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Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad immediately reminded me of the e.e. cummings poem, “i am a little church (no great cathedral)“. The Mission is located to the west of Soledad, across Highway 101. Soledad is most famous for its prisons, but is also known as the access point for the West Pinnacles. You can drive north or south on Highway 101 and not even realize that the little Mission is there.

From the parking lot of the Mission, I was immediately impressed with the integration of the Mission into the farming community of Soledad. The Mission itself is virtually bordered by farm fields, and the Mission has a large barbecue, no doubt for local celebrations.

The Mission itself is welcoming. I found it very peaceful. It is a little church, no great cathedral. The Mission seems badly in need of funds (not the millions needed for the earthquake-damaged Mission San Miguel Arcangel), but does not ask for large donations. The site of the orginal Mission is marked, as are the graves of Padre Florencio Ibañez and Governor of Alta CaliforniaJosé Joaquín de Arrillaga.

The interior of the Mission is cozy, with very small pews. Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is prominent. The museum houses the original bell, and the Mission village marks workshops and other features.

Like the e.e. cummings poem, the little Mission seems to say, “my life is the life of the reaper and the sower….” There is a peacefulness at Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad that I left only reluctantly.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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