The 21 California Missions
The 21 California Missions and the Pala sub-mission. From a bookmark of mine.
The goal of the Spanish was to convert the indigenous peoples of Alta California to Christianity. This had worked reasonably well in their interactions with the native populations in Mexico and Central America. The Spanish realized that their numbers were not enough to successfully occupy and settle the vast land that was Alta California, so they planned to teach the native population Spanish and vocational skills, in order to make them into tax paying citizens. Several missions also served as military outposts that were instrumental in the colonization of the Pacific Coast region.
The first baptisms in Alta California took place after two Fathers en route to Monterey, came across a native settlement where two young girls were dying. They baptized a baby girl, Maria Magdalena, and the older child, Margarita. The soldier on the expedition named the place
Building and Maintaining the Missions
Many procedures had to be followed before the founding of a mission was approved. Paperwork that involved months, even years, moved slowly through the Spanish bureaucracy. Once a mission was approved for a certain area, a specific site was chosen. A good water supply was of primary importance, as were wood for fires and building materials , and fields for grazing herds and raising crops. Once a site was chosen, it was blessed by the padres, who then, with the help of their military escorts, began to build temporary shelters that would eventually give way to stone and adobe buildings.
Exterior corridor at Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana.
As I mentioned in Chapter one, the missions were built approximately 30 miles apart along the California Mission Trail, a 600-mile route, which is usually referred to as El Camino Real (Spanish for the Royal Road, also known as The King's Highway). At the time the missions were built, the 30-mile distance represented a long one-day ride on horseback or a three-day hike on foot.
Franciscans of the California missions wore gray robes, not brown as is common today.
* In the Catholic Church, the secular clergy are ministers, such as deacons and priests, who do not belong to a religious institute. While regular clergy take religious vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and follow the rule of life of the institute to which they belong, secular clergy do not take vows, and they live in the world (saeculum).
Click on this link to read about the building of the missions in more detail:
Source: Information and all images, except the first, from Wikipedia.