Mary Pope-Handy 408 204-7673

“Come down from the cross!”

Crucifixion - image at the Catala Crucifixion side altar at Mission Santa ClaraLast Sunday was Palm Sunday, and at Mass we heard the long gospel reading about suffering and death of Jesus on the cross.

The place of crucifixion was next to a road leading in to the city of Jerusalem.  Visitors would know that crime was taken seriously and punished. (In some middle eastern cities today, public executions in the town’s square serves much the same way – as a very strong warning.) The humiliation of being on public display provided even more insult to injury.

A very short couple of lines in the Gospel of Matthew which we heard references the travelers on that road who saw Jesus and how they responded:

Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the cross!” (Mt. 27:39)

These people were not close followers of Jesus.  The men closest to Jesus all ran off in fear and were primarily in hiding.  The women closest to Jesus watched from a distance, according to Matthew (in John’s Gospel, ch 19:25 it is said that they were standing by the cross).  These individuals simply knew of Jesus and happened to be going past. (more…)

Retreat Spot in Silicon Valley: The Presentation Center

Once the site of a boarding school for boys known as the Montezuma Mountain School, the idyllic hillside campus owned by the Sisters of the Presentation since the mid-1950s along Bear Creek Road near Los Gatos has been conference and retreat center since the early 1970s (it was Presentation College in the interim).

I wrote about this spot on another blog of mine, “Live in Los Gatos” (mostly about the community but also some on real estate) and I invite you to learn more about it there:
Montezuma Mountain Ranch School for Boys

Missions In & Near Silicon Valley: Mission Santa Clara

We are so very fortunate to have several beautiful Catholic Missions, founded by the Franciscans beginning in the 1700s,  in and near to Silicon Valley. I’ll list the closest ones but all are within an hour or ninety minutes of the San Jose – Palo Alto area.

  • Mission Santa Clara
  • Mission San Jose (Fremont)
  • Mission Santa Cruz
  • Mission San Juan Bautista (Hollister)
  • Mission Carmel
  • Mission Dolores (San Francisco)

Today we’ll focus on the first one, and in later posts we will “visit” the rest.

Mission Santa Clara, named after St. Clare of Assisi, Italy, can be found at the heart of Santa Clara University (one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S.), which is only about a mile from the Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport. Like several other missions, this one is not the original construction nor in its original location.  Suffering from floods, fires and earthquakes, the mission was relocated and rebuilt a few times but with the last remodeling, this sixth church was made to capture much of the original styling.

This gracious mission serves as the university’s student chapel, is open to the public for viewing and for Mass attendance. (Check Mass times via link below. On holidays such as Easter and Christmas the times get juggled to allow 2 Masses so the usual schedule can change.)

The de Saisset Museum, just a few steps away on the SCU campus, houses some Mission artifacts and is the Mission’s museum too, in addition to other historic and art pieces to enjoy.  Admission is free.

The art in this beautiful church is remarkable, as is much of the history.  Please find a link to a self-guided walking tour below. It’s very worthwhile to take the time and take in the history and prayerful atmosphere of this special place.

Read about the history of Mission Santa Clara here.
Mass times for Mission Santa Clara
Self-Guided Walking Tour of Mission Santa Clara
Wikipedia article on Mission Santa Clara

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050-4345
(408) 554-4023