The Journal of San Diego History
June 1965, Volume 11, Number 3
Ray Brandes, Managing Editor

Back to the article: Father O’Keefe

San Luis Rey Mission about 1890.
In the foreground, the sunken gardens to the south of the Mission. In the background, the Mission in ruins, and the Mission Church substantially intact.

Following the approval of the Right Rev. Francis Mora for the establishment of a monastery and novitiate by the Franciscans of Mexico the above scene marked the revival of Mission San Luis Rey. The church had been restored sufficiently to permit celebration of Mass and on May 12, 1893 a great procession of people arrived from Oceanside. Englehardt describes the occasion as follows: “By 10 o’clock that morning, fully three hundred interested spectators had gathered at the church. Four wrinkled old Indian women crouched at the doorway and wonderingly looked upon a scene that must have brought fond memories of their girlhood days, when the mission was still in the heyday of peace and prosperity.”

Mission San Luis Rey about 1905 during the process of monastery construction in the initial restoration work.

The sunken gardens and lavanderia where the Mission Indians did their laundry and bathing. Note the gargoyle through which the water passed. The location was also a gathering or meeting area for the women when they wished to discuss personal matters. This area was excavated but a few years ago.