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May 18, 2010 > Old Mission San Jose's 25th anniversary

Old Mission San Jose's 25th anniversary

By Alissa Gwynn
Photos By courtesy of Old Mission San Jose

Contrary to a common belief, Mission San Jose that can be seen today is not the original Mission completed on June 11, 1797. On Saturday, June 5, the Committee for the Restoration of the Old Mission San Jose and St. Joseph Parish Hall will be commemorating the 213th birthday of the Mission, and also the 25th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Mission San Jose adobe church destroyed in the 1868 earthquake. It was rebuilt by the Committee for the Restoration of the Old Mission San Jose from 1982 to 1985.

To kick off the celebration, Bishop John S. Cummins will preside over a Catholic mass at 10 a.m., followed by a Corpus Christi procession at the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose's property (above the Mission). Four stations will be decorated for outdoor prayer; the last station will bring participants back to the church.

Andrew Galvan, president of the Board of the Committee for the Restoration of the Old Mission San Jose, a descendant of the Ohlone Indians, says the Mission holds special value. "The California Missions were built by Indians to be used by Indians... [the Mission] is symbolic that we survived the transition [out of] the Stone Age..."

He notes, "Immigration is nothing new to the city of Fremont. The very first immigrants in the East Bay were, in fact, Spanish Friars who sought to establish Mission San Jose as a rehabilitation center of sorts for Indians who ran away from Mission San Francisco and Mission Santa Clara. But despite the unhappy beginnings for the Indians, Mission San Jose became the birthplace of modern culture we have today."

The Committee is ultimately planning Phase III of restoration, linking the still-standing 1809 building and the reconstructed 1985 adobe church. Until they receive adequate funds, however, the short-term goal is to keep interest alive in Mission San Jose and the history of our community.

Mission San Jose 25th Anniversary
Saturday, June 5
10 a.m.
St. Joseph Parish Hall
43148 Mission Blvd., Fremont

Free and open to the public

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