San Xavier Mission: Tucson’s Oldest Church

Theology Still Matters

Located nine miles south of Tucson is an American treasure.  The San Xavier Mission was built as a mission for the Native Americans in the Arizona Territory, and it serves the same purpose today.  The mission still runs a school as it did in the early days of the mission.  The history of the mission is an amazing one in that its founding also laid the foundation for what would eventually become Tucson[1].  The mission was founded in 1692 by Eusebio Kino.  He was not the first European to enter Arizona, but he found 800 native people who were very welcoming and friendly.

The first church established on the mission was destroyed in 1753 in no small part because of strained relations between the Pima Indians and the Spaniards.  The building was not the only casualty as Jesuit missionaries and people sympathetic to the Spaniards were also murdered. …

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