On Tuesday, we drove down to the Tucson area to sightsee, and what wonderful places we saw, beginning with the old Spanish mission founded in 1692 by Jesuit priest and explorer, Father Eusebio Kino. The church wasn’t built immediately. Construction of the church began in 1783 and took fourteen years to complete. Interestingly, I started a reading a book about Arizona history and geography a few days before, and one of the first things I read about was Father Kino, the native Americans, this mission, and church.
The church continues to serve the Tohono O’odham, the native people of the land, which is now an Indian Reservation.
The church is filled with beautiful artwork created by artists who were trained in the European style and commissioned to create the interior art. Native artisans were also involved in the construction and decoration of the building.
The courtyards, chapels, and landscape were lovely, too.
We took a guided tour and learned that the statuary, art, designs, etc., are original to the mission, but that great effort is needed to repair and preserve the mission. It took six years to complete an interior preservation and conservation project. There’s an ongoing effort to preserve it, and they rely on support from the community, private donors, and visitors.
Next to the church is an Indian school. The whole place was interesting and informative. If you get a chance to visit San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona, I recommend it.