St. Mary Magdalene Mission

Merced, California

St. Mary Magdalene Mission

Founded 1986

Diocese: Diocese of the West

Deanery: Missionary District


Services held at:
Chapel of Mercy Hospital
2740 “M” St
Merced, California

Mailing address:

PO Box 3704
Merced, CA 95344-3704

Office: 209-384-0673

Parish Contacts

V. Rev. David S Thatcher
PO Box 3704
Merced, CA 95344

Lay Leadership

Ms. Janet Choma
Choir Director


St Mary Magdalene Orthodox Mission presently worships in the beautiful Chapel of Mercy Hospital, located at 2740 “M” St in the city of Merced.  The hospital is easily found on the east side of “M” St between 27th and 28th Sts.  The chapel is at the northwest corner of the hospital building; entrance is from the Bear Creek (28th St) side.

From North of Merced
Take Hwy 99 south. Exit at 16th St in Merced. Continue several blocks, and then turn left onto “M” St. Look on the right for 27th St. and Mercy Medical Center (Dominican Campus). Take the first right turn past 27th St. (this is the entrance to the north hospital parking lot). The chapel of Mercy Hospital will be immediately on the right; park nearby.

From South of Merced
Take Hwy 99 north. Exit at “G” St in Merced. Turn right onto “G” St, and then left at 16th St, Proceed to “M” St and turn right. Look on the right for 27th St. and Mercy Medical Center (Dominican Campus). Take the first right turn past 27th St. (this is the entrance to the north hospital parking lot). The chapel of Mercy Hospital will be immediately on the right; park nearby.

Disabled Parking
Disabled parking is available on the chapel side of the hospital. Proceeding north on “M” St. (from Hwy. 99): turn right at the first opportunity after passing 27th St. and find the disabled parking spaces on the right.

Location of the Sunday Fellowship Hour
After Sunday morning services, we have a Fellowship Meal in a different part of the same Mercy Outpatient Center where our chapel is located. Our Fellowship is located in the Multi-Purpose Room on the basement level; this is found actually at the opposite corner of the chapel in the Outpatient Center. The entrance to this basement level is best accessed from the outside — from Canal St. on the west side of the building, near 27th St. This entrance to the basement level has both steps and a ramp for disabled person access. If you find yourself confused about where to go, probably the best way to get there is just ask one of our greeters or any member of the church; they’ll get you there! Our church is almost always the only activity at the Mercy Outpatient Center, so just follow the people!

Schedule of Services

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

9:40 AM Hours and Confessions; 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy followed by coffee hour fellowship.
Sunday Morning

7:00 PM Great Vespers
Eves of Great Feasts

Please call for Liturgy time.
Mornings of Great Feasts

5:00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by lenten potluck meal.
Wednesday Evenings in Great Lent

Confessions are best heard by appointment. Confessions may be heard after Great Vespers on Saturday Evenings or before Divine Liturgy (10:00 AM) on Sundays.

Please contact the Church office for the full schedule of services, including Lenten services.  Visitors are encouraged to call the church to confirm schedule.

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 Herman, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of all America and Canada.  Our beloved bishop is His Grace, the Rt. Rev. Tikhon.