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Society of St. John the Apostle



At the Fishermen's & Seamen's Memorial Chapel
Pier 45-B, Next to the Bell-tower
One Block Northeast of Jefferson & Taylor
Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

  1. Campanile and Carillon
  2. Directions to the Oratory
  3. History of the Oratory
  4. Introduction to the Traditional Latin Mass
  5. Rubrics for the Traditional Latin Mass
  6. St. John Schola for Gregorian Chant
  7. Services at the Oratory
  8. Society of St. John the Apostle
  9. Society's Art Postcards
  10. Sodality of Mary Immaculate

Chapel & Campanile Chapel Interior Chapel Altar San Francisco Best Award

St. John's Oratory
At the Historic
Fishermen's & Seamen's Memorial Chapel
And Its Campanile (Bell-tower)
The Bells Are Rung Traditionally
For the Angelus of the Blessed Virgin Mary
And for the Consecration
At the FullyTraditional Latin Mass (1950)

"Some Things in Life Should Never Change"
"An Oasis of Spiritual Sanity"

ST. JOHN'S ORATORY IS THE ONLY LOCATION IN THE BAY AREA THAT HAS PRESERVED THE REAL, VALID, FULLY TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC LATIN MASS (1950) AND RITES BEFORE THEY WERE CHANGED INTO A HALF NEW ORDER "NEW LATIN" (AKA "EXTRAORDINARY") SERVICE IN 1962 AND BEFORE, INTO AN INVALID NEW ORDER SERVICE IN 1969. Even the 1962 "New Latin" service is NOT the TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC Latin Mass, even though it may be falsely advertised as such to trick the ignorant into its Protestantized service by throwing in some Latin. We here at St. John's Oratory since 1992 have never deviated from the true and valid Traditional Latin Mass, True Sacraments, and True Faith of 2,000 years.

St. John's Oratory did not come only recently to this Apostolate, but has offered, with experience, knowledge, and commitment, the perpetual, immemorial Traditional Latin Mass and Divine Office every Sunday and Holyday since 1992. St. John's Oratory is also known as a center for promoting the traditional Latin Gregorian chant of the traditional Roman rite. Gregorian chant is sung every Sunday and Holyday by the St. John Gregorian Schola of San Francisco.

The Fishermen's & Seamen's Memorial Chapel is a San Francisco historical landmark blessed May 21, 1981, by His Eminence Salvatore Cardinal Pappalardo, Archbishop of Palermo, and dedicated to the memory of those who have lost their lives at sea. We pray at every Mass for the fishermen and seamen of this port.

The chapel is located in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf, northeast of Jefferson & Taylor, down the Pier 45 access road, next to the bell-tower. There is free parking adjacent to the chapel and wheelchair access. The Society of St. John the Apostle (founded in 1992) operates independently of any diocese or other religious society as an Oratory, not a parish.

For general information about the times and nature of the Society's services, click on SERVICES AT THE ORATORY. All services are offered only on site. This is not a wedding chapel. We do not conduct weddings or funerals except for regular members of the congregation.

For the Society's current schedule of fully Traditional Latin Masses and other traditional services, click on CURRENT MASS SCHEDULE BULLETIN.

For general information about traditional Roman Catholicism, click TRADITIONAL ROMAN CATHOLICISM.

If you wish to receive our weekly E-mail bulletin containing information on Oratory schedules and activities, please send your name, mailing address, and E-mail address to the SOCIETY. If you have any questions, you may E-mail them to the SOCIETY as well.

The Oratory's Holy Week & Easter Schedule

We draw your attention to our schedule of services for Holy Week & Easter. St. John's Oratory is the only location in the San Francisco Bay Area where the fully Traditional Latin Solemn Rites of Holy Week will be available to the faithful, with chant by our St. John Schola. These are holydays that no true Catholic will miss. For the full schedule, click on Current Mass Schedule Bulletin.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, Catholics traditionally complete the daily chores that might be an obstacle to participating in the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday rites. All true Catholics should make even heroic efforts to be present at these solemn rites of Holy Week, in their traditional Catholic Latin form, the ancient form that existed before 1956. On Maundy Thursday we commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist, the First Mass, and the Ordination of the Apostles. The priesthood and the Holy Eucharist are living events that should remind us of the continuing value of Christ's act of redemption for the sin of man. Good Friday is an unforgettable reminder to all of us of the price of being a follower of Christ. We have to give something of ourselves to be followers of Christ. The Holy Saturday Vigil is the most solemn memorial of the central mystery of our redemption: Christ's saving death and glorious resurrection. We are reminded that we are obligated as Catholics to carry Christ into our world.

