Santa Clara University

Spring 2013 Community Newlstter

Campus with a Mission

Campus with a Mission

Students of California history no doubt know Santa Clara University’s Mission Church as the eighth of 21 missions that helped found modern California. But the Mission is also a working church, welcoming hundreds of attendees to Mass each week.

“It’s very much the spiritual heart of the campus,” said Jack Treacy, S.J., director of campus ministry.

The Mission has Mass on weekdays at 12:05 p.m., plus three Masses on Sunday during the school year. The 10 a.m. Mass is attended primarily by neighbors, alumni, and some faculty and staff—“10 in the morning is not a student time,” Treacy said. During the academic year, Mass is also held at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Weddings are performed at the Mission for people affiliated with the University. This year, about 80 weddings are scheduled, Treacy said.

For those who want to delve into the history, the Mission Church is open from sunrise to sunset every day. The de Saisset Museum on campus has a permanent California history exhibit that covers the native Ohlone people, the Mission and Ranchero periods, and the early days of Santa Clara College.

The museum also organizes tours for the 3,000 students and visitors annually. Smaller groups can go on self-guided tours, said Charlie White, director of the Mission Church. A brochure is available at the entrance to the Mission. “This is a state monument and very important to the history of California,” White said.

The Mission dates to 1777 and has been in its current location since 1825. It was given to the Jesuits in 1851, the year Santa Clara College was founded. Although the Mission burned down in 1926, it was rebuilt to retain as much of the original look as possible.

To arrange a tour for a group of 10 people or more, call 408-554-4528.