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In an effort to explore its diverse and complex history, Mission San Juan Capistrano has formed an Advisory Committee on historic interpretation, comprising of prestigious historical academics Dr. Rose Marie Beebe, Dr. Robert Senkewicz, Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza. These outside academics speak on an array of topics, including the latest in research and history. The Mission has also teamed up with long-time art conservator Scott Haskins to discuss art restoration and the craft of conservation. View these recorded talks and lectures below.


Junípero Serra: The Myths, the Man, and the Statues
Presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz

Run Time: 1 hour and 23 minutes  

This special digital lecture presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz, a professor emeritus of History at Santa Clara University, tells the multifaceted story about Junípero Serra, his history, and delves into why he is still a topic of conversation today. In developing our more inclusive historical perspectives and interpretive efforts, we rely on such impressive advisors such as Robert Senkewicz and all academics who have researched and published numerous books and articles on early California history. We believe inclusivity will allow our visitors to draw their own conclusions of what it felt and meant to be a priest, a soldier, a Native American, a post-secularization Catholic, a man, a woman, or child of that time.

About Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz

Along with his wife, Rose Marie Beebe (professor of Spanish literature at Santa Clara University), Robert has written a number of books on the history of Spanish and Mexican California including, The History of Alta California, Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California, 1535–1846; Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815–1848; and “To Toil in That Vineyard of the Lord”: Contemporary Scholarship on Junípero Serra; and Junípero Serra: California, Indians, and the Transformation of a Missionary (University of Oklahoma Press, 2015). Their current project is on Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo’s five-volume “Recuerdos históricos y personales….” They are in the process of translating and annotating this very important manuscript.

Beebe and Senkewicz have received numerous teaching and scholarship awards at Santa Clara University. In 2015 they were recognized with the University Award for Sustained Excellence in Scholarship. They have also received awards from The Bancroft Library, the Historical Society of Southern California, the California Mission Studies Association, the California Council for the Promotion of History. Beebe received a year-long fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Vallejo project.  Robert Senkewicz has researched and published numerous books and articles on early California history. These highly regarded professors serving California universities are positively assisting Mission San Juan Capistrano in strengthening its meaning as a living site of history and ongoing site of worship.


Preservation at Home
Presented by Scott Haskins

Run Time: 51 minutes

Scott Haskins is our long time art conservator, who has helped restore and repair such works as the Station of the Cross XII painting. Scott speaks about how you can preserve and protect your precious objects.  Watch this video to learn more about the craft of conservation and how you can be sure to pass down your treasures to the next generation.


360-Degree World View Toward History Lecture Series
Presented by Dr. Rose Marie Bebe, Dr. Robert Senkewicz and Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza

These are made possible in our effort to adopt more of a 360-degree view, we believe inclusivity will allow our visitors to draw their own conclusions of what it felt and meant to be a priest, a soldier, a Native American, a post-secularization Catholic, a man, a woman, or child of that time.

In developing our more inclusive historical perspectives and interpretive efforts, we rely on such impressive advisors as Drs. Rubén G. Mendoza, Rose Marie Beebe, and Robert Senkewicz, all academics who have researched and published numerous books and articles on early California history. These highly regarded professors serving California universities are positively assisting Mission San Juan Capistrano in strengthening its meaning as a living site of history and ongoing site of worship.

Saint Junípero Serra and the Dream of California
Presented by Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza

Run Time: 1 hour and 19 minutes

O’ What a Tangled Web We Weave: The Archaeology of Objects and Materials in the California Missions
Presented by Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza

Run Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Junípero Serra: The Man Behind The Myth 
Presented by Dr. Rose Marie Beebe and Dr. Robert Senkewicz

Run Time: 1 hour and 12 minutes

Lands of Promise and Despair: Spanish and Mexican California
Presented by Dr. Rose Marie Beebe and Dr. Robert Senkewicz

Run Time: 1 hour and 23 minutes

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26801 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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