The Oratory's Holy Week/Easter Donation Request

Relying upon your continuing generosity, we do not send out numerous fund-raising communications throughout the year, but only one at Advent/Christmas and one at Holy Week/Easter. We ask you, therefore, before secular Easter preparations intrude upon your spiritual Holy Week preparation, to consider sending a tax-deductible donation to support the Oratory's work as the only site in the San Francisco Bay Area making available the fully Traditional (pre-Vatican II, 1950) Latin Mass, Sacraments, and Sacred Chant, including the fully-traditional rites of Holy Week. See the "Donations to the Society" section below. Contributors become Benefactors of the Oratory and share in the fruits of all the Divine Offices and Holy Masses that we offer here.

Altar Server Needed for Traditional Latin Mass

Altar Server

An additional altar server is needed to serve the Traditional Catholic Latin Mass. No experience or knowledge of Latin is necessary. We will teach you what you need to know. If you would like to serve at the altar or have any questions, you may address the Society.

Amateurs Wanted to Sing Gregorian Chant

Gregorian Schola

Additional men are invited to add their voices to the St. John Schola Cantorum (small choir) to sing Gregorian plainchant in an authentic setting. No previous knowledge of the chant or musical notation is required; most of our participants have had little or no music background. We can teach you all that you need to know by ear if you have just a basic ability to sing. No auditions. You do not have to be Catholic. We are a small, friendly group, no pressure, just enjoyment, but we are led by a highly-experienced praecentor (leader).

Since 1995 our group has been chanting in the intimate setting of St. John's Oratory at the historic Fishermen's & Seamen's Memorial Chapel at Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco. We practice 9:00-9:30 a.m. Sundays and then chant Terce of the traditional Catholic Divine Office 9:30-10:00 a.m and chant monthly for the only fully traditional Missae Cantatae (Sung Masses) in the Bay Area.

We are currently producing live recordings of our chant for the ChantCD label. You will receive a free copy for family and friends of any recording in which you participate. We make no pretense to being anything but amateurs (lovers of the chant) and to demonstrating merely what is achievable over time by an amateur small chant choir.

For further information about the St. John Schola for Gregorian Chant, click on St. John Schola for Gregorian Chant. If you have any questions, you may address them to the Society.

Support Our St. John Schola's Gregorian Chant Recordings

By Making Each Volume of This Unique Traditional Set Part of Your Personal Library

Volume I: Christmas Matins of the Divine Office-An Abridgement (December 2006)
Volume II: First Mass of Christmas (December 2006)
Volume III: Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (January 2007)
Volume IV: Pentecost (May 2007)
Volumes I-IV: Box Collection (May 2007)
Volume V: 14th Sunday after Pentecost (September 2007)
Volume VI: 4th Sunday after Easter (February 2008)
Volume VII: Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul (January 2009)
Volume VIII: Cantus Populares-Popular Chants (December 2009)
Volumes V-VIII: Box Collection (December 2009)
Volume IX: Holy Week and Easter (February 2011)
Volume X: Feast of the Precious Blood (January 2013)

St. John Schola Volume I St. John Schola Volume II St. John Schola Volume III St. John Schola Volume IV St. John Schola Box Set 1-4 St. John Schola Volume V
St. John Schola Volume VI St. John Schola Volume VII St. John Schola Volume VIII St. John Schola Box Set 5-8 St. John Schola Volume IX St. John Schola Volume X

Our traditional Catholic schola answers the peal of the call to prayer from the bell-tower to chant Terce of the traditional Catholic Divine Office, the Hour appointed to be chanted before Holy Mass. Terce is followed by the chanting of the Angelus to the traditional eighteen strikes of the bells. Then follows the Asperges, or lustral sprinkling of the congregation with Holy Water, after which Holy Mass begins, which is a chanted High Mass about once a month.

Our St. John Schola is recording in the universal MP3 audio format this series entitled A Traditional Chapel Sings Gregorian Chant. For descriptive and ordering information on our MP3 series and to hear excerpts of our Gregorian chant, click on St. John Schola for Gregorian Chant.

Donations to the Society

If you wish to support the work of the Society, you may mail donations by cash, check, or (international) money order to the Society of St. John Apostle, 21128 Baker Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546, USA. Please provide your E-mail address for an acknowledgment. Contributors become Benefactors of the Society and share in the fruits of the fully-Traditional Latin Masses offered.

Society's Visitor Counter

Since July 8, 2001, the Society's ninth anniversary, you are site visitor number:

From August 23, 1992, through December 31, 2023, the Oratory of St. John has received Traditional Latin Mass visits totaling:


Copyright © 1991-2024. Publication of any material from this site without explicit written permission is strictly prohibited. The Society of St. John the Apostle (founded in 1992) operates independently of any diocese or other religious society as an Oratory, not a parish. The information and materials contained in this web site are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation any warranty of accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of the information and materials, title, non-infringement, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from computer viruses.