Saturday, March 6, 2010

Santa Barbara Mission

I have always endeavored to expose my kids to as many different things as possible. So when the question came up of what to do on a school holiday we decided to trek out to Santa Barbara and visit the mission.

I don't recall having visited the mission before, although I am sure my mother took me as a child. Its mandatory fourth grade curriculum in the state of California. I know I have driven by the mission several times too since we honeymooned and often vacation in Santa Barbara. But it was our first chance to take our kids.

I feel that the mission-system is extra important to my children; not only are we Catholic, but my children are also Native American. Its important for them to understand the history of their religion, their state and their culture. Only by know where we come from can we then truly understand how very blessed we are.

[caption id="attachment_634" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="In front of the Santa Barbara Mission, Alexander kept running off"]In front of the Santa Barbara Mission, Alexander kept running off

We took the simple walking tour of the mission. There are docents available periodically through the week, but you will have to check their website for details. The walking tour can take as long as you let it. There are lots of coffins to see and read. You can stop, reflect and pray along your journey.
Praying in the crypt

But the reality is that there is a little cemetery area outside the church, the interior of the church including the original altar, and a small walk through museum that includes tools that the native Indians used. Since we had small children with us I would guess the whole thing took 90 minutes, including running around in the grass outside and gazing at the fish in the fountain.
Alexander helping Grandma Margaret see all the sights
Looking at the sun dial in the cemetary

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