Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011
Mission San José reopened on Friday, August 19th, after undergoing a year-long $2.2 million renovation by the Archdiocese of San Antonio through funds raised by the Las Misiones Capital Campaign.
Work included renovating the altar, re-plastering the church interior, updating 1930s wiring and lighting, and adding a beautiful new retablo carved by the renowned artist Augustin Parra from Guadalajara, Mexico. The dedication and opening mass was performed by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Notable guests included San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, State Senator Carlos Uresti, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and Valero Energy Corporation Chairman of the Board and CEO Bill Klesse, who chaired the Las Misiones Capital Campaign.
Nearly 300 people attended the celebratory mass and luncheon. Festivities continued through the weekend with guided tours of the church, a chamber chorale concert on Saturday night, and the return of the Mariachi Mass on Sundays.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves the largest collection of Spanish colonial resources in the United States. The park consists of four missions, two intact acequia systems, one of the few surviving mission ranches, and nearly a million artifacts. All four mission churches are still active parishes and have an unbroken chain of history and cultural continuity from Spanish colonial times (1720) to modern day San Antonio, Texas, America’s seventh largest city.
Completed in 1782, the church at Mission San Jose is widely known as the “Queen” of Texas’ 44 missions. The front façade and famed “Rose Window” are regarded by art historians as some of the finest examples of European baroque architecture in the United States.