Mission reopens to public

Mission San JuanCapistrano, a California landmark and Orange County’s only mission, reopened to the public Feb. 4, following Gov. Newsom’s announcement lifting the stay-at-home orders.  

Often called the “Jewel of California’s missions,” it will be open Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Mission Store, which has a separate entry outside of the mission walls, remains open for shopping and curbside delivery from Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Guests are asked to bring their own drinking water, to wear masks and to practice social distancing at all times in conjunction with input from mission supporters and the CDC, state, county and Diocese of Orange guidelines for the care and protection of public health.  

“While Mission San Juan Capistrano has faced many hardships during months of closures, it remains a beacon of hope and a place of inspiration, education and preservation. On behalf of the Mission Preservation Foundation, we wholeheartedly welcome back visitors to experience this historic and sacred space.said MechelleLawrence Adams, Mission San Juan Capistrano executive director.   

Mission San Juan Capistrano closed initially on March 16, 2020, and later reopened under strict COVID guidelines until early December at which time the second stay-at-home order was issued.  Mission staff swiftly transitioned to distance learning experiences (most remain available) which draw an estimated 50,000 students each year, supporting the California History-Social Science Standards and history of native peoples in California. 

Mission San Juan Capistrano is a historic landmark and museum that features permanent exhibits with original artifacts as well as traveling and temporary exhibits. Orange County’s only mission, the site is home to Serra Chapel, The Great Stone Church and the original padres’ quarters of the South Wing and promotes faith, education, preservation and cultural-event programming.  

Founded on Nov. 1, 1776, by Saint Junipero Serra as the seventh of 21 California missions established by Spain, Mission San Juan Capistrano is owned by the Diocese of Orange and receives no church or state funding. The Mission Preservation Foundation, comprised of business and community leaders, is its fundraising entity committed to ensuring education, preservation and its long-term historic and religious significance. 

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