Down I10 to just south of Tucson to meet with Cornwall friends Marielle & Conrad Gonthier and Claudette & John Voigt at the San Xavier Mission on the San Xavier Reserve. Appearing suddenly by the highway, the blindingly white complex rising out of the desert, is still the very picture of isolation and must have been intimidatingly lonely in the beginning. First founded in 1629 by the Jesuits and later built into an impressive Spanish Mission by the Franciscans, this was the last, most northern outpost of their Catholic missions, used as a base to preach to the natives. Painstakingly restored by international experts, the primitive, naïve-style art is intimate and touching.
Still on a reservation, it is one of the local tribe’s cultural centers and hosted a weekend Pow-wow, complete with costumed dance competitions, drums and singers all on a sunny, 87F day.
After a full day, we repaired to our friend’s rental vacation home, half-way up a mountain east of
Tucson, for a lovely supper and an evening
San Zavier Mission
Archangel near the altar
View from condo