First Mission Stop at Mission San Diego de Alcalá
“Founded in 1769 by Saint Junípero Serra, Mission San Diego de Alcalá is located in present-day San Diego, California. Both the mission and its surrounding territory are named for the Catholic Didacus of Alcalá, better known as ‘San Diego’.
Mission San Diego de Alcalá, as the first of the 21 Franciscan missions, appropriately gained its nickname ‘The Mother of the Missions’. Our pilgrim crew arrived at this Mission just before the noon Mass on Sunday, September 1st, with the World Apostolate of Fatima rolling billboard. My colleague, Anthony DeBellis, was joined by his son, Michael, present to support the project of his dad to visit 21 missions in 21 days and to explore together the treasures of our Faith and in this case, the first-ever of its kind built in California.
The 22nd successor of Saint Junípero Serra, Father Peter M. Escalante, welcomed us with wonderful hospitality and celebrated the Mass with Our Lady of Fatima Pilgrim Virgin Statue present. It was inspiring to see standing room only at Mass. Many parishioners, along with visitors at the Mission, took extra time to bask in the presence of this beautiful landmark environment, including on this special day, Our Lady and special relics that are under the custodianship of Catholic Action for Faith and Family. One realization our travel team has made only two days into the journey is that we will remember for a lifetime the experience and the gratitude shown to us for coming, and in seeing hearts and lives touched during these visits.
Since the beginning of the year, Mission San Diego de Alcalá has been commemorating its 250th founding Anniversary and will continue with their celebratory year. The mission is open to the public from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily; to see upcoming events at the mission during their Jubilee Year including September 16th-19th please click here.
Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus for demonstrating faith in action as they worked tirelessly throughout a hot and humid day…. always with a spirit of charity!
To become part of the Portolá 250 pilgrimage, click here to send your intentions.
“Always go forward and never turn back.”
~ St. Junípero Serra