Fr. Peter Escalante, Pastor of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and Janet Bartel, Cultural Chair of 250th Anniversary Steering Committee, are honored to announce that a panel of distinguished experts and scholars will visit Mission San Diego de Alcalá to participate in a three-day symposium. Scholars from throughout the United States will gather at the historic Mission, to share their knowledge about early California mission history and related subjects. The public is invited to hear from California’s most well-respected historians in a once-in-a-lifetime gathering to commemorate the founding of California’s first mission church. Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the first of the 21 California missions, marks the birthplace of Christianity in the Western United States, making it one of the most historically significant sites in California. It was founded 7 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and 80 years before California would join the Union.
Among the first to set foot on California soil in 1769, was Fr. Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary priest who celebrated the first mass in California on July 16, 1769, dedicating the site at Presidio Hill in San Diego. This year marks the 250th anniversary of that historic event. Among the distinguished guests who will make a presentation at the Symposium is Milford Wayne Donaldson. Donaldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Selected initially by Governor Schwarzenegger, Donaldson is the first architect to serve as Chair of the California Office of Historic Preservation, a nine-member state review board responsible for identifying, registering, and preserving California’s cultural heritage.
Representing the Native American Kumeyaay, is Deacon Andrew Orosco, the first Kumeyaay to become an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church. Other speakers include Jarrell Jackman, whose primary project was rebuilding and interpreting the Santa Barbara Presidio, for which he was knighted by Spain’s current monarch, King Felipe VI. Due to this extraordinary gathering of scholars, Loyola Marymount University will offer college credit as an extension course for attendees.
Tickets for the three-day event are $120 and include Continental Breakfast and Lunch on March 22 and 23 and Dinner on Friday evening, March 22. Tickets for a Paella Dinner on March 23 are available at an additional cost of $45 per person. Tickets are limited and advance registration is advised.