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San Carlos Borrome`o de Carmelo Mission

Per.Sempre.Josh.Fan.Jan's picture
on July 1, 2010 - 12:45am

The Carmel Mission… Located at the west end of the Carmel Valley where the Carmel River meets the Pacific Ocean; this mission was the favorite of Father Junípero Serra and he lies buried under the altar in the church.

This mission has my particular interest because of the Castilian Spanish; my ancestors. There is a story passed down through my family of one of the statues that was rescued by my ancestors when the Mexican Army came to pilfer the ranchos and the mission. The statue was taken during the battle; wrapped and buried at one of the ranchos and later returned to the church to take its rightful place behind the alter. Bullet holes can still be seen in the body of the angel.

The grounds include beautiful flowering gardens and large fountains with benches under trees that offer a welcome feeling to the guests, a well kept cemetery; the resting place of several ancestors who earned a place there by their extensive work at the mission and the church, a museum filled with artifacts from early mission life, some identified with ancestral names.

Sometimes there are Gregorian Monk chants playing in the church but today it is quiet. I am alone here for a few moments as I sit on a pew observing the incredible artwork and craftsmanship displayed in ornate detail, I listen to Josh’s humbling voice singing Ava Maria (on my iPod); his version is so spiritually moving, the true essence of church is felt.

I am not one for church going as I consider the great outdoors as my sanctuary; but to have real history within the walls of the Carmel Mission dating back to the beginning of California means I must visit here on occasion to honor the past.

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