Mission San Xavier del Bac announces it is temporarily closed for mass and visitors
March 14, 2020
Tucson’s Bishop, the Most Reverend Edward Weisenburger, and San Xavier’s Pastor, Father Bill Minkel, OFM decided large numbers of pilgrims and tourists in a small space is a high-risk situation during the COVID-19 outbreak. The action has been decided out of caution of the public, parishioners, and the San Xavier del Bac staff.
The decision is temporary, according to the Diocese of Tucson. More details to be provided when available.
Take a Self-Guided Virtual Tour
of Mission San Xavier
To take 360-degree self-guided tour of the Mission, click on the link below, then scroll down past the photo of the Mission to the section that says “Tour Inside”. Once there, click on the white circles with black arrows to follow the tour through the Church, the Mortuary, and the Museum Rooms. Patronato San Xavier extends many thanks to Visit Tucson, who have kindly allowed us to present this virtual tour of Mission San Xavier on our website.
(Above) The east tower of Mission San Xavier should soon receive a much-needed restoration thanks to a national grant award and a new conservation master plan. The old cement will be removed and replaced with coats of lime-washed plaster mixed with cactus juice. Photo by Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star
Towering task awaits conservators at San Xavier Mission
The White Dove of the Desert will soon glow even brighter. Mission San Xavier is set to undergo its biggest preservation project in more than a decade, thanks to a 2018 national grant award and a new conservation master plan now in the works.
Scaffolding could go up by late fall around the iconic church’s east tower, where workers will spend the next two years carefully removing and replacing problematic plaster around the structure’s centuries-old brick walls.
Mission San Xavier has inspired countless people across centuries since its foundations were laid in 1783.
This National Historic Landmark is a premier example of Mexican Baroque architecture and along with the majestic saguaro, is one of the most recognized icons in Arizona.
Today, this active Mission remains a working parish and the spiritual home for many Southern Arizonans. Host to tens of thousands of visitors annually from around the world, in October 2015, the Mission was named to the global World Monuments Fund “Watch” list that includes 50 cultural heritage sites in 36 countries that are at risk from the forces of nature and the impact of social, political and economic change.
Nonprofit Patronato San Xavier was founded by Southern Arizona community leaders in 1978 as a vehicle for conserving and preserving the Mission. Patronato funds and directs ethical conservation, conducts scientific research, and interprets the significance of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a National Historic Landmark in the community of Wa:k, part of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Patronato is a non-sectarian non-denominational 501(c)(3) and does not receive sustaining support from any government or religious organization.
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