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California Missions FoundationDecember 2010
Latest News from California Missions Foundation

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the first edition of California Missions Foundation's new electronic newsletter. We are excited to launch this new tool that will help us stay in touch with our friends and supporters throughout the state. We hope you'll enjoy these monthly updates, full of news, photos, and links. Please feel free to share this email with a friend. (Or, if you would rather not receive future newsletters via email, you can click the unsubscribe button below.)

Read on for information about our most recent activities, and don't forget to visit our website to learn more about the foundation's role in preserving our state's historic missions.

Thank you for your interest and support in 2010; with your continued help, we can achieve even more in 2011 and beyond!

[ Photo of Knox Mellon ]

Dr. Knox Mellon
Executive Director
California Missions Foundation

CMF Has a New Home

As you probably know, California Missions Foundation's headquarters recently moved to Carmel, CA. We're thrilled with the move, which puts us near the beautiful Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo... and not far from half a dozen other missions in the Bay Area.

Check out this article about CMF that appeared in the Dec. 3 edition of The Carmel Pine Cone:

[ Click to download a PDF of the article from the Carmel Pine Cone. ]

Featured Mission: Mission San Antonio de Padua

[ Photos of Mission San Antonio de Padua. ]

This month, we're profiling Mission San Antonio de Padua, located in Jolon, California (MAP).


Mission San Antonio was founded July 14, 1771. Friar Junipero Serra led a small party to the site of the original mission, erected a bell, and rang it loudly to attract the attention of the local Salinans. The temporary wooden structures of the original mission were supplanted by adobe buildings when the complex was relocated to the present site in 1793 due to drought. San Antonio was the first California mission to adopt the use of fired roof and floor tiles. A central quadrangle contained granaries, storage facilities, and manufacturing areas.

Due to summer drought, irrigation works were important from the earliest years. San Antonio was the first mission to develop such a system, supporting a growing population, greater crop production, and larger herds of livestock. With a homogenous native population and located distantly from the major ports and military establishments, the mission developed peacefully over a span of 60 years.

Mission San Antonio gradually fell into decay following secularization in 1834. The mission was staffed with Hispanic Franciscans and a small congregation of faithful neophytes until 1883, when it was completely abandoned. Visited occasionally by Victorian picnickers, the church of 1813 was eventually restored by the Historic Landmarks League in 1906. The restoration had to be repeated in the same year due to the effects of the San Francisco earthquake. (Learn more about the history of Mission San Antonio, or visit the Mission's website.)

Various restoration projects continue today, with the assistance of California Missions Foundation. CMF recently awarded a $23,000 grant to Mission San Antonio for the restoration of historic artworks housed at the mission. The story was covered by KSBW TV-8 News. Their report includes comments from CMF Executive Director Knox Mellon and Mission San Antonio's Joan Steele. Click the image below to watch the segment online:

[ Click to watch the KSBW report on CMF's gift to Mission San Antonio. ]

More Grant News

[ Photo: Mission Soledad Board Chair Carlene Bell accepts a check from CMF's Knox Mellon. ]It's been a busy time for CMF -- we have had the great pleasure of awarding grants to seven of the state's 21 missions, including:
  • $23,100 to Mission San Antonio. (See article above.)
  • $5000 to Mission Soledad for research of primary and secondary documents and other information on the mission's historic development. (See photo at right.)
  • $11,000 to Mission San Jose to preserve historic materials, including sacramental records dating back to the 18th century. (Read more from the Oakland Tribune.)
  • This week, CMF presented a check to the pastor and director of Mission San Rafael for $20,000. We hope to have photos for you in our next newsletter.
We have also been successful in obtaining new funding from a number of sources. These include:
  • A two-year $250,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation
  • $50,000 from the Linden Root Dickinson Foundation
  • $25,000 from the Leavey Foundation (up from $10,000 previously)
  • Additional grants totaling another $10,000
Most of these new funds are dedicated to specific projects and missions. In all cases, these generous contributions will allow us to continue our work of supporting the preservation efforts of California's 21 historic missions. We are most grateful to the above-mentioned donors for their consideration and support.

Did you know that CMF is on Facebook?
Click on over and show your support for CMF by "liking" our new page. We want to hear from you!

[ Click to connect with us on Facebook ]
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How can you help to preserve California's historic missions?
Learn about ways you can donate!

[ Learn how you can donate to the California Missions Foundation ]

About California Missions Foundation

Nothing defines California's heritage as significantly or emotionally as do the 21 missions that were founded along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Their beauty, stature and character underlie the formation of California. All 21 missions are California Historical Landmarks; many have also been designated National Historic Landmarks. The missions are among the most popular tourist destinations in the state, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Founded in 1998, the California Missions Foundation was established with the objective of preserving and protecting the missions. The Foundation is the only organization dedicated to the long-term preservation and restoration needs of all California missions and their associated historic and cultural resources for public benefit.

Visit us online at www.californiamissionsfoundation.org.
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