March 14, 2020 | Mission San Xavier del Bac announces it is temporarily closed for mass and visitors.
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.
Plan, schedule & prepare for your class tour
Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before requesting and scheduling a class trip to Mission San Xavier. Once you have requested a School Group Tour, an educational docent from the Mission will follow up with you by phone or email. Together you will exchange contact information, confirm the date and time of your visit, verify the number of students and chaperones, and discuss expectations about student behavior.
On the day of your class visit, call or text your contact person when you are leaving school to confirm your estimated arrival time. Depending on the size of your group, you may want to divide students into smaller groups of about 15 or 20 with adult chaperones. Educational docents/tour guides will meet you at the front of the museum at the designated time. You should plan to be at the Mission for about 1.5 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mission San Xavier is a small but very active parish church. We welcome student groups to visit and learn about Mission San Xavier. While there it is important that they be quiet, polite and respectful. Student groups should expect to encounter visitors and tour groups and behave with courtesy and consideration at all times.
Q. Are there facilities for students to eat lunch at the Mission site?
A. No, there are no lunch facilities or picnic areas at the Mission. It is suggested that the bus company or district be contacted to make sure students can eat on the bus if necessary. Teachers are responsible for making these arrangements.
Q. Can student groups tour the Mission without making a reservation?
A. Student groups are not allowed to tour the Mission without a reservation. A reservation must be made in order to ensure that all visitors to the Mission are afforded an orderly tour under the leadership of a Mission docent. Educational tour slots fill quickly, so it is best to book student group tours as far in advance as possible.
Q. Do students require adult supervision at the Mission?
A. Yes, definitely. For grades five and below, one chaperone for every ten students is required. For grades six and up, one adult chaperone for every 15 students.
Q. When is the best time to book a student tour?
A. September through December and mid-April through May are the best months for student tours. During the high tourist season (January through April) the Mission site is often very crowded and so it is not always possible to accommodate student groups. In addition, there may be black-out dates when the church is unavailable for student tours. The best times of day for student groups to visit the Mission are 9:00am through 1:00pm. Student groups may be accommodated outside of these times when possible.
Q. Are there costs associated with student tours?
A. There is no charge to visit Mission San Xavier, but donations are accepted and appreciated to support ongoing efforts to conserve and maintain Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Teacher Resource Guide
We encourage you to look over the online educational resources provided and talk to your students about Mission San Xavier prior to your visit. In addition, please remind your students that San Xavier is an active parish church and they will need to be respectful, reverent and courteous throughout their visit, as parishioners may be praying, meditating or worshipping in the church.
For teachers, there is a teacher’s guide to terms and a timeline of the Mission. For students, there are activities including a crossword puzzle, a word search, a treasure hunt and a short quiz. In addition, there are suggested topics for classroom discussion and writing.