Saint Junipero Serra
was a Franciscan missionary who made California history in 1769 when he founded
Mission San Diego de Alcala
. He founded the first 9 of 21 missions established by Spanish padres in California to convert Native Americans to Catholic Christianity. The missions stretch from San Diego to Sonoma. I was privileged to visit 7 of the 21 missions during my recent visit to California.
Mission San Francisco de Asis
(a.k.a. Mission Dolores)
Founded by St. Junipero Serra on June 29, 1776
Altar and reredos of Mission San Francisco de Asis
The mission church is the oldest building in the City of San Francisco.
A large basilica stands right next to the original mission church.
Mission San Juan Capistrano (ruins)
Founded by St. Junipero Serra on November 1, 1777
The famous swallows of San Juan Capistrano really do build their mud nests in the ruins of the old mission church. They return each year on or around March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph.
Bells of San Juan Capistrano
My classmates from Physical Therapy school came to meet me at the mission.
The original church collapsed during the earthquake of 1812. A modern church inspired by the design of the original was built nearby.
It was named a Minor Basilica by Pope St. John Paul II in 2001.
(My sister and I inside the basilica)
On the mission grounds of San Juan Capistrano is a small chapel called
Fr. Serra's Church
Altar and reredos of Fr. Serra's Church
St. Junipero Serra offered Mass on this altar. It is the only building still standing in California in which the founding father of the mission celebrated Mass.
Mission San Buenaventura
Founded by St. Junipero Serra on March 31, 1782
Altar and reredos of Mission San Buenaventura
This is the last mission founded by St. Junipero Serra, who died in 1784.
Mission Santa Barbara
Founded on December 4, 1786
Altar and reredos of Mission Santa Barbara
The cross on the grounds of Mission Santa Barbara was erected on November 24, 1913 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Fr. Junipero Serra's birth.
Mission San Jose
Founded on June 11, 1797
I visited this mission particularly because it's the
Year of St. Joseph
, although it was still closed to the public due to the covid pandemic.
Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Founded on September 8, 1797
Altar and reredos of Mission San Fernando
Mission San Rafael Arcangel
Founded on December 14, 1817
Very simple reredos of Mission San Rafael
Named for the Angel of Healing, it was the only mission started as a hospital.
A larger church stands right next to the replica of the mission church.
Fr. Rommel Tolentino
on Thursday, July 15 at 4:28PM