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California Missions FoundationNov.-Dec. 2011  

Latest News from California Missions Foundation

Dear Friends, 

The season of giving is here once more! But no matter what time of year, nothing makes me happier than for California Missions Foundation to be able to give money in support of the preservation of the state's historic missions.


In this edition of our newsletter, you'll find information about the most recent grants that CMF has awarded to more than a dozen deserving missions and related sites. See below for a full list, along with a couple of photos from recent check presentation ceremonies. 


It's also nice to know that our work is receiving notice among the general public. The Hollister Freelance published this article (click here) about funding for restoration work at Mission San Juan Bautista. And the following article was published several weeks ago in the Monterey County Herald, outlining the grants made to sites in Monterey County. (Sadly, this article is not available online.)


[ Image of the article from the Oct. 25, 2011, Monterey County Herald ]


Along with the wealth of grant information, this newsletter also includes a brief profile of Father David Gaa of Mission San Luis Rey, the man spearheading their very successful drive to fund some major restoration work at that site.


As always, please feel free to . And if you have questions, comments, or ideas for topics you'd like us to address in future newsletters, please don't hesitate to reply to this email. We love hearing from you!

[ Photo of Knox Mellon ]

Dr. Knox Mellon
Executive Director
California Missions Foundation

Grants:Recent CMF Grants 


At a recent meeting, the Board of Directors of the California Missions Foundation awarded over $129,000 in grants to California missions and mission sites for projects ranging from art conservation to security. The grants, made possible by donations from individuals and foundations, are:

  • Mission San Antonio de Padua (near Jolon) -- $7,900 for conservation of two paintings
  • Mission San Buenaventura -- $13,800 for museum upgrade and an alarm system
  • Mission San Francisco Solano (Sonoma) -- $4,800 for Stations of the Cross conservation
  • Mission San Gabriel -- $14,000 for fire alarm detectors
  • Mission San Jose -- $10,000 for ladrillo repair (replacement of walkway tile pavers)
  • Mission San Juan Bautista -- $8,600 for barrel organ and museum upgrades
  • Mission San Luis Rey -- $5,000 for Madonna Chapel roof repair and restoration of interior adobe wall
  • Mission San Rafael Arcangel -- $4,500 for art conservation
  • Mission Soledad -- $8,125 for reconstruction/preservation
  • [ Photo: Reverend Herman Manuel, SVD, accepts a check from CMF Board members Jack Williams and Janet Bartel on behalf of Asistencia San Antonio de Pala. The doors that are to be restored with the grant money can be seen in the background, behind protective plexiglass. ]Mission La Purisima (near Lompoc) -- $5,000 for inventory and digital archiving of the mission's architectural map and drawing collection
  • Mission Santa Barbara -- $13,800 for Huerta Garden projects, including site preservation and education
  • Mission Santa Clara -- $6,100 for conservation of painting of St. Aloysius of Gonzaga
  • Mission Santa Ines -- $10,000 for Phase II of Geophysical Survey of Chumash sites
  • Royal Presidio Chapel (Monterey) -- $13,000 for restoration of the 18th Century painting of St. Clare
  • Asistencia San Antonio de Pala (near Oceanside) -- $5,000 for restoration of original chapel doors and replacement of header over sacristy door (see photo at right)

Profile:From Russia, with Love


[ Photo of Father David Gaa ]One year ago, a Franciscan priest arrived at San Luis Rey de Francia after spending seven years in Russia establishing a presence and building a church. Before his time in Russia, Father David Gaa had spent many years at San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona. Father Gaa arrived in California intent on "rebuilding the church," armed with the vision of St. Francis, the charisma and determination of Father Serra, and the diplomatic acumen of Father Lasuén.


When Father David arrived, he knew that his primary task would be to implement and match a $650,000 Save America's Treasures (SAT) grant for church retrofitting that had been awarded to San Luis Rey through the efforts of California Missions Foundation. (See our previous newsletter for more info on the SAT grant.) He soon determined that simply matching the grant would not cover the entire project, and that a more realistic estimate would be $3,100,000.


[ Photo from Mission San Luis Rey de Francia ]In the mendicant spirit of a Franciscan, he was determined to meet this goal. Initially, some unpopular decisions had to be made when he began to trim expenses. But he coupled those by reaching out to all the people; he opened the front doors of the church and welcomed everyone. He restored Franciscan traditions that encouraged people to come to the mission, he planned fundraisers, he encouraged volunteerism, and he worked with the city to promote goodwill. He filmed a DVD explaining the goals and the importance of the capital campaign. His Capital Campaign Committee recently announced that they are only $800,000 short of their $3,100,000 goal. CMF salutes this multi-tasking, energizing friar for his tireless efforts to restore the King of the Missions.


For more information, please contact Mission San Luis Rey at 760-757-3651 or visit the mission's website. To donate toward helping Father David reach his goal, please contact the California Missions Foundation.


[ Photo: CMF Board member Janet Bartel present a check to Fr. David of Mission San Luis Rey. ] 

You can help us to preserve California's historic missions and all their cultural treasures! 

Call our office at (831) 622-7500 to donate by credit card, or click the button below to donate via PayPal!  

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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 statewide 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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