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This digital exhibit was curated in appreciation for the service of Father William Krekelberg (1944-2023). Minnesota born, he was ordained in 1970  in Los Angeles  and was assigned to be the Diocese Archivist by Bishop William Johnson in 1977.  Father Bill’s long love of history and scholarship showed in his dedication to his new role. He is owed a debt of gratitude for his careful stewardship of the Archival collection. Included in this exhibit are items collected by Father Bill as well as photographs he took to document the historic site as well as some of the several books that he authored.


Exhibit Highlights:

Father Bill made sure to continue to document the historic site. The Mission’s history is still being written. 

Father Bill Digital Exhibit

Museum Registrar Jennifer Ring says “I was lucky enough to spend some time with Father Bill in the Archive and admired his knowledge of Mission history and his dedication to the Archive. He is well known to many Orange County historians for his vast knowledge and willingness to help with history projects. He was an invaluable resource and will be greatly missed.”  

Mechelle Lawrence Adams recounts her special experience in trying to purchase the original founding document of the Mission San Juan Capistrano and inadvertently driving up the price with Father Bill so that it was purchased by another collector at nearly $300,000. “Father Bill and I were stressed and competitive and really wanted to get the object. We decided to let it go but had a good laugh at our bonding moment over the experience.  He was such a good guy and an excellent writer. He is missed already.” 

Reverend Monsignor Arthur Holquin, Mission Preservation Board member and Pastor Emeritus remembers “I began my priesthood in my first assignment at Holy Family in Orange in June of 1974. Several months later, Bill was assigned as associate and I shared my early years of priesthood with him. Because of his love of history, our first Bishop, William Johnson, appointed him the first archivist of the Diocese of Orange.” And concludes with “Under a rather introverted demeanor, Bill was one of the funniest guys you would ever meet. Well done, good and faithful priest of the Lord, may you experience now the heavenly liturgy at the everlasting banquet of the Lord.”

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Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Closed for Annual Gala on September 13, 2024.
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26801 Old Mission Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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