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California Missions FoundationJune 2012   

Latest News from California Missions Foundation

Dear Friends,  


At the California MIssions Foundation, one of our most fundamental objectives is to preserve these historic landmarks for future generations. With that in mind, in this newsletter we shine the well-deserved spotlight upon Dr. Ruben Mendoza, Director of Cal State Monterey Bay's Institute for Archaeological Science, Technology and Visualization. A champion of the conservation movement, Dr. Mendoza has discovered and identified many important artifacts at California mission sites and elsewhere. Please read on to find out more about Dr. Mendoza and his work with students at Cal State Monterey Bay.


In addition, we would like to bring your attention to events happening this month at two California Missions, Old San Juan Bautista and San Antonio de Padua, which we encourage you to attend if you are nearby. Not only will you have a great time, you'll also be learning about California's history, its culture and its people in a way that will bring that history to life!  


Please do if you know of someone who might be interested in finding out more about California Missions. 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

MissionSanRafaelDr. Ruben Mendoza: Answering the Questions of California's Past
[ Professor Dr Ruben Mendoza CSUMB ]
Dr. Ruben Mendoza

The Missions of California are a living legacy of California's historic past. Dr. Ruben Mendoza, Professor of Social, Behavioral and Global Studies at Cal State Monterey Bay, and Director, CSUMB Institute for Archaeological Science, Technology, and Visualization, is an influential and respected leader who has dedicated his professional life to preserving that heritage. To that end, he was recently called upon by the National Park Service to consult on the UNESCO World Heritage list nomination for the Missions of San Antonio, Texas.


Dr. Mendoza's interest in mission history is by no means purely academic, but stems from his own early exposure during a field trip to Mission San Juan Bautista when he was in the fourth grade. This experience awakened his curiosity, and led to his eventual decision to pursue anthropology as a course of study. Dr. Mendoza received his Ph.D from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 1992. After roles at the University of Colorado at Denver and with support of the Ford Foundation, he joined Cal State University Monterey Bay in 1995 as a Planning Faculty founder and Associate Professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and as Director of the Institute for Archaeology.


Soon thereafter, Dr. Mendoza had the opportunity to begin working with California's missions -- including San Juan Bautista -- doing archaeological exploration and conservation. Now one of the preeminent experts in the field, he has also led projects at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, and Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, among other mission sites. A charter member of the California Missions Foundation, Dr. Mendoza's achievements also include the discovery of the Serra Chapels at the Royal Presidio of Monterey in 2008. These adobe buildings are where, in 1770, Father Junipero Serra presided over the earliest Mass in a formal church structure on the California coast.


Dr. Mendoza's desire to answer the questions posed by our ancestors through archaeological exploration is something his students have been inspired by as well (just as the young Dr. Mendoza was inspired as a boy). (You can listen to Dr. Mendoza describe his work in an audio introduction on his website, navigate to the Director's Corner to listen to the file.) His students are integrally involved in dig sites, as well as doing other field and community work. You can find out more about Dr. Mendoza's students and their participation in Cal State Monterey Bay's archaeological programs by reading this profile published by CSUMB Magazine.

gardensJune's Featured California Mission Events  


Now that summer is here, weekends are a great time to visit one of California's historic missions. With 21 missions throughout California -- from San Francisco Solano in the north to San Diego Alcalá in the south -- there's lots to see and do. Below we have information about two upcoming events, one this Sunday June 10 and the other on Sunday June 24:  


Mission San Antonio De Padua -- Fiesta | Sunday, June 10, 2012

Founded in 1771, Mission San Antonio De Padua is located on California's Central Coast near Hearst ranch and was the third Mission established in California. It's annual Fiesta -- one of four events presented each year -- is always held on the second Sunday of June (in honor of St. Anthony's Feast Day), and will take place on Sunday, June 10. It is a fun-filled day for all, beginning with our special Fiesta Mass at 11:00am, and ending with a procession from the church to the Fiesta grounds, signaling the beginning of the festivities that continue until 4:00pm. Dance to music provided by a variety of local bands, and enjoy a traditional oak-fired barbeque with a choice of a half-chicken or tri-tip beef dinner for $12/plate. Purchase a homemade dessert, enjoy a glass of beer or wine, visit with local artisans whose wares will be on display, and join in the fun of our games for kids. This is a real community-oriented family event that's not to be missed! More Information

[ Mission San Antonio de Padua California Missions ]

Old Mission San Juan Bautista -- Fiesta | Sunday, June 24, 2012

If you are in Santa Cruz, Monterey or the Salinas Valley, you're not far from Old Mission San Juan Bautista, founded in 1797 by Fr. Fermin de Lasuen, Presidente of the California Missions and successor to Blessed Junipero Serra. A treasure trove of clues to centuries past, the Mission's Museum includes two handwritten choir books used by Padre Esteban (aka Estevan) Tapis, former Presidente of the Missions (and founder of the Mission Santa Ines) who retired to Mission San Juan Bautista in 1812. Padre Tapis' activities -- which included providing music instruction to the Native American youth -- led to San Juan becoming known as the "Mission of Music."

Come out an explore the Mission's history while you visit the Mission's Olive Grove, the site of their annual Fiesta, taking place on Sunday, June 24 from 11am to 5pm. Activities and entertainment include live music, mariachi, games and bingo, along with raffle prizes. Delicious food will be available for purchase from a number of food vendors, including a BBQ chicken dinner for $8 per person. More information

[ Mission San Juan Bautista California Missions ]

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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