Hope For A Global Ethic

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The relatively simple, Moorish-inspired exterior shelters a surprisingly ornate Baroque interior, mostly crafted by Native American artisans when what is now southern Arizona was known as "Pimeria Alta" in the Spanish Empire.

Phoenix to Mission San Xavier del Bac

Tucson would not formally be part of the U. My first visit here happened to be on the day after Easter when the mission is closed to visitors , and a few of the previous day's lilies remained. Many think of 'globalization' as being a modern phenomenon, but standing under the adobe domes of this Spanish colonial structure, it's sobering to think of the influences that traveled across time and longitudes to end up in this church in the Sonoran desert: Byzantine, Spanish Islamic, Renaissance, Baroque, with touches of Native American syncretism.

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The 'big-box' stores and multiplex-cinema just up the highway: a different universe. Inside, the temperature drops.

Allow your eyes to adjust from the Sonoran Desert sun, and the richness of the frescoes and sculptures will begin to reveal themselves. The land on which this church stands wouldn't become part of the U. The statue in the lower right of the photo above is of Kateri Tekakwitha--the first Native American to be canonized by the Catholic Church, in October of San Xavier is still the parish church of the Tohono O'odham people. Open every day of the year, 7 a.

The plaza in front of the church is lined with mesquite-ocotillo-saguaro-rib ramadas, where you can often sample local food prepared by Tohono O'odham families. San Xavier is grandly proportioned, but intimate. Be respectful of the residents for whom this is still a house of worship and not just amazing architecture. Place has incorrect address.

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Place is marked incorrectly on map. Content may violate guidelines. Content is inaccurate. The latest restoration began with the interior in , a six-year project. Once the elaborate detail of the ornate interior was completed work begun on the exterior to stabilize the walls and domes. When baked in the Arizona sun, the coating gives a bright white finish and resists the affects of the harsh desert climate. A museum details history of the mission and preservation work.

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Arizona (Tucson): Mission San Xavier del Bac ~ The Catholic Travel Guide

The knowledge, patience and attention to detail are to be admired. We can imagine how magnificent it will be when all is complete. We sometimes hear the gasps of wonder as visitors step into the church for the first time.


  • Mission San Xavier del Bac- Tucson, AZ.
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Every surface seems to resonate with color: altars, statuary, arches, retablos, frescoes, carvings. Some have called this the "Sistine Chapel of North America. Whether one says a prayer and lights a candle or sits quietly observing the features this is a time to pause and contemplate. Our visit ends as the setting sun brushes the walls with flecks of gold. The church is open daily 8am-5pm, museum open 8ampm.

Mission San Xavier del Bac

A gift shop is open 8am-5pm every day except Easter Sunday and Christmas. Admission is free, donations gratefully accepted. Please remember this is a place of worship, be respectful. You are commenting using your WordPress.

RV Life - RVing Arizona With Dogs / San Xavier Mission

Visit the website for tour times. American Indians sell frybread, jewelry and crafts in the parking lot. From I, take exit Suggest an Edit. Please arrive a day earlier to null.