St. Mary Magdalene Mission

Atwater, California

St. Mary Magdalene Mission

Founded 1986

Diocese: Diocese of the West

Deanery: Missionary District


1635 Shaffer Rd
Atwater, California 95301


Parish Contacts

2855 LA Palma Ave
Merced, CA 95348
Office: 209-384-0673

Lay Leadership

Mr. Mark Doiel
Choir Director

Schedule of Services

5:00 PM Great Vespers, followed by Confessions.
Saturday Evening

9:40 AM Hours; 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy followed by Pot Luck fellowship.
Sunday Morning

Please visit the Monthly Calendar on the parish website or contact the Church office for the full schedule of services, including Lenten services.  Visitors are encouraged to call the church to confirm schedule.

Confessions are best heard on Saturday after Great Vespers or by appointment.

Parish Background

St Mary Magdelene Orthodox Mission is a growing community of Orthodox faithful of all ethnic backgrounds who come together for worship and mission in the English language.  Our Mission is composed no only of folks of all ethnic heritages traditionally associated with the Orthodox Church, such as Russians, Greeks, and Serbs, but also of people received into the Church from non-Orthodox backgrounds.  Our patroness is, of course, St Mary Magdelene, the Holy Myrrhbearer and Equal-to-the-Apostles, who was the first to encounter and proclaim the Risen Christ.

Our inner life
What are our emphases today as a church?  With respect to our inner life as the Body of Christ, we could have no greater model than that presented by St Luke.  In the Acts of the Apostles he described the Jerusalem Church as “devoted to the Apostle’s teaching, to the fellowship, to the `Breaking of the Bread,’ and to the Prayers” (2:42).  Each of these four dimensions of Church life is crucial if we are to truly manifest the Kingdom of God in our midst.  At all our services​,​ ​the Christian Faith is taught and the Holy Scriptures emphasized​; in addition, ​throughout most of the year ​we set aside a mid-week evening for a special time of intergenerational Christian education. The word for “fellowship” is the Greek word “koinonia,” a word which implies true union and mutual commitment of people to one another:  something that is evolving in new expressions of love and support.  The “Breaking of Bread: is of course St Luke’s euphamism for our sacramental life in the Holy Eucharist, which is the center and fulfillment of our ongoing discipleship in Christ.  And finally St Luke refers to “the” Prayers; his use of the definite article is no accident, as he is speaking of gatherings of liturgical prayer, in the Jewish model of worship. And so we too gather together for liturgical prayer, on Saturday evenings at Great Vespers, in vigilant preparation for the Divine Liturgy, and also at our mid-week Daily Vespers service on Wednesday evenings.

Of course, the inner life is only the beginning, for all this will bear fruit, we pray, in mission to the world around us.  Indeed, our entire life in Christ in the Church is “for the life of the World”.

Our Place in American Orthodoxy
St Mary Magdalene Church is a mission of the Orthodox Church in America, the Diocese of the West.  Our Primate is the Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada.  Our beloved bishop is His Grace, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin.