Mission San Francisco de Asís

The first mass at Mission San Francisco de Asís was celebrated by Padre Francisco Palóu in a tule arbor on June 29, 1776, right after the Spanish expedition led by the explorer José Joaquín Moraga reached the shores of San Francisco. Nonetheless, Mission San Francisco de Asís was formally founded on October 8, 1776, by Padres Francisco Palóu and Pedro Benito Cambón under the Presidency of Father Serra. The mission was named for Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order. The mission is known as Mission Dolores because of a nearby water stream called “Arroyo de los Dolores” in English, “Creek of Sorrows”.

Mission Dolores is sixth in the chain of California Missions. It was founded at the same time as the Presidio and the Pueblo, the latter known as Yerba Buena. The town eventually became San Francisco. Today, Mission San Francisco stands as the City’s oldest intact building.

Moreover, the Chapel of Mission Dolores is the only genuine one that survived until the present day. Since the beginning, mission activities have been hindered by disaster and attrition. The damp climate and foggy weather resulted in poor agricultural output and caused illnesses among the converted Ohlone Indians dwelling at the mission.

Because of the charming life enjoyed by the Indians who lived in the nearby area, runaway Indian converts were probably the biggest problem of the Mission Fathers. The neophytes were further distracted by the attractions of the nearby presidio of Yerba Buena. Despite all these difficulties, the number of baptized Indians was relatively high.

The present adobe church, a familiar landmark to the people of San Francisco, was begun in 1782 and completed nine years later in 1791. The church has essentially remained unchanged since then. Mission Dolores was secularized in 1834 and in 1845 mission lands were sold. In 1857, the property was returned to the Catholic Church by presidential proclamation.

Location of Mission San Francisco de Asís

3321 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114, United States

Official Website of Mission San Francisco de Asís (Dolores Mission)

Official Mission Website