A historic mission in San Diego – the first-ever of its kind built in California – turns 250 this year, and the landmark’s milestone anniversary will kick off Thursday with a special ceremony.
Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, founded in 1769, is located at 10818 San Diego Mission Rd. In honor of the landmark’s “jubilee year,” Father Peter M. Escalante has invited the public to a ceremony at the historic site, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Roman Catholic Bishop of San Diego Robert McElroy is set to lead the prayer service, joined by other local faith leaders. A reception will follow the ceremony. Those who would like to attend should send an email to 250Jubilee@MissionSanDiego.org to reserve a seat.
Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala is the first of the 21 great California Missions, and, according to the mission’s website, “the birthplace of Christianity in the west coast of the United States.”
Today, it serves as an active parish church for people of all faiths.
Mass is held daily at the historic site, at 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, and at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. On Sundays, ceremonies – many featuring congregational singing – are held on the hour from 7 a.m. to noon, and again at 5:30 p.m. There is a mass in Spanish at 11 a.m. Sundays.
If you’re a history buff, the mission features a visitor’s center rich with information, as well as a gift shop, open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The mission’s 250th anniversary will feature special events planned throughout 2019, including Heritage Weekend in mid-February, the Festival of the Bells in July, Taste of the Mission in September and a “Farewell Toast to Jubilee Year” on Dec. 31. To check out the full list of anniversary events, click here.