California – The Story Of The Missions

THE story of the conception, foundation, the rise and the fall of the Franciscan Mission establishments in California is at once one of the most unique, colorful and romantic stories in the annals of human history, and one of the most important. In order to bear out the truth of this statement, it should be […]

California Missions – A Chapter Of Saints

IT is instinctive in the ordinary human being to look up to some one above himself. Carlyle was not the first hero-worshipper, nor is he the last. In this matter the Catholic Church has proven herself wise in recognizing this universal propensity to select from among her members men and women conspicuous for their blame-less […]

California Missions – Chapel At Santa Isabel (San Diego)

In 1816—-19 the padres at San Diego urged the Governor to give them permission to erect a chapel at Santa Isabel, some forty miles away, where two hundred baptized Indians were living. The Governor did not approve, however, and nothing was done until after 1820. By 1822 the chapel was reported built, with several houses, […]

California Missions – Chapel Of San Antonio De Pala

The chapel at Pala is perhaps the best known of all the asistencias on account of its picturesque campanile. It was built by the indefatigable Padre Peyri, in 1816, and is about twenty miles from San Luis Rey, to which it belonged. Within a year or two, by means of a resident padre, over a […]

California Missions – Chapel Of San Bernardino

It must not be forgotten that one of the early methods of reaching California was inland. Travelers came from Mexico, by way of Sonora, then crossed the Colorado River and reached San Gabriel and Monterey in the north, over practically the same route as that followed today by the Southern Pacific Railway, viz., crossing the […]

California Missions – Chapel Of Santa Margarita (San Luis Obispo)

One of the ranchos of San Luis Obispo was that of Santa Margarita on the north side of the Sierra Santa Lucia. As far as I know there is no record of the date when the chapel was built, yet it is a most interesting and important structure, even in its present utterly ruined and […]

California Missions – Distinctive Features Of Mission Architecture

THE broader knowledge we gain of the Franciscan Mission structures, the greater becomes our respect for their architects and builders. Their boldness, originality, and diversity at once please and instruct us. It is not my purpose, in this chapter, to analyze all the varied forms of the Mission architecture, or to discuss technically the successes […]

California Missions – Furniture And Woodwork Of The Missions

WITHIN the past few years, the term ” Mission Furniture ” has become current. But it has been accepted too freely, and without having been subjected to proper investigation. If by the use of that name the idea is conveyed that it is modelled after the furniture made and used in the old California Missions […]

California Missions – Indians And The Coming Of The Padres

IT is generally believed that the California Indian in his original condition was one of the most miserable and wretched of the world’s aborigines. As one writer puts it : ” When discovered by the padres he was almost naked, half starved, living in filthy little hovels built of tule, speaking a meagre language broken […]

California Missions – Indians Under The Padres

THE first consideration of the padres in dealing with the Indians was the salvation of their souls. Of this no honest and honorable man can hold any question. Serra and his coadjutors believed, without equivocation or reserve, the doctrines of the Church. As one reads Serra’s diary, his thought on this matter is trans-parent. In […]