Mission Preservation Foundation

Reverend Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan
Pastor, Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano

J. Michael McKiernan

Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan

Monsignor J. Michael McKiernan, named the 35th pastor of Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano by Bishop of Orange Kevin Vann, took over his new post on July 1.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity and I consider it a great honor,” Msgr. McKiernan said. “One of the things I’ve learned is when you get into a new position, particularly as a pastor, is to see how things are done out of respect for how they’ve done things for a long time. In the last two months I have been spending a lot of time asking ‘Why?’ or “How come?’ It’s been a real learning experience.”

Msgr. McKiernan says one thing is certain in terms of his goals for Mission San Juan Capistrano.

“The one thing that I would love to do is to continue the wonderful legacy that is here, and the wonderful history that is here,” he said. “There are wonderful employees here, particularly the new principal of Mission Basilica School and the Executive Director of the Historic Mission, and I’m very blessed to have both of them. Alycia Beresford and Mechelle Lawrence Adams are just wonderful assets to me and great working partners in us building up the whole Mission complex.

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel here, because the wheel is spinning pretty well.”

Msgr. McKiernan is a Diocesan priest, coming from former Parish, Christ Our Savior. His interests range from meeting new parishoners to learning more about California history. A “people person,” he has quickly met the Campus staff and gotten involved with the success of the landmark, debuting at the Romance of the Mission benefit gala by offering the dinner invocation.