Serra Chapel, Mission San Juan Capistrano, interiorName of Church Serra Chapel

Address 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. On the grounds of historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, Ortega Hwy. & Camino Capistrano, off the 5 freeway and Ortega Hwy.

Phone number 949-234-1360

Mass times Sunday 6:30 & 8 a.m. – Latin Tridentine Mass. Weekdays & Holydays: 7 a.m. English Mass. Additional Masses in the Basilica Church located on the north end of the 10-acre Mission grounds.

Confessions None in Serra Chapel; Friday 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. and Saturday, 8 – 9:30 a.m. in the Basilica Church.

Serra Chapel, exterior, San Juan CapistranoNames of priests Visiting Norbertines from St. Michael’s Abbey celebrate the Tridentine Mass. The Norbertines are reliably orthodox and give good homilies. Msgr. J. Michael McKiernan is pastor of the Basilica; Fr. Robert Capone is parochial vicar.

School Pre-K through 8th grade.

Special parish groups Parish groups are connected to the Basilica church.

Liturgy Before Pope Benedict’s liberalization of the use of the Tridentine rite, Serra Chapel was one of two Orange County locations authorized by the Diocese of Orange to celebrate the old Latin Mass.

Fellow parishioners Draws many conservative and traditionalist Catholics, as well as visitors to the historic Mission.

Parking Street parking is usually available along the Mission grounds, especially as the Masses are offered early in the morning before visitors arrive. There is also parking across the street in the San Juan Elementary School lot on the weekends.

St. Peregrine ChapelAcoustics Can be difficult to hear as you get farther back. The adobe building is about 240 years old, and is long and narrow.

Cry room No.

Additional observations Serra Chapel is California’s oldest church. It was built by the Spanish padres shortly after Mission San Juan Capistrano’s founding in 1776. Fr. Junipero Serra himself celebrated Mass there. The church was used for storage in the late 19th century, but was restored to its original use in the 1920’s. The church art and architecture has recently undergone an extensive renovation and is beautiful. The Stations of the Cross, older than the Mission itself, have been restored and properly lighted. The retablo, or altarpiece, has also been restored. New chandeliers have been installed. Although most of the parish’s liturgical/sacramental life occurs at the much newer and bigger Basilica church, Serra Chapel is still very much in use as a house of worship. It also boasts a side chapel shrine, St. Peregrine’s Chapel, which draws many cancer patients on pilgrimage each year. Perhaps the most beautiful and best maintained of the mission churches, it is well worth a visit. It is free to attend Mass in the early morning, but if you return later in the day to pray in the chapel, you must enter through the main gate and pay an entrance fee of $6-9.