Our History: San Gabriel Mission

July 18, 2016
San Gabriel, California
San Gabriel Mission Parish in San Gabriel California

One of the oldest tCI communities is San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California. Originally founded in 1771, the mission was one of the first in California and was considered the mother church of Los Angeles. Much of the historic mission had fallen into disrepair by the time the Claretians arrived and assumed responsibility for it in 1908, not long after the order first came to the United States from Mexico in 1902. The Claretians undertook the job of reviving the parish and soon opened a school to serve the surrounding community, where many families were living in poverty. The school provided free meals and tuition to students in need to ensure that all received a quality education.

Students at San Gabriel Mission in California'
Students eating a meal at San Gabriel Mission School

Today the Claretians continue to serve the youth of San Gabriel and the surrounding area with programs like the San Gabriel Marimba Ensemble. The ensemble gives at-risk young people the opportunity to learn an instrument, interact with mentors, and contribute to the community through performances. Marimba Ensemble members learn dedication, teamwork, and leadership skills—all things that will help them be successful as they finish their education and begin careers. Programs like this are vital in an area where nearly a third of youth under 18 are living in poverty.

The Claretians need your help to continue their historic work in San Gabriel. Ninety-five percent of every donation to the Marimba Ensemble goes directly to the program, helping youth stay positively engaged and on track to a brighter future.

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