White Dove Campaign

Saving the East Tower

San Xavier Mission is Southern Arizona’s most prominent and important historic landmark. Along with the majestic saguaro, the Mission is one of the most recognized icons of the region, bringing tens of thousands of visitors annually from around the world.

Over the past 22 years, Patronato San Xavier—the non-profit, non-sectarian organization providing funding dedicated solely to restoring and preserving the Mission—has raised more than $10 million, mostly from local individuals and foundations who recognize the treasure in our midst. These funds have been critical in preserving the Mission for future generations and have paid for the completion of more than 80 percent of the restoration, including:

  • Preserving the irreplaceable Spanish-Colonial sculpture and paintings inside the church by hiring a team of expert European art restorers;
  • Restoring the exterior walls of the nave;
  • Refurbishing the Mission’s West Tower;
  • Reconstructing the Sacristy Arcade; and
  • Repairing the roof over the central part of the Mission.

A major project remains, which is the restoration of San Xavier Mission’s East Tower. Restoring this tower will help preserve the structural integrity of the building and further enhance its beauty. In the centuries since the Mission was built, cracking in the East Tower’s exterior has allowed water to migrate behind the stucco and wick into the interior adobe brick. This moisture threatens the basic fabric of the church and endangers the priceless art treasures inside. If the East Tower restoration is not completed soon, we risk undoing the work that already has been accomplished.

Campaign Funding Goal

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The goal of the White Dove Campaign is to raise $3 million, which is the estimated cost to restore the East Tower.  As with any historic renovation however, estimating the project’s total cost is difficult. Financial projections have been based to some extent on the $2.5 million spent on the West Tower’s renovations (completed in 2009). As of February 2015, nearly $800,000 has been committed to the East Tower project, with $200,000 of that amount coming from Patronato’s Board of Directors. Throughout the new renovation project every effort will be made to secure in-kind donations of materials and services wherever it is appropriate to do so. In-kind donors will be recognized as donors to the Campaign appropriate to the value of their gift, and every dollar’s worth of materials and services contributed will mean one dollar less that needs to be raised through community fundraising.

Campaign Contributor Recognition

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Mission San Xavier, our White Dove of the Desert, is the oldest intact European built structure in Arizona, and is considered by most to be the state’s most beautiful building. Significant donors to this important effort will be recognized in the following ways:

Donors of $10,000 and above will receive a complimentary autographed copy of A Gift of Angels: The Art of Mission San Xavier del Bac by Bernard L. Fontana, a beautiful coffee-table book on the history and art of Mission San Xavier.

Donors of $5,000 or more will be listed in a permanent donor recognition display at the Mission (location to be determined, but likely within the Museum facilities at the Mission).

Donors of $1,000 or more will be recognized at the Mission San Xavier Christmas Concerts in December 2016. All donors – including those contributing to earlier renovation projects – will be listed in a celebratory booklet to be distributed at the Unveiling Ceremony of the East Tower renovation.