World Heritage Week ends with celebratory Mass

Mission San Jose serves as backdrop for Mass

SAN ANTONIO – Three centuries after its founding by a Spanish friar, Archbishop Gustavo Siller, Mission San Jose served as a backdrop for a celebratory Mass Sunday.

The outdoor Mass marked the end of a week celebrating the UNESCO World Heritage site designation for San Antonio's five founding missions.

"It was about time," a couple watching the afternoon Mass said.

They agreed with others who said the rest of the world will know what many locals already know about the historical significance of the missions.

"I think it's amazing," Julia Sandoval said. 

Her husband, Roland Sandoval, said, "It means a lot to San Antonio, especially for my family. They were coming here since they were younger."

Ben Saenz said the World Heritage site designation will give more exposure to how indigenous people were converted and treated at the missions long ago.

"I think it's a good thing the world will know what's going on with the missions. We're in the limelight now."