The church was the focal point of community life. The structure was prominent within the compound. The convento, or living quarters of the missionaries and several lay assistants, was in close proximity to the church building. The cemetery, well used as the result of European diseases, lay adjacent.
Did You Know?
that Spanish missions were not churches? They were Indian towns, with the church as the focus, where, in the 1700s, the native people were learning to become Spanish citizens. In order to become a citizen, they had to be Catholic; that is why the King of Spain sent missionaries to acculturate them.