Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the meaning of Tumacácori?
Slightly longer answer: It's the English version of a Spanish version of an O'odham word or words which were what the O'odham residents told Kino that they called this place when he arrived and attempted to record it, but we don't know what they actually were trying to say to him.Some details:
In January 1691, Father Kino arrived at an O'odham village on the east side of the Santa Cruz River. As was his usual procedure, he asked the residents what they called their village, and recorded their response as best he could. The villagers, of course, were speaking O'odham, which was not a written language, while Kino was recording the name with Spanish phonetics so that it could be pronounced as accurately as possible by Spanish speakers. To this name he would then append the name of the new mission's patron saint. In this case, the village gained the official title of Mission San Cayetano de Tumacácori.
Unfortunately, in the case of Tumacácori, Kino apparently had a hard time converting the O'odham words into Spanish spellings. What exactly it was that the O'odham tried to tell Kino that day is unknown. When modern O'odham speakers and scholars are asked what they think the name "Tumacácori" might originally have meant, ideas vary widely. Here are a few translations that we have found.
The standardization of the use of accents in written Spanish also is a modern idea. For the name to be pronounced correctly in modern Spanish, an accent mark is required over the second "a", although historically it was not included.
Q. When were the walls and visitor center built?
Q. How are these old adobe structures maintained after so many years?
Q. Why doesn't the National Park Service restore the church?
Q. How much of the church is original?
Q. What are the square boxes in the ground in front of the church?
Q. Is Mass ever held at Tumacácori?
Q. Are weddings allowed in the old mission church at Tumacácori?
Q. Why was the Jesuit religious order of Catholic priests expelled?
Quick answer: It had very little to do with their work here in New Spain. They were doing a very good job in their assigned missionary work here. It was due to politics back in Europe.
It was a time of "reform." One goal of the monarchs was to ensure that the power of state was supreme. The monarchs became convinced that the Jesuits were too powerful and influential, with their primary allegiance being to the Pope, rather than to the monarchs, and were therefore dangerous. The Jesuits, who had performed distinguished services as educators and missionaries, achieved much success, which resulted in wealth (land and buildings) and power for their order. This aroused the enmity of other clergy and laymen. Also the Jesuit allegiance to the Pope was a concern and members of the ruling circle suspected the Jesuits of political intrigue in Madrid.
France and Portugal were the first countries to expel them. In Portugal, they were implicated in a plot to assassinate the King, and were banished in 1759. Next the French king banished them. When some of King Carlos III's advisors convinced him, too that the Jesuits were dangerous, in February 1767, when the kind had them arrested throughout his domain and confiscated their property.When Carlos III, King of Spain, became convinced in 1767 that they were in a conspiracy against him, he had those in his realm arrested and brought to Spain, where they were locked in prison and later sent into exile.
The movement against the Jesuits was carried to Rome where Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Order in 1773. It was not until 1814 that Pope Pius VII restored them to their former standing as an Order in the Catholic Church.
Did You Know?
Construction of the Franciscan church at Tumacácori took place from about 1800 through the early 1820s. Due to lack of funds, the plans for the structure not only had to be modified, the building was never finished.