Parish Life

Parish Life

Guided by the Holy Spirit, Mission San Buenaventura is a parish rich in Catholic heritage called to "go forward" in worship to spread God's Word through compassionate service.

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Founded on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1782, San Buenaventura Mission is the ninth and last mission consecrated by Saint Junipero Serra. Named in honor of Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274: Cardinal and Doctor of the Church), it is known as the "Mission by the Sea".

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Visitor Information

Visitor Information

The Old Mission welcomes visitors from sunrise until sunset.  Known for its beautiful gardens and faithfully restored artifacts the mission is a always an experience to visit.  Tours available daily.

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Michelangelo's Pieta Unveiling


Mission San Buenaventura to dedicate Michelangelo Pieta Statue

A Vatican licensed marble-cast of Michelangelo’s masterpiece Pieta is added to the sacred art collection at Mission San Buenaventura. An unveiling and  dedication Prayer Service will be held on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in the Mission Church followed by a reception in the Mission Garden. The public is invited.

Forty-one years ago, May 21, 1972, the Renaissance statue was damaged at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The incident, and what subsequently became one of the most delicate and controversial art restorations in history, stunned the world. Forty-six years later Mr. and Mrs. Brad Hanson of Arizona made an extraordinary financial gift to Mission San Buenaventura.  The Mission then acquired the Vatican licensed No. 73/100 marble-cast Pieta statue being placed around the world through ArteDivine S.A. and Richard and Esther Stewart, The Michelangelo Legacy.

Michelangelo was commissioned on August 27, 1498 and carved it out of a single block of Carrera marble he chose himself from a Tuscan quarry. The replica acquired by Mission San Buenaventura is composed of crushed Carrera marble from the same quarry Michelangelo chose. The crushed marble is mixed with resin and adhesives and then polished to resemble the original work of art. The Pieta at St. Peter’s Basilica is viewed by millions of people annually. Visitors to Mission San Buenaventura are able to view the sacred art in the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, formerly the Baptistry.

The statue is so lifelike that the viewer can almost feel the curls of the dead Christ’s hair and the softness of the Madonna’s lips. The veins in Christ’s muscular arms seem to be still holding blood. The folds in the Madonna’s veil seem made of muslin rather than marble. When art historian Giorgio Vasari saw the statue in 1550 he wrote in his book about the lives of artists. “It is a miracle that a rock, which before was without form, can take on such perfection that even nature sometimes struggles to create in the flesh”.

Art work designed by M.B. Hanrahan (faux curtains and prayer lettering) and Belgar "Cheif" Merlich with apprentice Sarah (stained glass window).

Mission San Buenaventura, founded in 1782 by St. Junipero Serra, continues to be an active Catholic parish and is open daily to the public for pilgrimage and tour.


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Masses / Misas

Weekdays: 7:30 A.M.
(Except Monday: 9:00  A.M. during school year: August-June)

Saturday / Sábado:
7:30 A.M.
5:30 P.M. Vigil (English)
7:30 P.M. Vigilia (Español)

Sunday / Domingo:
  7:30 A.M. (English)
  9:00 A.M. (English)
10:30 A.M (Español in O'Brien Hall)
12:15 P.M. (English)
Holy Days/ Días Santos:
7:30 A.M. (English)
12:00 Noon  (English)
6:00 P.M. (English)
7:30 P.M. (Spanish)
First Friday / Viernes Primeros:
7:30 A.M. (English); 7:30 P.M. (Español)
Eucharistic Adoration/
Adoración Eucarística:
Serra Chapel / Capilla Junípero Serra
Monday 6:00 A.M.- Thursday 6:00 A.M.
de Lunes 6:00 A.M. a Jueves 6:00 A.M.
Confession / Confesiones:
Friday/Viernes 5 P.M.
Saturday/Sábado 4 P.M.
Baptism / Bautismos:
By Appointment Only: Guidelines 2018
Hacer Cita Un Mes Antes: Normas 2018
Marriage / Matrimonios:

By Appointment Only
Por Cita Solamente 

Parish Center Office Hours:
Horario Oficina del Centro
Monday-Friday/ Lunes a Viernes
8:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.

Registration – Parish Census Form

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