Last week, we made miniature Wayside Shrines similar to the ones I loved in Ireland as a little girl. After our summer in San Francisco, there is no doubt the California Missions made a similar impression on my children. We were blessed to visit four of them during our stay--Mission San Rafael, Mission Dolores (San Francisco de Assis), Mission San Luis Obispo, and Mission Carmel, the burial place of Blessed Junipero Serra.
With the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe right around the corner, this seemed a good time to create our own miniature mission shrine, using elements inspired by the four beautiful missions we remember so well. We began with a double sided wooden frame from the craft store. The tiled roof made us think of the missions:
The photo of Mission Carmel below gives a glimpse of the terracotta tiles so common in mission churches:
Eight-year-old Marie enjoyed painting the tiles of our "mission":
Mission San Rafael is creamy beige with crosses on top and two topiaries gracing the front:
The first side of our shrine, representing the outside of the missions, has a similar look:
Monuments to Father Junipero Serra, here shown in the garden at Carmel, may be found all over California:
If you look closely at the side of the church in Carmel, you will notice graves adorned with sea shells:
A holy card image of Blessed Serra, along with a small seashell, complete the first side:
For the interior, we drew inspiration from the freestyle flower borders of Mission San Luis Obispo:
We all loved the way this simple border echoed the ones we remember:
This wall of statues from Mission Dolores in San Francisco is typical of the missions--there are always many statues and images to inspire:
We adorned our mission "interior" using saints' images from a broken bracelet and a holy card of Our Lady of Guadalupe:
After the summer we had, it seems appropriate to have this reminder of the California Missions displayed prominently on our Advent table. It will also make a double-sided centerpiece for our Guadalupe Tea next week.
Blessed Junipero Serra, pray for us!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!