Our Pastor

Fr. John Higgins is the fourth pastor of St. Raymond Parish in Downey, CA
 
Fr. John was born in Indianapolis and likes to say that he escaped from there and was brought to California in about 1951. His mother was a single mom, because his father was killed in the Korean War in 1951. He and his mom lived with an aunt in South Gate when they first arrived in California when he was three years old. Then they moved in with another aunt in Covina before his mom could afford a tiny apartment in Covina, where the rent was $30 a month. After only two years there his mom found another tiny apartment in Lynwood, where Fr. John attended school at various elementary schools, Hosler Junior High and the old Lynwood High School. In 1963 his mom remarried and Fr. John had a step father. He was raised in the Methodist Church and went to Lynwood Methodist Church on Carlin Ave. In 1965 his family moved to Downey to a home just south of Florance on Mattock Ave. and Fr. John attended Downey High School and graduated in 1967, the same year as Karen Carpenter. He played drums in the marching band with Karen and was also in a small garage band, but didn't do nearly as well as The Carpenters. Fr. John worked various jobs in and around Downey before he became a Catholic in 1969 after receiving instruction from Fr. Gary Bauler at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Downey. Then in 1974 he went to St. John's Seminary where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Masters Degree in Divinity from St. John's Graduate School of Theology. He was ordained a Priest at St. Vibiana's Cathedral in 1981 by Timothy Cardinal Manning.

Fr. John has served at American Martyrs in Manhattan Beach, San Roque Parish in Santa Barbara, Campus Minister at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, St. Raphael's Parish in Goleta, St. Joan of Arc Parish in West Los Angeles, Sacred Heart Parish in Ventura, St. John Neuman Parish in Santa Maria, CA, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Monterey Park, CA and finally arrived at St. Raymond Parish in 2003. He doesn't plan on retiring any time soon and is very happy to be serving with Fr. Paul Thomas (who is our Associate Pastor) and Fr. Ambrose (Priest in Residence working full time at St. Francis Hospital). 
 
Fr. John also serves as Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus in Downey and to the Downey Firefighters.

 

 
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