The Spanish missions in modern-day California comprise of 21 religious churches, all established by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1833 to spread Christianity among the Native Americans living there at the time.
Originally founded in 1772 by Father Junipero Serra, the fifth California mission – Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa – continues to live out its early spirit in the center of today’s downtown San Luis Obispo.
The grounds are immaculate to walk around in, featuring a vibrant garden that is complete with a beautiful well, fountain, and trellises. The Mission Plaza is gorgeously historic as well and is also an ideal picnic spot for visitors passing through.
Guests can visit the mission’s museum and gift shop, which is open seven days a week. During the summer months, the facilities are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the museum and gift shop are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter months.
The mission offers docent led tours, particularly for school or organization groups. Interested individuals or parties can fill out this form and email the completed document to [email protected] for a reservation.
The parish celebrates many colorful, traditional events and holy days at the Mission throughout the year. During the first Saturday of every month, the community prays the Sung Rosary at 10 a.m. and invites all to join in.
Even on a typical day, consider attending one of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa’s masses to get to know the still very active parish:
- Saturday masses are at 7:00 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.
- Sunday masses in English are at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 am and 6:00 pm. Sunday masses in Spanish are at 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- Weekday masses are at 7:00 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.
For those who are interested in forming a more long-term relationship with the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the parish offers formations for those of all ages, provides support for those making pivotal sacraments for the first time, supports social justice outreaches, and can give spiritual direction for those hoping to deepen their faith lives through one-on-one accompaniment. The parish also continuously seeks musicians, alter servers, and lectors.
When in the San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles area, this rare gem that holds centuries of Spanish spiritual life should be experienced by all history buffs alike.
Allegretto Vineyard Resort is about a thirty-minute drive to the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.