Over the past several years, we’ve become aware of websites and blogs written by people who have, or are trying to visit all of the 21 California Missions on what we might call a “Pilgrimage.” Some are motivated by religious belief; others are more interested in history or architecture. In any case, it reminds me of people I’ve met who are trying to visit every U.S. National Park, or every one of the 50 states. It’s a challenge, especially if you choose to walk or bike between the missions, as some people are doing.
Of course, I’ve visited all 21 California Missions many times, so my perspective is likely different, but I remember the first time my wife went with me to deliver orders for our products to the mission gift shops. She said at one point, “I’ll never be able to tell the missions apart. They are all running together.” Today, she looks back at that first trip and laughs about it. She can tell all the missions apart with ease, and she is quick to say that they are all quite different, and all quite beautiful.
Two of the missions recently asked us to produce a “Passport” for those who might like to visit them all. They asked for a small booklet that had room inside for travelers to obtain rubber stamps from each mission they visited, just like a U.S. passport is stamped when entering many countries. We were happy to oblige, and you can now purchase Passports produced by Lowman Publishing Company at ten of the missions. Our Passports are designed to allow rubber stamps from two missions per page, and each space identifies the name of the mission, its founding date and its founding padre. There is also space to enter the date you visit each mission.
This is a brand new product. I’m going to take one with me on our next delivery trip and document my own visit to each of the missions. It should be a fun way to keep track of one’s travels, and I encourage any of you interested in visiting all 21 missions to purchase one of our Mission Passports.
Passports are now available at the following missions, listed from south to north:
- Mission San Diego
- Mission San Luis Rey
- Mission San Gabriel
- Mission San Fernando
- Mission San Buenaventura
- Mission San Miguel
- Mission San Antonio
- Mission San Juan Bautista
- Mission San Carlos (Carmel)
- Mission San Francisco (Dolores)
Have a rewarding Pilgrimage!