California, North America, USA

Beautiful Churches: Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, San Diego

December 18, 2012

Considering it’s very rare for us to be in the West Coast, we foolishly decided to catch a sunrise over the Pacific Ocean before our return to the East Coast. This meant getting out of the hotel and driving to the coastline of San Diego all before the before the sun was scheduled to rise at approximately 5:15 AM. I painfully dragged my body out of bed that morning, eyes wide shut, hair in disarray, and furiously swearing to myself that I’d never put my body through the agony of waking up before the sun rises ever again; an oath I had broken several times since then. However, successfully enduring that meant we had an ample amount of time to get ourselves to the 7:00 AM Mass at the historic Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala.

After we’ve seen the sunrise (verdict: it was a-OK, nothing spectacular), we ducked into a nearby Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for a cup of warm beverage and quickly made our way over to the Basilica, hoping to make it on time for their 7:00 AM mass. Never one to go for morning Mass and being awake enough by then, I was really excited for this. There is something beautiful and poignant in starting your day with the Eucharist, the highest form of prayer for Catholics.

SDSunrise

Founded in 1769 by Blessed Junipero Serra, Mission San Diego de Alcala is the first of the 21 Mission churches in California. Today, it is a thriving parish community in the Diocese of San Diego.

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The cemented walls of the church keeps it cool, dry, and especially chilly that morning, making me very thankful I had an extra layer of cardigan on me.Basilica3

Its colorful wall provided a stark contrast to the old and rustic candle holders.

candleholder

The pews cracked and groaned as we sat down, as if they were voicing their discontent in having to bear our body weights as their loads.

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The best part of the morning? Mimi’s Breakfast Cafe!

Breakfast1

Those french toasts were to die for!

Those french toasts were to die for!

Best. Breakfast. Ever. I have yet to find a more satisfying breakfast than that!

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