Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa - Modern-day Uses

Modern-day Uses

Hundreds of years after its creation, Mission San Luis Obispo, located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, remains integral to the town and community that were built around it.

The mission plaza has grassy lawns, benches, and a fountain, as well as meticulously maintained gardens that create a welcoming environment. California's 325th registered historical landmark provides a place of relaxation as well as of historical insight. Many families bring children to play and relax while others come to learn about the history of the mission. The mission is available to people of all interest levels, from the casual observer who would like to walk through the sanctuary and courtyard gardens admission charge free at their own pace, to the individual who is looking for a Church to participate in or a guided tour and reading information

The mission is a fully functional Catholic church offering a variety of services. The Parish describes its vision in the weekly bulletin as "To be a Eucharistic Community striving to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Guided by the power of the Holy Spirit." The bulletin also includes its mission "To make our vision a reality daily by being: Loving and open, faith-filled and prayerful, gracious stewards, passionate about the needs of others". Saturday night vigils, Sunday mass given in English, Spanish and a Bilingual version, weekday services as well as reconciliation sacraments on Saturdays are offered in order to satisfy the diverse religious needs of the community. The church bulletin, available in the sanctuary details a plethora of other services and announcements including names and contacts for church officials, small group based religious programs for all ages, as well as announcements and church schedules.

In addition to offering religious services and a glimpse into the past, the San Luis Obispo mission is active in the community, providing assistance in a variety of ways. In the courtyard there are various wishing wells, all with notices of where the money thrown into the wells go, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Year round the mission collects money for this organization that provides things such as food, clothing, utilities, even rent money and bus tickets for people who are experiencing financial difficulties. The mission also recognizes that while some people need financial support others need guidance, which is why there is a youth group center on the mission property. The high school and youth groups are a place where young adults come together not only to deal with the stresses of their own lives but also do so while helping others. One of the main components of these youth groups are the special service projects that the kids participate in, helping them earn a better sense of self-worth.

While efforts to give to others and volunteer take place all year at the mission, the holiday season has many more programs to provide assistance to the community. The mission is involved with Toys for Tots, as well as the Giving Tree Project. In this program, underprivileged children write down a wish they have for Christmas and tie them onto the Christmas tree, each member of the church then takes the wish and buys the gift for the child. The month of January marks a transformation in the missions, when it literally opens its doors and provides overflow housing for a month to the homeless as well as cots, food, clothing, toys.

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