Exploring Tucson

Being that we're new in town, we have some serious exploring to do. Our first stop on this mission was the Mission San Xavier del Baca.

History says "Mission San Xavier del Bac (a Catholic church) was founded by a Jesuit priest, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a European spreading the word of God in a new land in 1692. While traveling to what is now known as California, Kino found a Pima Indian village near a stream bed ("Bac" means "where a stream emerges") in the Sonoran Desert. He stopped and preached to the people who were receptive to his teachings. Father Kino did not stay in this location, but visited it often during his travels.

From 1692 through 1782 various priests took charge of the church and either visited regularly or were commissioned there. The services took place in a different church than the one that exists today.

During this time the old church was vulnerable to Apache attacks but was left untouched. Charles III of Spain banned all Jesuits from Spanish lands because of distrust of the secular talents of the Jesuits, so from this time (late 1760's) on San Xavier would be led by Franciscans.Today's church was built in 1783. Not much is written about the Mission from the time it was built until 1828. At this time the Mexican government demanded loyalty from all Spanish priests, and many, including the priest at San Xavier, refused. Therefore, the priest serving at San Xavier was sent home to Spain, and San Xavier was left vacant."

After exploring the mission, we stopped at the gift shop and Shelby picked out a Pima Indian doll, which she named Sally. And then we bought some lemonade and flat bread with green chile being cooked over an open fire outside the mission. Great day.