Visited Mission Concepión Here in San Antonio
A couple of weeks ago me and the other Nashville seminarians who were down here in San Antonio and are living at the Mexican American Catholic College (MACC) visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in town for Sunday Mass in Spanish. I shared pictures of our visit in a post that you can check out here. The following weekend we chose to make a visit for Sunday Mass at another Church. The church we went to last Sunday was Mission Concepción. This is a mission that was originally in founded in 1731 and dedicated in 1755, and it has survived for centuries to tell the tale. The great thing about this church today is that it is functioning as a regular parish church not just as a ecclesial museum. When we arrived and stayed for Mass we saw how this church was packed with just regular people that seem to belong in the way parishioners do at any parish you find in your diocese. It did not give off the vibe to me that it was packed with tourists though there was no doubt tourists like us visiting as well. There were ushers at the door and a choir practicing for the Mass, and at the same time I was allowed to walk around and look at things in this great historical artifact of a church. The church seem to be greatly preserved and functioning at the same time like a regular parish. Anyway, here are a bunch of pictures I took last Sunday.
Yes, this place is super old, but look at the interior of the church, though!
Above are pictures of frescos are have most likely as old as the mission itself! And check out the baptismal font that was installed right into the wall probably when this church was built or not too far after. And I just learned today that somebody was baptized last week in the same font. So, this baptismal font is still pretty much active! I did NOT guess at all that this was still active. I thought it was long since decommissioned.
When visiting a place like this that is so old from well over 200 years ago one needs to stop to notice some of the simple things you might not think about our but are pretty remarkable when you do – like looking at/going through the doorways of really old places and noticing just how smaller people were compared to the average person today. Now everybody back there and we’re not exactly dwarves, but to them we would probably look like what even moderately-sized college and professional athletes look to us when we see them in person. And I would say this would be true for a lot of people in the West both in and outside the U.S. even as we Americans continue to have our widely reported obesity problem. Most people can still make it through the doorways but they would still be struck by how the doorways are still so narrow and short. And don’t worry, my big self was still able to make it through that door no problem. I didn’t really even need to turn sideways, but things were still very close so I had a little fun with it! But seriously, the next time you go to an old historical site with buildings check out the size of simple structure pieces like doorways and hallways and staircases. Stand in the middle of them and take some pictures, even. Then think about how wide and tall the same structures we have in our modern buildings are. Mentally compare the two in the moment. Then when you get back home compare the modern stuff in person and be mildly shocked.
Every time we visit a new church I think I will try to take pictures and share them here and make it a regular thing while I’m down here in San Antonio.
This weekend for tomorrow we are looking to try to check out a local Byzantine parish here if possible, so stay tune for that or for whatever place we visit that I think is good.