Save The Mission

Mission San Juan Bautista Preservation Fund Campaign 

Mass and the sacraments have been celebrated continuously at Mission San Juan Bautista since its founding in 1797. Known as “The Music Mission” for the excellence of the music the early Christian native peoples performed, it is the largest of the 21 California mission churches and the only one with three aisles. It is also the only one with its original entrance plaza still intact. Since its early days, the Mission has been damaged by earthquakes, include one in 1803 which destroyed it. It took nine years to make the extraordinary number of adobes and tiles required but the present church was finally completed on June 23, 1812, when Jefferson was president. Nearly 40,000 school-aged children tour the Mission annually. They learn about the Ohlone Mutsun Indian Peoples and the Franciscan missionaries who built it to bring the gift of the Catholic faith to this part of the New World. The Mission helps all who visit learn about the Mission Era and its unique role in the religious and cultural history of California and our nation. While the Mission has had periodic restoration over the last two centuries, it is now at grave risk because its buildings have not been seismically retrofitted, and their leaking roofs are causing the adobe bricks to deteriorate and lose their strength. Seismologists have estimated a 62% probability for one or more magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay Region from 2003 – 2032. The Mission church is only 100 feet from the San Andreas Fault. It is the only California mission which has not had a seismic upgrade. In May of 2015, seeing the mounting deterioration of the Mission, a concerned group of community volunteers committed their collective efforts to save the Mission. In October of 2015, a Board of Directors and the Mission San Juan Bautista Preservation Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation (EIN #47-5427661), were established to raise the required funds. Working in collaboration with the Parish, the Board is conducting a comprehensive capital campaign to restore and preserve the Mission, repair and improve its infrastructure and facilities, conserve its unique religious art and historic artifacts, and enhance the visitor experience of the Mission church, the Museum, and the Mission grounds. The Campaign’s $31,385,040 goal includes $3,000,000 for an ongoing Maintenance and Periodic Conservation Endowment to ensure the long-term success of the preservation effort. The Campaign’s cost estimate is between 2 ½ and 5 cents per dollar raised. We are in the “quiet” Leadership Gift phase of the Campaign to raise the top-level gifts required to reach 70% of the goal so that the seismic retrofit, roof replacement, and other essential restoration and preservation work can be accomplished. First, however, a temporary church must be established to accommodate the vibrant parish’s needs while the seismic and roof replacement work is being done. When the Fund has raised 70% of the goal, the Parish and the Board will conduct the “public” phase to finish the Campaign. To date, Parish and Board fund-raising efforts have raised $1.3 million for the Campaign, including matching an anonymous $500,000 gift. 


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Help Save The Mission

Donations can be made to us by mail at the address below, brought to the church office, or made directly through PayPal. The Preservation Fund of Mission San Juan Bautista is a registered 501(c)3 tax deductible organization.

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