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Misión San José de los Jémez

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The San José de los Jémez Mission is located near Albuquerque, New Mexico. It once belonged to a larger group of Spanish colonial churches along what is now the Us-Mexico borderlands. It was originally built in the early-seventeenth century to evangelize the native peoples, including the Jemez. Today, stone ruins remain. In the territory of modern-day New Mexico, Spanish friars struggled to... Read More »

Misión San José y San Miguel de Aguayo

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The San Jose Mission in San Antonio, Texas is one of the most complete complexes in the southwest. It was built in the mid-eighteenth century to evangelize approximately 300 indigenous people.Their tiny, two-room living quarters lined the interior walls of the complex. These individuals lived and worked there under the supervision of the church authorities. During the 1930s, the federal... Read More »

Misión San Juan Capistrano

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The Misión San Juan Capistrano was a Spanish colonial complex intended to evangelize the native peoples. Although Spain claimed vast stretches of territory throughout the Americas, it struggled to produce enough bureaucrats to staff local governments. In some sparsely-populated regions like the modern-day US Southwest, the Crown granted missionaries the power to establish and supervise... Read More »

Misión San Juan Capistrano (California)

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Throughout the eighteenth century, Spanish friars established more than twenty Spanish colonial churches across the territory that comprises the modern-day state of California. This one, named the Mission San Juan Capistrano, was founded in 1776. These institutions aimed to convert the local peoples (the Acjachemen) to Christianity and teach them Spanish ways of living and working. It is... Read More »

Misión San Lorenzo de Picuris

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In the mid-seventeenth century, Spanish friars built a mission near modern-day Taos. The goal of this settlement was to convert the native peoples to Christianity. In this area, the local communities were the Picuris. Because it did not have enough government workers or settlers to establish large cities throughout the extensive American territories that it claimed, the Spanish Crown allowed... Read More »

Misión San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

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This historic church was founded in 1772 by Spanish friars. Spain established dozens of churches throughout the US-Southwest region during the seventeenth and eighteenth century in an effort to convert the native peoples who lived there to Catholicism. These missions also helped the Crown stake its claim over the territory which was otherwise sparsely populated. By the time the San Luis Obispo... Read More »

Misión San Miguel (California)

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The San Miguel California Mission was founded in 1797 by a Franciscan friar who was operating on orders from the Spanish Crown. Its namesake originates from the dedication of the complex to the Archangel Saint Michael. The goal of this church, and the dozens of other missions throughout the region, was to not only convert the native peoples to Catholicism, but also to teach them Spanish ways... Read More »

Misión San Miguel (New Mexico)

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The San Miguel Chapel was built between 1610 and 1625 as part of the Spanish Crown’s efforts to evangelize the native peoples of the Americas. Located in modern-day Santa Fe, this church complex aimed to convert the Tlaxcalan community under the supervision of Francsican friars, while coercing them into Spanish ways of life. By sponsoring these largely church-run settlements, the Spanish... Read More »

Misión San Rafael Arcángel

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Located near San Francisco, California, this mission originally functioned as a hospital. It was a secondary site for a larger mission closer to San Francisco. It was founded later than many of the colonial churches throughout the US Southwest, in 1817. These churches were built as part of the Spanish Crown’s efforts to evangelize the native peoples of the Americas. In addition to the hospital... Read More »

Misión Santa Clara de Asís

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Located today on the Santa Clara University campus in Santa Clara University, the Mission Santa Clara de Asís was originally founded in 1777. Like many other missions nearby, it was created by Francsican missionaries with the permission of the Spanish Crown. These institutions aimed to convert the native peoples to Catholicism and teach them Spanish ways of life. They also helped the Crown... Read More »

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