A big thanks to our friends John and Debbie Sahm for the recommendation to visit Mission San Xavier. This mission is a beautiful example of Mexican Baroque architecture. The construction of this building began in 1783 and continued for 14 years until the parish ran out of money. As you can see in the photograph below the second tower was never completed. The Mission was established in 1692 by Father Francisco Kino almost 100 years prior to the beginning of construction of this building. Father Kino’s primary mission was ( of course ) to convert indigenous people to Catholicism.
At the time this territory was part of New Spain. Subsequently, the Mission was on Mexican soil after the Mexican Revolution and then within the borders of the United States after the United States purchased this portion of Arizona in 1854. Today, the Mission sits within the Tohono O’odham Nation as a result of the creation of the Tohono O’odham reservation.
San Xavier remains a fully operational parish including a K-8 school that has been providing education to local children continuously since 1873.
The photographs below cannot due justice to the beauty of the interior but hopefully will provide some sense of the craftmanship and artistry that went into the making of this Mission.