Name of Church Mission San Miguel
Address 775 Mission Street, San Miguel, CA 93451
Phone number 805-467-2131
Mass times Saturday vigil, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Spanish) Sundays, 7 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. (Spanish). Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.
Confessions Saturdays, 4 p.m.
Names of priests Fr. Eleazar Diaz
School No school, but the parish offers religious education classes.
Music Weekend masses have cantors and choirs, piano. The noon Mass has the most extensive music program. Stroll the grounds and you can enjoy Gregorian chant played over speakers.
Fellow parishioners Majority Anglo, with a significant Hispanic population.
Special activities Prayer groups, youth groups, education classes, Knights of Columbus, prison ministry; additionally, there are many special events to raise funds for mission preservation. Sunday 5 p.m. rosary in Spanish, Wednesday 6:30 p.m. Spanish prayer.
Parking Ample parking. The mission is visible from the 101 freeway, take the Mission Street exit.
Acoustics Fine. Good sound system.
Additional observations San Miguel is a small town in Central California and is part of San Luis Obispo County. Mission San Miguel was founded by Spanish Franciscan priest Fr. Fermin Lasuen in 1797. Its purpose was to share the Catholic religion with the Salinan Indians in the area and teach them the skills they needed to improve their standard of living. San Miguel’s old adobe church was built during the period of 1816-21; its interior frescos were designed by artist Esteban Munras. San Miguel and the other California missions were seized by the Mexican government (“secularized”) in 1834. The mission was returned to the Church after California became a state of the United States in 1850, and was used as a parish church.
Mission San Miguel’s history includes the most appalling mass murder ever committed on the grounds of a California mission. In 1848, the mission was the residence of William Reed and his family. It was the start of the Gold Rush, and Reed bragged he had struck it rich. Six men came to the mission to steal his gold. An orgy of killing began when one of the killers struck Reed from behind with an axe (you can still see the fireplace in front of which he was murdered). They went on to kill the rest of Reed’s family and his servants, including an Indian boy who begged for his life. A total of 11 died. No gold was discovered. A posse caught up with five of the killers, two were killed in a shootout and three captured and later executed. The 6th was never found.
The Franciscan Friars returned to the parish in 1928, and the facility was used as a parish, novitiate training school and center for retreats and meetings. A 2003 earthquake severely damaged the mission’s historic structures, and it was closed to the public. The Diocese of Monterey considered closing the mission permanently, but instead agreed to raise $15 million for repairs and to reopen the mission. It partially re-opened in 2006, and the church itself was reopened in 2009. In 2011, the mission’s retreat and meeting center reopened. The restoration process continues as does fundraising (in fact, with all the California missions, fundraising and restoration is always ongoing). The mission website has information on fundraising efforts. The mission’s historic church is open daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; the gift shop is open daily 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You can take a self-guided tour of the museum daily 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you’re coming with a group and want a tour, call ahead and see if you can get a tour with a volunteer docent or the mission curator. Donations are welcome when you visit.
my wife and I have done a series of tours of all 21 Califonia Missions. I believe it is a great opportunity to learn quite a bit about early California history, grantedly from one point if view. As I recall, almost all Missions are active Catholic Churches. Also one can usually see two missions in a [long] day. They aren’t that far apart. Since most of these buildings are over 200 years old – yes they have been maintained over the years – the expense continues.
Blazing hot there in the middle of summer, but the church is very cool because of the thick adobe walls. While in the vicinity, might as well make the drive to see Mission San Antonio de Padua on the army base Fort Hunter Liggett too.
Yes, visit them both. Do they still have the life-size statue of Saint Michael the Archangel?
(Like we know how large angels are!)
Every time we’d pass Mission San Miguel as a family, we’d stop, pray and take a photograph of our Michael next to his patron. We all treasure those photographs, even though he’s now grown into a husband, father and successful businessman.
Piano but no organ for a musical intrument in church; Gregorian Chant piped over speakers on the grounds but none sung in church: Where’s the traditional Latin liturgy?
Here we go with the throwbacks who think that the TLM is the answer to all that ails the church. Why don’t you fork over a hefty donation to make possible what you criticize the mission for not having? It’s a very poor and small community. You can drive through the whole town in less than one minute. Population only about 500?
Indeed Warren where is the Traditional Latin Mass that this and ALL missions were built for??? Pray for its return soon in order to save The Roman Catholic Church.
Warren and RA, can you explain why you and some others who value the traditional Latin Mass (and that’s understandable) seem to be unable to see good in parishes that are trying and often offering reverent Masses? The missions were not built for the Mass as it was celebrated in the early 1960’s, which, as you likely know, was not exactly the same as the Mass immediately after the Council of Trent. The missions were built for Christ, the Church and people. Wouldn’t it be better to try to promote the beautiful TLM, rather than seemingly only criticize those who are working to restore Catholic churches, worship and culture?
Ah I see Sally the Mass of All Times is a “throwback” yet your man made Novus Ordo is the real deal, with dancing girls, giant puppets, hand holding, kiss of peace, altar girls, guitars, pianos, drums, rock music, communion in the hand while standing, lay lector’s.
Most TLM advocates are not people I would want to invite over to my home. Wouldn’t want to have a beer with them. Wouldn’t want them to date my children. Wouldn’t want them deciding on parish priorities. There’s a civil war in the church. Just read Peter Kwasniewski to see what I mean. The guy hates novus ordo church and wants to take everyone back to the early 1900s.
Kevin, Mr. Kwasniewski is a most brilliant man and one who loves Mother Church and the True Mass of All Times, and by the way we prefer the 1500’s as opposed to the early 1900’s. He hates no one that is your word not his sir! It is the disaster that is the “Man Made” Nouvs Ordo invented by Hannibal Bugnini the Free Mason that he dislikes.
Latin Mass please!!!!