Quick Facts

San Buenaventura
Ninth Mission
Foundation:Easter Sunday, March 31, 1782
Also known as: Mission by the Sea
Patron Name: Named in honor of Saint Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church, a 13th century Franciscan, cardinal and renowned philosopher.
Founder: Fray Junipero Serra
Padres First Assigned: Fray Benito Cambon, Fray Vincente de Santa María and Fray Francisco Dumetz
Native Americans and the Mission: San Buenaventura Mission was located in the land of the coastal Chumash Native Americans. After the establishment of the mission the neophytes were known as Ventureño. The descendants of the coastal Chumash today are known as the Barbareno/Ventureno Band of (Chumash) Indians.
Location: The mission was located near the sizeable Indian village of Mitsquanaqa'n with about 500 inhabitants. San Buenaventura Mission is 70 miles north of Los Angeles in the city of San Buenaventura, which developed around the mission.
Blueprint: The traditional Mission quadrangle blueprint remained standing as late as 1875. Today the slight four acre parcel is home to buildings from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 
Water Source: A seven-mile-long earth and masonry zanja or aqueduct brought water from the San Buenaventura River.
Population: Within the first 45 years the missioin population climaxed to its highest recorded population: 1,328 in 1816. During the mission era there were 1,107 marriages performed at San Buenaventura.
Livestock: In 1816 (the peak year) the mission had over 41,000 animals including 23,400 cattle, 12,144 sheep and 4,493 horses (one of the largest stables of horses in the mission chain.)
Agriculture: From 1784 - 1834 the mission reported harvesting 191,291 bushels of wheat, barley, corn, beans, peas, lentils, garbanzos (chickpeas) and habas (broad beans).
Mission Church: A small chapel preceded the first church that was destroyed by fire in 1793. The second church was dedicated in 1809, and reconstructed in 1816 after an earthquake. The church is made of adobe with walls are six foot thick near the base. The church had to be restored after it was "modernized" in 1893. Restoration was completed in 1957.
Mission Bells: A three-tiered companario contains five bells, two of which were originally borrowed from Mission Santa Barbara. The two oldest bells date from 1781. The Verbum Domini bell cast in Paris in 1956 is heard throughout the day calling the faithful to prayer and to denote the hour and half hour.
Sacred Artistic Treasures: The high altar and its reredos originated in Mexico and were installed when the church was dedicated in 1809. The Shrine of the Crucifixion on the left side of the church contains a four hundred-year old bulto and purportedly origniates from the Philippine Islands.
Special Attraction: There is a well-landscaped garden with a fountain, stone grotto, and educational displays. The quaint mission museum (built in 1929) contains the original church doors and two original wooden bells, which were used during Holy Week when the metal bells were silent.
Significant Event: Although the mission was evacuated for a month in 1818 because of the threat of a pirate attack by the Argentine privateer Hypolite Bouchard, the mission was nonetheless spared.
Secularized: in 1836 by the Mexican Government
U.S. Territory: 1847 California became a U.S., Territory and the Mission returned to the Catholic Church in 1862 by a proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
Current Status: Active Roman Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
This information is adapted from the "Key Facts about San Buenaventura" © Pentacle Press LLC, with their permission. A more complete, full-color, laminated version of these Key Facts is available in our Gift Shop. 

Interesting Facts:

  • San Buenaventura was intended to be the 3rd mission, but its founding was postponed for thirteen years, and so it became the 9th mission established.

  • In the mission era whaling ships anchored near the mission to replenish their food lockers and trade for cured cattle hides (called Yankee Dollars)

  • Captain George Vancouver met Fr. Dumetz at the mission in 1793 and named Point Dume, between Point Mugu and Malibu, after the friar.

  • President and Mrs. William McKinley visited San /Buenavnetura Mission on May 10, 1901.

  • The twin 120-foot Norfolk pine trees in front of the mission (planted circa 1880) were designated California Millennium landmark trees by the American the Beautiful Fund in 2000.

Online Giving

Online Giving


formed logo no tag

Multi-Media Resource
Click on icon above to create an account


JULY 2024
Ministry Schedule

Holy Days
of Obligation

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Eucharistic Adoration/
Adoración Eucarística:
Serra Chapel / Capilla Serra
Monday 6 AM- Thursday 6 AM 
Lunes 6 AM a Jueves 6 AM 

Baptism / Bautismos

By Appointment Only
Por Cita Solamente

English Downloads:

[click here]

Descargas en español:

Curso en línea de la Arquidiócesis
[haga clic aquí]

Confirmation / Confirmación

Marriage / Matrimonios

By Appointment
Minimally Six Months in Advance:

Con cita
Mínimo 6 Meses De Anticipación:

Office Hours

Parish Center Office Hours
Horario de la Oficina

Monday-Friday/ Lunes a Viernes
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Closed Thursdays 1-2:30 pm
Cerrado los jueves de 1-2:30 pm


Called to Renew

Catholic Charities