These pictures were taken on a field trip this week to Mission San Juan Capistrano — one of the many return trips I’ve taken since my first (4th grade) visit.
Even back in grade school, I felt conflicted about Father Junipero Serra’s work at this and other California missions. I believe the padres meant well, but the laws of unintended consequences played out in some very unhappy ways. Still, most of the 21 missions are quite beautiful. And San Juan Capistrano, it’s said, is the crown jewel of El Camino Real.
1. Ruins of the original stone church, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812
2. The Fountain of the Four Evangelists, which once provided fresh water for the entire mission community
4. Thanks to the efforts of the Gardening Angels, the grounds of the Mission are covered with beautiful flowers, edible fruits and vegetables, and a variety of palm, citrus, pepper, and olive trees.
5. Hmm…How exactly does one start the day in church and end up in jail?