Mission San Xavier del Bac

by chelseajin

We had a long break today and Lorenia took us to see our promotora’s house and San Xavier del Bac mission.

It’s a surprisingly large and ornate church for such an isolated area.The white building in the desert makes it look like a pristine and inviting place. The craftsmanship of the statues inside is amazing. There are painted angels and saints along the walls, and even the ceilings are painted. An interesting thing the tour guide pointed out was that there are Tohono O’odham symbols of the man in the maze allowed and even printed on the fabrics used in the church. Apparently, those beliefs don’t interfere with Catholic ones and so they coexist together.

They had a celebration last weekend for the first canonization of a Native American. There’s a photo of her in the gallery, Kateri Tekakwitha. I’ve never seen (for lack of a better term) such pagan statues in a Catholic church before, it was nice to see because for the first time, I see Catholicism as a more accepting religion.

I bought frybread right before we left, and I kept my mortified face inside as I watched the man dump a disk of dough into a pan filled with a lake of oil, then take it out and plop it on a paper plate for me. But I pretty much promised myself I have to try everything. As all fried things do, it tasted good even though it had no toppings. Never again though, never again.