The Old Franciscan Missions Of California eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Old Franciscan Missions Of California.

The discovery of the bodies of Serra, Crespi, Lopez, and Lasuen aroused some sentiment and interest in Father Cassanova’s plan of restoration; and sufficient aid came to enable him properly to restore and roof the building.  On August 28, 1884, the rededication took place, and the building was left as it is found to-day.

The old pulpit still remains.  It is reached by steps from the sacristy through a doorway in the main side wall.  It is a small and unpretentious structure of wood, with wooden sounding-board above.  It rests upon a solid stone pedestal, cut into appropriate shaft and mouldings.  The door is of solid oak, substantially built.

In the sacristy is a double lavatory of solid sandstone, hewn and arranged for flowing water.  It consists of two basins, one above the other, the latter one well recessed.  The lower basin is structurally curved in front, and the whole piece is of good and artistic workmanship.

In the neighborhood of San Carlos there are enough residents to make up a small congregation, and it is the desire of Father Mestris, the present priest at Monterey, to establish a parish there, have a resident minister, and thus restore the old Mission to its original purpose.



Before leaving San Carlos it will be well to explain the facts in regard to the Mission church at Monterey.  Many errors have been perpetuated about this church.  There is little doubt but that originally the Mission was established here, and the first church built on this site.  But as I have elsewhere related, Padre Serra found it unwise to have the Indians and the soldiers too near together.

In the establishment of the Missions, the presidios were founded to be a means of protection to the padres in their work of civilizing and Christianizing the natives.  These presidios were at San Diego, Monterey, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara.  Each was supposed to have its own church or chapel, and the original intention was that each should likewise have its own resident priest.  For purposes of economy, however, this was not done, and the Mission padres were called upon for this service, though it was often a source of disagreement between the military and the missionaries.  While the Monterey church that occupied the site of the present structure may, in the first instance, have been used by Serra for the Mission, it was later used as the church for the soldiers, and thus became the presidio chapel.  I have been unable to learn when it was built but about fifty years ago Governor Pacheco donated the funds for its enlargement.  The original building was extended back a number of feet, and an addition made, which makes the church of cruciform shape, the original building being the long arm of the cross.  The walls are built of sandstone rudely quarried at the rear of the church.  It is now the parish church of Monterey.

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The Old Franciscan Missions Of California from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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