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 in 1782, the San Buenaventura Mission is the 9th and last mission founded by blessed Junipero Serra. Named after St. Bonaventure 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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From the desk of Fr. Tom

The faith community of San Buenaventura Mission welcomes all who visit our historic Mission andRev. Thomas J. Elewaut 86 who join us in our liturgical celebrations. Visitors are welcomed in a special way at Sunday Mass and receive a remembrance prayer card.  All are welcome at the Mission.


In recent weeks the debate on physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has once again surfaced following the tragic suicide of Brittany Maynard. But, as is usually the case, media coverage tends to misstate Catholic teaching on end-of-life issues and some proponents deliberately twist our teachings to confuse the debate.

Proponents continue to focus on emotional elements and ignore the very significant and dangerous policy implications of physician-assisted suicide. But the discussion must be much deeper and the potential consequences for the elderly, disabled and disenfranchised members of society from physician-assisted suicide made much clearer.

 However, Catholics – in their discernments on medical care – will benefit by a healthy understanding of what the Church really teaches. In 2011, the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops issued a statement entitled To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide. You will find links to this and other Church documents on our website and at the California Catholic Conference:

 "To live in a manner worthy of our human dignity, and to spend our final days on this earth in peace and comfort, surrounded by loved ones—that is the hope of each of us," say the Bishops.

"Our society can be judged by how we respond to these fears. A caring community devotes more attention, not less, to members facing the most vulnerable times in their lives. When people are tempted to see their own lives as diminished in value or meaning, they most need the love and assistance of others to assure them of their inherent worth."

 The California Catholic Conference has a special section of the website for Catholics facing end-of-life decisions. "Embracing Our Dying" has answers to frequently asked questions, links to relevant teachings and Bishop's statements as well as resources parishes can use to explore the ethical and moral dimensions of end-of-life care.

 Please take advantage of these resources, especially if you or a loved one is facing a terminal illness.

To learn more about our parish ministries please review our Ministry Opportunities Booklet.

Help sustain the legacy of our historic Mission:  please remember San Buenaventura Mission in your will or Trust planning.

"Siempre Adelante: United in the love of God as a Mission Family."

Advent and Christmas at the Mission

Advent Wreath Assembly Family Event:
November 22: 9:30 to 11:00 AM rsvp to Parish Office

Tree Lighting, Live Nativity, Choirs on Main Street
Friday, December 5: Choirs and Nativity begin at 4:45 PM

Nativity Crèche Display Fair after Mass
Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Monday, December 8 at 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM and 6:30 PM

Master Children's Choir Concert
Tuesday, December 9 at 7 PM

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Desembre 12 at 5:00 AM Las Mañanitas y Misa Mariachi
6:00 PM Procession from Mission Church, Mass
Advent Penance Service
Monday, December 15, 7:00 PM

Pacific Shores Master Chorale Concert
Friday, December 19, 8:00 P.M. and Sunday, December 21, 4:30 P.M.

Las Posadas Celebration: December 16-23, 7:00 P.M.

Christmas Eve Mass, Wednesday, December 24
4:00 PM (English Children's Mass) 5:45 PM (English)
7:30 PM (Spanish)

Christmas Day Mass, Thursday, December 25
12:00 AM (Midnight-Bilingual)
7:30 AM and 9:00 AM (English), 10:30 AM (Spanish) 12:15 PM (English)

May the Peace of Christ be with you this Christmas and throughout the New Year.

Revolution at the Vatican?

Given all the media coverage in both religious and secular outlets (e.g., The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and even an enthusiastic editorial in USC's student newspaper, The Daily Trojan), it's clear that the business of this Synod is not being conducted behind closed doors. Some stories even speak of a "revolution" at the Vatican, of changes that would create a welcoming space for homosexuals, or alter Church teaching on readmission of divorced and remarried Catholics without annulments to communion. Others note what they see as a new "tone," one of mercy instead of condemnation. At the same time, quite a few stories dramatize open conflicts among cardinals and bishops about these same issues.

With all this scrutiny on the work of the members of the Synod, it might be wise to keep three things in mind. First, the current Synod is only one of two: A second will meet a year from now on the same subject. In the interval, the summary of the first Synod will be seriously and extensively discussed and even further refinements will take place. It would be best to consider these Synods as opening up rather than completing the world-wide discussion on the lives and experiences of 99.5% of Catholics. Blessed John Henry Newman, a great historian of doctrinal development, recommended that in the formation of Church teaching, it is wise to consult the laity, which is precisely what Pope Francis did on conducting a survey among all Catholics in preparation for the Synod. Let's wait until at least next fall before drawing any conclusions as to what will come out of these meetings. Even by the end of the next Synod, it will be premature to measure the results. Newman also once wrote, "Truth is the daughter of time."

Second, while the press and bishops have frequently stated that doctrine will not change (e.g., the indissolubility of heterosexual marriage), they also say that a more pastoral approach needs to be taken – one that employs mercy more than condemnation. History shows, however, that a change in pastoral approach can, with the passage of time, often effect a change, not in dogma but in disciplinary teachings. When style changes (e.g., welcoming conversations with members of other religions), that more open style effected, eventually, how the Church has understood itself in relationship to those religions. For example, Saint John Paul II suggested that followers of other religions can be aided on the way to salvation by practicing their own religions devoutly. Earlier teaching taught they could be saved despite the practices of their own religions. And while the Catholic Creed will never change (being a matter of dogma), in other matters we should not assume that a change in style will not in time affect the expression of the substance.

Third and finally, we live in the age of the 24-hour-news cycle. Global media report what is happening in different corners of the world almost as soon as it happens. Those reports are almost always highly selective and sometimes misleading. Instead of fixing on "breaking news," Catholics should focus on the "lasting news," and indeed, the "Good News."

Instead of a revolution at the Vatican, we should expect instead a development in our teaching, neither a rejection of current teaching, nor a mere repetition of it. Above all, we need to remember that the Holy Spirit is in the middle of this complicated and sometimes fractious conversation. We have every reason, therefore, to hope for a good outcome.
Written by Father James L. Heft, S.M., and member of the Society of Mary (Marianists). Presently Fr. Heft is President of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and Alton Brooks Professor of Religion, University of Southern California.

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Mission Blog


Masses / Misas

Weekdays: 7:30 A.M.
(Except Tuesday: 8:15 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)
9:00 A.M. (English)
6:30 P.M. (Bi-lingual)

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

Fridays/ Viernes 5 P.M.
Saturday/Sábado 4 P.M.

Baptism / Bautismos
By Appointment Only: Guidelines 2015
Hacer Cita Un Mes Antes: Normas 2015

Marriage / Matrimonios
By Appointment Six Months in Advance: Guidelines
Por Cita Seis Meses Antes de la Boda: Normas

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.

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