I love year-end reviews -- For most of us, it is a time to reflect, reboot, or shut the door loudly on a challenging year.
The Mission has had over 237 “new years.” and many chances to be reborn in purpose, meaning and spirit. With a grateful heart I “look back - to look forward” and celebrate the following 2013 efforts with your support:
1. We completed the 100% privately-funded
Gate House Preservation Project on time and on budget. Today the project is done and welcomes our guests as if it has always been here.
2. We opened our very own Mission Store. The net effect is that we can cover the lost rent we used to receive, support Mission repairs and operating costs not covered by admissions, and squirrel away dollars for future preservation work. It is early but we are learning how the new company operates, what the guests really want, and how to ensure that we are a place of Franciscan hospitality.
3. We educated tens of thousands of students, teachers and chaperones. We did this during construction, poor weather and changing priorities.
4. We inspired the sick, weary, and the hurting. We saw them on benches, in the gardens, Serra Chapel and throughout the grounds all year long. Guests searching for meaning and time to reflect – guests not looking to be educated, entertained or informed, but just seeking peace.
5. We served as the face of San Juan Capistrano and Orange County. The Mission served as an ambassador to guests from all over the world saying, “Come and explore, come and discover history right here, try our town out, restaurants, shops, parks and venues.”
6. We entertained with our Signature Events. Our team brought together people of various faith traditions, economics, demographics under a smiling moon or a shining sun to experience fun, entertainment and the landmark with a sense of community.
7. We fundraised “for purpose.” Once again our efforts were focused on generating gifts that donors whole-heartedly believe in, and with the knowledge that 100% of any gift goes toward the intended purpose.
8. We mourned the passing of many fine people. As a non-profit entity we have many who give their time, gifts, and support in so many ways. Over time they become our friends.
9. It was a year of conviction. Leadership on the Mission Preservation Foundation Board, and throughout the entity, was impassioned to make a measurable and lasting impact. They said all the way, “Get it Done” and they generously made it so. Bishop Vann joined in our efforts with his arrival to Orange County.
What I learned this year about the Mission is that people of all backgrounds want to return to a place that reflects the idea of hope. People are seeking a place that inspires the good from within. From all measurable accounts and reviews I read and received, I’d say we delivered on this front. The Mission indeed continues to provide hope.
It was a great year, and while there is more to be done, we need to take a moment to celebrate the milestones along the way, take time to remember what came before this moment, and take a deep breath with the coming of the bright promise of this new year.
Happy New Year with gratitude,
Mechelle Lawrence Adams
The Mission Preservation Foundation Board includes:
Arthur B. Birtcher
Michael J. Puntoriero