California missions

[the Califonia mission of San Carlo Borromeo] Missionary work in Upper California was entrusted to the Franciscans, who had made several settlements in Lower California after the expulsion of the Jesuits (1767). Father Junipero Serra, under the direction of the Spanish inspector-general, founded, 16 July 1769, San Diego. This noted priest labored among the natives for fifteeen years, until his death in 1784, and founded eight other missions. These settlements increased rapidly and in 1823 there were 22, extending from Sonoma in the north to San Diego in the south. At each mission were established a church, a residence for the priests, a military guard, and shops and workrooms for the Indians, who were taught all kinds of useful trades. The missionaries managed the spiritual and temporal affairs, and endeavored to maintain themselves independently of the government. From 1769 till 1845, 146 Friars Minor, all priests, labored in California. The decline of these missions began in 1822, when California became part of Mexico. In 1834 the Mexican government turned them over to hired commissioners, who deprived the priests of their land, and enriched themselves with the possessions of the missions, which were utterly destroyed. Consequently the Indians, freed of the benevolent government of the friars, were scattered and many lapsed into barbarism.

Locations of the Missions (in the order of their foundation):
New Catholic Dictionary

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