California Missions How They Operate Today?

By: Todd Dawson

Historians believe that sailors from northeast Asia had travelled to North America and settled there almost thirty thousand years ago. They also report that these people were well-organized, establishing nations for themselves. Even Europeans had sailed to the land. And, Spain was the country with the largest number of colonies here. The Spanish King feared the Russians. He wanted to do whatever he can to prevent them from expanding their dominion to the southwest.
The Spaniards had already established Missions in the west cost of the US. They had to expand the chain to the present California. As a result, the first among the California Missions chain got established in the year 1769. They built 20 Missions and extensions in the region. The last, the 21st Mission was built by the Mexican Government.
California Missions today
As a majority of the people believe, Mission life did not come to an end in the year 1834. They began to be used as ranches by the new owners who acquired them. However, most of them were returned to the Catholic churches. They still serve as parish churches for the Catholic congregation in the region. The ones which the California State retained are transformed into parks. All the California Missions are restored; most of them maintain their original structure. Here is an overview of a few in this chain of Missions.
1. Mission San Luis Rey
This is one among the Spanish establishments returned to the Franciscan friars. It is a parish church; it conducts regular masses, weddings and all services the congregation needs. It also facilitates visits from school children.
Mission San Luis Rey also features a museum, cemetery and a gift shop. You can explore the area on your own or take advantage of the guided tours offered. The site is also the most renowned among the California Missions offering retreats; ranging from one day to one week variants.
2. Mission San Juan Capistrano
Known as the “jewel of Missions,” this is the seventh in the chain. It came into existence in 1775. The site was almost destroyed during the earthquakes. However, it got restored recently and historians continue in their efforts to preserve this historic structure. At present, this is a national historical landmark. The sacred garden and the wall of bells are the things which attract tourists to this location.
3. Mission Santa Barbara
An active church at present, this site is home to a group of Franciscan priests. Explore the parish church, the quarters designed for its residents and the cemetery. The garden which spreads in a 200-acres area is the highlight of this mission. The irrigation network which still maintains the original structure and the fountain at the entrance invite tourists from all over the world. You can go for the self-guided tours available all through the week.
Explore the California Missions. These have a lot to tell you; about the life of the Indians at the hands of their Spanish masters. If you are a teacher, kits are available to recreate the Mission life. This is sure to be an interesting project for your students!
Get all interesting facts about California Missions visit Old Mission Museum at Oceanside, California.

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Get all interesting facts about California Missions visit Old Mission Museum at Oceanside, California.

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