Docents Needed for Volunteer-led Mission Tours

Docents Needed for Volunteer-led Mission Tours

Our thanks to members of the 2015 Docent Program class.

Our thanks to members of the 2015 Docent Program class. Photo credit: Craig Reid.

Share Mission San Xavier with Visitors from Around the World! 

Patronato docents conducted more than 1,600 tours for 26,000 visitors in 2015 and the docent program is expanding.

An introduction to the docent training program is Wednesday, October 12, 2016 from 10 a.m. to noon in the St Clare Room at the Mission.  The docent program is non denominational and all are welcome to attend the introductory meeting.

Upon completion of a 6-week training program, docents will give tours and share the history of Mission San Xavier.

Patronato’s docent program provides many windows into the rich culture and history of the Southwest.  Ongoing educational opportunities for docents include presentations and field trips with restoration professional, historians and other experts.

Read more about the docent program here.


Patronato San Xavier is a nonsectarian, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded by Southern Arizona community leaders in 1978. The Patronato promotes, funds and oversees the restoration, maintenance and preservation of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a National Historic Landmark since 1963. In 2011, the Patronato began offering visitors free docent-led tours for the first time in the Mission’s 218-year history. Docents are community volunteers trained in the history, architecture, and culture of the Mission and its surroundings

The exterior restoration began in 1988 with the rehabilitation of the roof and continued with the walls of the main church, the repair and conservation of the West Tower and more recently the Sacristy Arcade on the west side of the church courtyard. Restoration of the East Tower is underway.

Interior renovation began in 1992, when the Patronato hired Guggenheim conservator Paul Schwartzbaum who put together a team of international art conservators to preserve and clean the church interior.  The team spent six seasons conserving the wall paintings and sculpture throughout the church interior. Since 2002, Tim Lewis, a member of Tohono O’odham community of Wa:k, and his wife Matilde Rubio–both of whom had roles on the Schwartzbaum team–have continued the work to preserve San Xavier’s priceless interior.