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Santa Clara Mission



Mission Santa Clara was founded in January of 1777 by the Franciscan Friar Tomás de la Peña on the banks of the Guadalupe River. The Mission relocated four times until it was finally established at the current site in 1825. Mission Santa Clara was the eighth of 21 Franciscan missions established in Alta California (Upper California) throughout the years 1769-1823, as Spain attempted to consolidate its power in the region as well as to evangelize its native population. These missions were governed by the Colegio de San Fernando in Mexico City until 1833, when Mission Santa Clara and other northern missions were entrusted to the Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Zacatecas, Mexico.

Locations & Churches
January 12, 1777
Mission Santa Clara founded by Franciscan Friar Tomás de la Peña near present day intersection of Central Expressway and De La Cruz Boulevard.
Mission church relocated to second site near present day corner of Martin Avenue and De La Cruz Boulevard.
Mission church relocated to third site near the present day main entrance to campus at 500 El Camino Real, under what is now Charney Hall.
Mission church housed in a temporary adobe buillding on the lawn across from present day St. Joseph's Hall. This was to be a temporary church while the fifth church was under construction at its present day location.
Fifth church building opened, subsequently destroyed by fire in 1926.
Sixth church, newly constructed and expanded, reopens to the campus community.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Magín Catalá, O.F.M. collection

Identifier: PP - Catalá
Abstract The Magín Catalá, O.F.M. Collection, circa 1885-2009 (bulk 1885-1909), documents the life of Fray Magín Catalá. Often referred to as the “Holy Man of Santa Clara,” Fr. Catalá was stationed at Mission Santa Clara for thirty-six years and was widely renowned for his piety and spiritual labors. In 1882, more than fifty years after Magín Catalá’s death, Archbishop J.S. Alemany, O.P. initiated the process of his beatification. As of 2014, his Cause remained open. The bulk of the collection...
Dates: circa 1885-2009 (bulk 1885-1909)

Mission Santa Clara Manuscript Collection

Identifier: RG1
Abstract The Mission Santa Clara Manuscript Collection, 1777-1903, 1958, 2002 (bulk 1777-1851), consists of hundreds of manuscripts written, collected and used by the Franciscans at Mission Santa Clara, from the founding of the Mission in 1777 until the arrival of the Jesuits in 1851. The Franciscan missionaries wrote and collected numerous and diverse documents, including sacramental records, account books, annual reports, letters, choirbooks, and instructions on health care and cuisine, among...
Dates: 1777-1903, 1958, 2002 (bulk 1777-1851)

Pinedo Family Papers

Identifier: PP - Pinedo
Abstract The Pinedo Family Papers, 1826-1901 (bulk 1842-1901), document the Pinedo family and life at Mission Santa Clara prior to the laicization of the mission. The records consist of the reminiscences of Encarnación Pinedo, author of El Cocinero Español, along with two copies of her book, property records, military documents, reproductions of marriage and baptism certificates, devotional books, newspaper clippings, family portraits, and photographs of railroad...
Dates: 1826-1901 (bulk 1842-1901); Majority of material found within 1842 - 1901

Arthur D. Spearman, S.J. Papers

Identifier: MSS-2014-08-18
Abstract The Arthur D. Spearman, S.J. Papers, 1824-1977 (1955-1975), documents the life of priest, author, and former University Archivist Father Arthur D. Spearman, S.J. The bulk of the collection consists of subject files and photographs used by Fr. Spearman for his historical research. Fr. Spearman was an avid collector of materials related to his many research interests, including mission history, the history of Santa Clara Valley, Santa Clara University, Native Americans, Jesuits, and his family...
Dates: 1824-1977 (bulk 1955-1975)