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La Purisima Mission

May 14, 2011

La Purisima Church, originally uploaded by Chez VH.

After the wedding weekend and a day to visit to the Getty Villa (and meet with the financial aid director at TAC), John flew back home for ten days to work. The kids and I started to slowly make our way up to Northern California, visiting several missions and such along the way.

We were especially interested in visiting some of the missions that we had missed on our last California adventure, in 2008. La Purisima Concepcion, a state-owned historic park, was closed by the time we got to it both directions on our last visit. But this time we made it a priority and had a nice visit. It’s a great place to stop along the mission tour, because all of the mission buildings appear in their natural setting. No city has grown up around this one and there aren’t even telephone poles visible. It gives you a sense of what it was like then, except that it’s so empty!

The Church was extremely large, quite lovely and SO empty. We’ve walked through historic parks like this before – no docent or guided tour (at least when we were there), but made available to the public in a simple way. The emptiness made it kind of strange to see so many artifacts – like the Stations of the Cross paintings on the wall of the church.

That emptiness was something we noticed in both de-consecrated churches that we visited. It really makes you think about what really matters in a church.

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