Churches worth driving to

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Name of Church Mission San Xavier del Bac

Address 1950 W. San Xavier Road, Tucson, AZ 85746-7409

Phone number 520-294-2624

Website www.sanxaviermission.org

Mass times Saturday vigil, 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8 & 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m.  Tuesday – Friday, 8:30 a.m.  Communion Service on Mondays, 8:30 a.m.  (These are the winter hours; during the summer the Masses are moved up an hour.)  Also, in the nearby Juan Diego chapel, October through May there is a 6:30 a.m. Mass, Monday – Friday.

Confessions Saturdays, 4 – 5 p.m. (in the Juan Diego chapel)

Names of priests Father Stephen Barnufsky, OFM, pastor.  Father Edward Sarrazin, OFM, parochial vicar.  The Franciscans originally built the church, and returned to staff the mission a century ago.

Grotto

Grotto

School Yes.  Established in 1864, it serves the Indian population in the area.

Special groups There is a Patronato San Xavier group which promotes restoration, maintenance and preservation of the Mission.  You can also take a docent tour, and watch a video about the history of the mission.

Music Music is somewhat intermittent as musicians are available; different groups sing on Sundays.

Fellow parishioners The local Indians, other local residents, visitors.

Acoustics  Fine.

Cry room No.

St. Anthony statue

St. Anthony statue

Parish bulletin Available online.

Additional observations  Mission San Xavier, the “White Dove of the Desert,” is located nine miles south of downtown Tucson.  It was founded by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692, and was originally under the Spanish flag.  The current church was built 1783-97, and is the oldest structure built by Europeans (who directed Indian workmen) in Arizona.  Today, it is both a Catholic parish serving the Indian population in the surrounding area, as well as a popular tourist site.  It is a national historic landmark and is continually undergoing preservation efforts (you’ll see, for example, that the right tower needs to be painted).

It has a modest, yet beautiful wooden interior, with many 17th century paintings and statues of the saints.  On either side of the church, for example, are paintings of the Pentecost and Last Supper.  It has multiple domes.  The church is open to the public daily, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  There is a museum and gift shop on the grounds.  Alongside the church there is a hill with a white cross atop it.  In the side of the hill is a Lourdes grotto replica, built by the Bishop of Tucson in 1908.  On the grounds is a Shrine to St. Francis of Assisi, to which many bring petitions.

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Comments

  1. Robert Bushlow says:

    We’ve visited Mission San Xavier whenever we have been in Tuscon. It is a real joy to go to mass there. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is in Tuscon, it’s only about a 15 minute drive out of the main city area and well worth the drive.

  2. Please, Robert Bushlow, et al, the word “Mass” is always capitalized.

    • No, it’s not always capitalized, even in official Church documents. Such things are always changing.

      Just check writings on the Vatican’s own website to see where some words YOU might expect to be capitalized are actually not.

  3. Maryanne Leonard says:

    If you visit only one mission in your lifetime, Mission San Xavier de Bac is the one that should not be missed. The moment I first stepped foot on the grounds, I was transfixed for hours. I have recommended visiting this hallowed place to friends, and to a person, they have reported a similar reaction. So much good has gone on here over the years, and you can feel something here I cannot express in words.

  4. Mission San Xavier de Bac is phenomenal. The plain exterior of the building belies the fabulous-ness of the interior. I went on a tour with several Catholics and unfortunately we were unable to attend Mass. It is truly a holy place out in the desert.

  5. Paleobotanist says:

    I have been to this Mission MaryAnne…it is wonderful…I have been to 16 of the 21 California Missions…. hopefully I can get to the other 5 in the next few years. When in Rome, I saw a beautiful stained glass window with “the Apostle of California” on it…Fray Junipero Serra

    • Maryanne Leonard says:

      Oh, how wonderful! Where was it exactly, do you recall, Paleobotanist? I would love to see that stained glass window “in person,” but in the meantime, I wonder if it could be found on the Internet?

  6. Paleobotanist says:

    In Arizona you had Father Kino S.J., “Priest of the Southwest”, founder of this and many other missions. In California, you had Junipero Serra O.F.M., “Apostle of California”.

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