Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spanish Missions San Antonio - Day 2

Sunday morning we woke up early, grabbed a breakfast in the hotel, then checked out in time to attend a BEAU-tiful, bilingual Mass.



First Stop ::

Mission Concepcion ~ Founded March 5, 1731 (a few miles down river from Mission San Antonio a.k.a. the Alamo.)



We had time to walk around the grounds before Mass started.  This is the second time I've been here, and beauty of it always takes my breathe away.



(Remains of the old quarry that supplied the limestone for the buildings.)


In and around the old convent where the friars resided.



Original frescos on the ceilings and some on the walls.



Mission Concepcion is the oldest unrestored church in America.


Baptismal font in the church with original frescos.  By the way, four of the five missions are active parishes today!  




The usher allowed the children to ring the bell prior to the start of Mass.  It is THE original bell!  

There is a hole in the ceiling above the crucifix where the bell chain drops out of.  The ushers attach a wooden broom handle with a hook to the bottom of the bell chain in order to ring it prior to each Mass.  Then they unhook it so no one can  "mess around" with the bell chain when parish staff are not on the premises.


Second Stop ::

Mission San Jose ~  "Queen of the Missions"  Founded in 1720 and named for St. Joseph.



(Almost 3 miles down river from Mission Concepcion.)



Above is the mission entrance.  Three  of the four mission walls were used for the Indian residents.

(What the inside of the walls looked like.)






(Mass was about to start so I did not take them in.  I've been to a Mass here with Mariachi music! It was so beautiful!)

The next three pictures are of the old granary.





The next picture shows the fourth (north) wall which housed the soldiers barracks.  (They have restrooms there now.)



These next pictures are the remains of the old convent where the friars resided.  







I wish we lived closer to this National Park.  (Did you know that the missions are part of the National Parks?  And the churches belong to the Diocese of San Antonio.)

I'd come here often since it is incredibly beautiful and really stirs the heart.  An amazing place to come and just be, a place to find real peace.

Last Stop ::

Jr. Park Rangers ~


(Taking the oath of a Jr. Park Ranger :)



Aren't they cute??!!  

We got on the road and headed for home after that.  It was such an educational and fun field trip.  The time spent with these two was priceless.  And I am so grateful to my husband for staying home to watch the other three.  

If you ever are near San Antonio, I would encourage making the stop to see at least one of the missions.  There are five total...we saw the three.  (The Alamo the day before.)

I was happy to bring them to you via the computer :)

~  Patty  ~


4 comments:

  1. Patty...what wonderful images and information as well. Thank you for sharing this amazing trip with us. I will be sharing this with my littles too! What wonderful memories you have created for those sweet ones of yours! Have a nice day, friend!

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  2. What beauty! Oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing your trip. Wish I was there with you :)

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  3. Aweesome; amazing trip! Love looking at your pictures. ~tara

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  4. I don't know how I missed these pics from last year! So beautiful!!

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