May 26, 2007

San Xavier del Bac Mission

There are several churches in Tucson to visit and this one of the churches I like best because of its history and architecture. This church is affectionately called as "The White Dove of the Desert". It was founded by a Jesuit priest, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, but currently under the care of the Franciscans because of distrust of the secular talents of the Jesuits which was banned by Charles III of Spain. Reading through the history and mystery about this church can be quite interesting.

San Xavier del Bac Mission Building

Around the church, you can see a lot of things in which i can say we can typically find in almost every church back at home in Malaysia. A grotto, locals selling their food and souvenirs(usually after mass), a chapel and a school. The only difference here is the culture and architecture of the area. I can recommend that this will be the place you can buy souvenirs at reasonable prices.
The design of the jewelry made by the natives here were beautiful.

On the hill next to the church

The most impressive thing about this church is the statues and and paintings which filled up inside the church. Every single part of the church was filled with it. It's a wonder how the artists in the 1700s manage to build it so magnificently. Nowadays, it's really rare for people to have such inspiration to design something so beautiful for God.

Prayers, intentions and medallions on Saint Francis Xavier

On the sad note about here in Tucson or perhaps in US, there are not many people actually attend mass on Sundays. At first, I thought I came for mass too early in the morning (7.oo am) but it was just the same when the mass started at almost noon. It was totally different in comparison to Malaysia. The church was filled with only old people or very young children (you're lucky to see some teenagers around). The first time I went to mass, there was no music at all (I can say the mass finished in 1/2 hour straight) and the second one was nice with using an old organ and a flute. Still, i do feel quite fearful to realise that catholic religion may be a dying religion in the US or for all you know in Malaysia too in the near future.


Ceiling

I'm truly amaze how something so beautiful can be achieved through their love towards something. In this case is God since it's focused so much of it this church (that is why the structure was beautifully made up that extent). Same goes to other things on other matters. I just wonder whether we ourselves actually have such commitment as those artists of the past to do something so extraordinary as this.
Maybe, we do not love as much as how people used to love. Maybe we just don't know how to love anymore. Or we're just being selfish to ourselves that we think it's just not worth doing it.
The altar

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