• Sunlight illuminates the top of historic Mission San José de Tumacácori church.


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Historic Anza Day Mass in the Tumacácori Mission Church

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Date: October 9, 2012
Contact: Anita Badertscher, (520) 398-2341

Tumacácori National Historical Park will host a commemorative Mass inside the mission church on Saturday, October 20 at 10:00 a.m., in conjunction with Tubac Presidio State Historic Park's annual Anza Day celebration. Admission to the park is free during the service.


Mass will be celebrated at Tumacácori by Father Alex Mills of Saint Ann's Church, Tubac. Participants are invited to wear Spanish style clothing such as would have been worn in 1775.


The service and reenactment ride which follows commemorate the expedition led by Tubac Presidio Captain Juan Bautista de Anza to found a presidio and community on the San Francisco Bay in Álta California. On the morning of Sunday, October 22, 1775, Franciscan Friar Pedro Font, priest for the expedition, assisted by Friar Francisco Garces of the Tumacácori Mission sang the mass for the settlers "for the success of the expedition." The more than 240 men, women and children and about 1,000 head of livestock left the Presidio the next day, officially beginning their 1,200 mile journey to found the community that became the city of San Francisco.


The service conducted by Father Mills inside the Tumacácori Mission church commemorates this historic mass. Immediately following the service, in commemoration of the departure of the founding expedition, a group of Spanish-attired soldiers - Juan Bautista de Anza and his soldados de cuera -  leave Tumacácori on horseback. Participants in the Mass will join in the blessing of the "expedition" as they begin their ride along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail to Tubac.


A variety of activities will take place at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park throughout the day. For more information regarding the commemorative Mass, call Tumacácori National Historical Park, (520) 398-2341, extension 0. For information on Anza Day activities at the State Park, call Tubac Presidio Park, (520) 398-2252.

Did You Know?

Anza Expedition camp

Captain Juan Bautista de Anza of Tubac led over 300 people from here to the San Francisco Bay in 1775-76 to establish a Spanish colony and presidio there.