Highlights from St. Joseph's Day and
Return of the Swallows Celebration
March 19, 2021
Thank you to everyone who joined us onsite and virtually for our annual celebration of welcoming the swallows back to Capistrano. It's not too late to join in on the festivities. See what you missed or relive the fun from the comfort of your own home. Watch the ringing of the historic bells, download free Mission San Juan Capistrano coloring pages, see photos of the St. Joseph's Day table that helped raise money to feed our community, or learn about the world-renowned swallows with cliff swallows expert, Dr. Charles Brown, all available to view below.

Thank you to all our Partners and Friends who helped make Saint Joseph's Day 2021 Special:
Nathan Banda
Dr. Charles Brown, University of Tulsa
Vicky Carabini
Michael Gastelum
Darren Huntting
Italian American Museum of Los Angeles
Mission Basilica School
Sergio Prince

Photos courtesy Karen Reuter Photography
@karenreuterportraits
Welcoming Message from
Executive Director, Mechelle Lawrence Adams
St. Joseph's Day and Return of the Swallows Celebration officially kicks off with a welcome from Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams and the singing of the Nation Anthem by Darren Huntting.
Performances by Students at the Mission Basilica School
The school continues its rich traditions of participating in the St. Joseph's Day celebration. Students begin the day attending a special St. Joseph's Day Mass at the Mission Basilica where the Royal Court, a boy and girl of outstanding nature are crowned King and Queen followed by performing traditional dances.
Virtual Lecture on the Swallows of Capistrano
with Cliff Swallows Expert, Dr. Charles Brown
We welcomed the return of Dr. Charles Brown, an acclaimed swallows expert and professor of biological sciences at the University of Tulsa for this virtual lecture on the swallows of Capistrano.
Live Ringing of the Historic Bells in Honor of St. Joseph
and the Return of the Swallows to Capistrano
The ringing of the bells is the oldest tradition at Mission San Juan Capistrano being carried out by bell ringers, Michael Gastelum and Nathan Banda. This year is especially significant as it marks Michael Gastelum's 40th anniversary as a bell ringer at the Jewel of the Missions!
Virtual Mission Highlights Tour
We joined Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams and virtually explored the Mission's beautiful grounds and historic past. From the cultural traditions of the local Acjachemen people, to the picturesque gardens, and one-of-a-kind Serra Chapel, there was something for everyone to enjoy on this virtual tour.
St. Joseph's Day Table Celebrating the Year of St. Joseph
In partnership with Board Member Vicky Carabini and the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles raising money to feed the hungry in our community.
Thank You to Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett
Thank you to Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett for supporting our St. Joseph's Day and Return of the Swallows celebration. Community Relations Advisor Sergio Prince attended the festivities and presented Mission San Juan Capistrano with a certificate to commemorate our first-ever virtual Swallows Day and reopening. The Mission Preservation Foundation and historic Mission are grateful for your community support.
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