Name of Church Serra Chapel (previously Chapel Hill)
Address Although the church is open to the public, it is located on private property and has no address. Take the CA-46 east from Paso Robles, take the Shandon exit (W. Centre Street) to McMillan Canyon Road; it is off McMillan.
Phone number Call (805) 238-7110 for information. It is the number for the Clark Company of Paso Robles, but they’d be happy to give you information.
Mass times Most Sundays, 8 a.m. (Spanish) and 10 a.m. The priest-celebrant varies; priests come from St. Rose of Lima Parish in Paso Robles or the Conventual Franciscans from Arroyo Grande. It is closed to the public during the remainder of the week except for special events.
Confessions This is not a parish church; visit St. Rose or another parish for confession.
Fellow parishioners Tourists/visitors, residents of the area around Shandon, including many from the Hispanic community.
Parking On Sundays, visitors are allowed to drive up the road and park behind the church. Otherwise, visitors must park down below and walk up a steep hill and through a couple of archways. Occasionally, if is raining heavily, the road can be blocked and Sunday Masses will be canceled.
Other Activities Serra Chapel is annually the site of an annual classical music concert; the next concert is Saturday, July 27, 7:30 p.m. Visit for additional information. Listen to and watch a previous performance here and here.
Additional observations Serra Chapel is a privately owned chapel in the wine country of San Luis Obispo County. It was built by Judge William Clark who served on the California Supreme Court and as National Security Advisor and Secretary of Interior for President Ronald Reagan. Clark was a practicing Catholic, and a realtor and rancher. He built the chapel on the hill above his ranch as a gift to the community. In 1988, Clark, who was a pilot, was nearly killed in a plane crash when the plane he was piloting was caught in a strong crosswind shortly after takeoff. The plane crashed beside the runway, nearly missing a fuel storage unit. A ranch hand pulled him from the wreckage, and although seriously injured, Clark survived. He resolved to build the chapel in thanksgiving to God for his life, as he thought his survival a miracle. Its interior includes items purchased from the collection of William Randolph Hearst. For much of his adult life he was an enthusiastic supporter of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula. Clark died August 10, 2013 at age 81. Clark’s son, Pete, continues his father’s business interests and maintains the chapel. Serra Chapel is built in the mission style; some of its interesting features are a rose window behind the altar, the “river of life” pattern on its entry doors, bell tower, elaborately detailed Spanish ceilings and many other beautiful details. There are no buildings surrounding it; it sits alone on top of a hill. The chapel was known as Chapel Hill and Shandon Chapel; it was renamed Serra Chapel after Junipero Serra’s canonization in 2015. The interior has many beautiful and historic crucifixes, pictures and statues, including an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It has a restored Moorish ceiling, and three old bells from Chicago. During Mass, a bone relic of Junipero Serra is displayed. Take an online tour of the chapel.
Looks like one needs to plan a trip to be there on a Sunday.
Nah, I’d prefer Mission San Miguel just north of Paso Robles.
Question, Is there a piano or organ at the chapel?