The Missions: Number 13

Father Fermin Lasuen founded Mission Soledad on October 9, 1791, naming it Nuestra Senora de Soledad, “Our Lady of Solitude.”  The site—in a hot, windswept, treeless valley—was chosen solely because it provided a stopping point between the 100-mile journey from Mission San Antonio in the south to Continue reading The Missions: Number 13

The Missions: Number 12

In 1769, Spanish explorer Captain Gaspar de Portola gave the name Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) to the area along Monterey Bay’s northern shore. Twenty-two years later, in 1791, Mission Santa Cruz was founded by Fathers Alonso Salazar and Baldomero Lopez. Two years after that, with the help of the local native Ohlone people, work Continue reading The Missions: Number 12

The Missions: Number 11

Founded by Father Presidente Fermin de Lasuen on December 8, 1787, who celebrated mass on the site known as the Plain of Rio Santa Rosa, Mission La Purisima Conception De Maria Santisima (Mission of the Immaculate Conception of Most Holy Mary) was number eleven in the chain of 21 California missions built by the Continue reading The Missions: Number 11

The Missions: Number 10

The tenth California mission was also named for a woman: Saint Barbara, a young Egyptian who was beheaded in the 3rd century because she embraced Christianity. Immediately after her death, her executioner was struck by lightning and killed. Thus St. Barbara is popularly regarded as the protector of artillerymen and Continue reading The Missions: Number 10

The Missions: Number 9

Originally planned as the third Alta California mission, the early shortage of essential military troops postponed the founding of Mission San Buenaventura. But at last on Easter morning March 31, 1782, Father Presidente Junipero Serra raised the Cross at the beach of the Santa Barbara Channel, celebrated a High Mass, and Continue reading The Missions: Number 9