San Antonio Catholics donate $1M to Spanish mission churches

.- Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio presented a $1-million check to a capital campaign that will fund the restoration and preservation of four Spanish mission churches in the archdiocese.

The check was presented to Las Misiones during a press conference at the Catholic Chancery Oct. 29. The donation, extracted from the annual Archbishop’s Appeal, will be paid in $100,000 increments over the next 10 years.

Las Misiones is a capital campaign that was begun by Old Spanish Missions, Inc., in October 2003 to preserve and restore the church structures of Mission San José, Mission Concepción, Mission Espada and Mission San Juan.

Considered national treasures, the mission churches are the largest cluster of Spanish-Colonial architecture in the United States. The churches are suffering from a number of urgent structural problems, including foundation stabilization problems, drainage issues and rising damp, a condition where the walls retain moisture that causes deterioration.

This recent donation from the archdiocese brings the campaign total to $4 million to date. Its goal is $15 million. Eight million dollars will be used to make urgent improvements over the next 10 years, and the remaining $7 million will establish an endowment fund.

Msgr. Balthasar Janacek, archdiocesan director of Old Spanish Missions, Inc., said he was humbled by the generosity of San Antonio’s Catholic community.

Las Misiones seeks to raise voluntary contributions by educating San Antonio and beyond of the historic, economic, architectural, cultural and spiritual significance of church structures.

For more information on Las Misiones, go to www.lasmisiones.org.

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