communion rail has been ripped out, also the Bishop”s cathedra is gone and his throne thrust front and center. With time and prayer it can be restored to its dignity for the proper celebration of Holy Mass according to the Rite of 1962 in all it’s Latin and Gregorian glory!!! Deo Gratias and as Father Z. says “brick by brick”!!!

  2. The bishop’s cathedra is the same thing as the bishop’s throne.

    So what is your point about this furniture debacle that has you in such a tizzy?

  3. A bishop’s cathedra should be against the left wall of the sanctuary, as for being in a tizzy pointing out where it should be seems to have you in a Novus Ordo meltdown.

  4. Janek is teaching you the one true faith, as it should be. The Bishops throne should be off to the side and not facing the people. The butcher block, table, in the sactuary needs to go and the communion rail needs to be put back. Then, people of “THE” faith can receive our Lord on there knees. Anonymous, I pray that our Father will bless you and yours during this Advent season.

    • Joe, he is not teaching about the one true faith. Where the bishop’s chair is located has nothing to do with our faith. In the Catholic church, the altar is supposed to be the center point of the building. It is not to be decorated with flowers, etc. It is where the sacrifice of the mass takes place. Altar rails have nothing to do with our faith. All or these “rules” that people bring up, so that things will be as they were, have to do with tradition – with a lower case “t” – not faith. Our faith has to do with our special relationship with the Lord, our belief in His teachings, etc. Jesus did not teach that we had to have communion rails, or that Bishops’ chairs had to be against the wall. It varies by Diocese. In the old days, it was usually against the wall, but so what? Faith leads us to live a good life in the service of others: I believe it is more important to teach the children about God’s love for them and they for Him that to teach them about ancient rites that are no longer part of the ordinary rituals of the church. If you go to St. Peter’s in Rome, you will see the Pope say Mass on an altar facing the people, using all of the same readings as the NO that we use. He might use Latin or Italian while in Rome or the language of the country he is visiting. Our faith is about God, not the position of a chair.

      • Bob One, completely infect with the “spirit of vatican 2″

        • ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because that is the Catholic Church of today. VII changed what it means to be Church. A number of people yearn for the old ways, but they yearn for what is not meant to be. A lot of people think that the good-old-days were gooed, but in the Church as well as our society, they were not all that good. I grew up in the fortys and fiftys. It was a good life if you were white, middle class, but life was horrible for many who were not white or came from abroad. The church was led by pastors who thought they were the Church. Mine was a benevolent despot at best. Our Pope finally said enough, and opened wide the windows to let in some fresh air. Some people want to shut the windows again. When that happens the church in America will go into decay as it has in Europe. The southern hemisphere is what is keeping the church alive now, and they use the NO, just like the Pope.

          • What is the “Spirit of Vatican II”? Is it A. a new magisterium?, b. a fallen angel?, c. something drummed up by men?

      • Bob One, God became man in Jesus Christ. Those of you who disregard the corporal nature of creation entertain a heresy rather than Catholic faith.

      • Well said, Bob One.

        We can all get so opinionated about minutiae, we’re like people arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, while the ship is sinking.

        Your focus on The Lord Jesus is a healthy corrective for the rest of us, who worry about nonessentials to the point of loonies.

        Recently at our parish, a man “attacked” our pastor because during the liturgy the sanctuary lamp candle had burned down to zero. This angry man was trying to convince our pastor that the entire Sunday Mass was thus “invalid.”

      • Bob One, tomorrow on EWTN 4:00pm PST or 7:00 EST The Traditional Latin Mass will be televised live from the church of St. Hedwig in Trenton New Jersey and the celebrant will be the Bishop of Trenton His Excellency David M. O’Connell, why don’t you check it out and give it a chance, your heart may be softened a little. Then compare the two forms.

        • Thanks, but I have attended and served at thousands of latin masses. I know what they are, how they are done, their meaning, and the fact that they are as valid as the NO mass. But I don’t need to see another one to know that it doesn’t meet my needs for a worshiping and God praising mass. Even the NO mass at EWTN is not like in a normal parish. And, please don’t tell me that the normal parish needs to become more like EWTN. I think a parish should try to bring people to Christ, not drive them away. But, if you like it fine. I have no problem with that. Just always remember that we are a VII church now. We are church.

  5. rkmansfield says:

    The Cathedral of the Annunciation is a striking church architecturally, but I cannot understand why it is listed as a church one ought to attend for Mass. The Cathedral parish is rife with liturgical abuses (liturgical dancing, consecration of the wine in flagons, homilies delivered by lay people, etc.). The liturgical life of the Stockton diocese ranges on the whole from banal to dreadful. Bishop Blaire and his cathedral church embody are not exceptions but rather vivid illustrations of the problems that plague the Diocese of Stockton.

  6. The Ordinary’s cathedra does not need to be shoved off to the side as you claim, but rather should be one of the main focal points in the sanctuary.

    As the chief shepherd, and Vicar Of Christ, in his diocese, the Bishop should be seen as such when preaching from his cathedra.

    Even so, the altar and ambo should be worthy and prominent, as this is where the Eucharistic Sacrifice is celebrated (altar) and where the Word Of God is proclaimed.

    • The bishop should not replace God in the Tabernacle with himself. Jesus tells us plainly that His ministers should not prevent us from Him; but, that is what these unholy bishops have orchestrated. They want the attention that only Jesus has earned. If they are not united with God through Jesus, then what are they?

    • The bishops do not preach from the chair, but from the podium. So the chair should be placed out of the way of those parts of Mass where the bishop is supposed to give way to Jesus, so that those in the pews are not impeded by his pedestrian interference.

    • Once again the priest or bishop or the people are not the focus of The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass, Jesus Christ is!!!!!!! Novus Ordonarians think it is all about them, truly selfish and full of pride. This is the difference between the Novus Ordo service and The True Mass of All Time.

      • The priest or bishop serves as an alter Christus ( another Christ) and acts in persona Christi ( in the person of Christ) when celebrating Mass.

        This is why people pay attention to his words during the liturgy rather than gazing at the closed doors of the tabernacle.

        Unless they are from Mars, of course.

  7. rkmansfield says:

    The final sentence of my earlier post should read: Bishop Blaire and his cathedral church embody the problems that plague the Diocese of Stockton and are not exceptions to these difficulties.

  8. You guys should actually read something substantial before bloviating about church furniture.

    The bishop often preaches from his chair as does the pope – hence the term ex cathedra.

    The tabernacle is, by contrast, NOT needed for the celebration of Mass, which is why it’s located inside a side chapel at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

    You should know this stuff already.

  9. Rkmansfield and others, the Stockton Diocese has a Traditional Latin Mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Modesto every Sunday at 9:00 A.M. for those who want the Extraordinary Mass.

  10. Anonymous says:



    INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — In the ancient Mediterranean world and in medieval Europe, a chair was the symbol of a teacher. In those cultures, teachers sat in chairs and their students sat at their feet to learn from them.

    The Catholic Church continues this traditional symbol in the cathedra, the seat of a diocesan bishop in a local Church’s cathedral.

    When Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin sat for the first time in the cathedra at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Dec. 3, he did so to teach Catholics of central and southern Indiana how to love and respond to Christ’s love for them.

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