Return of the Swallows Today at Mission San Juan Capistrano

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Photo Courtesy of Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano’s internationally renown St. Joseph’s Day and Return of the Swallows celebration will take place today, Thursday, March 19 2015.
The day’s events will begin at 8:30 a.m. with St. Joseph’s Day Mass in Mission Basilica and finishes after 3 p.m.
Some of the highlights of the day include:
The debut of a new tour — Father Serra’s Legacy: History Tour of the Mission Church Sites. The tour will take place at 3 p.m. on St. Joseph’s Day, and will regularly commence on Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Newly acquired items from the Bowers Museum are now displayed in the Mission Treasures exhibit.
A Historic Bell Ringing ceremony at 11:40 a.m., which will include an announcement of the “Hope for the Pope” campaign.
There will be food vendors serving Mexican food, burgers, and more, Native American basketweavers, and activities for kids including adobe brick making, panning for gold and arrowhead necklace making.

St. Joseph’s Day and the Return of the Swallows celebration recognizes the annual return of the famous swallows to Capistrano. This tradition was started by Father St. John O’Sullivan in the 1920’s at Mission San Juan Capistrano, and is held each year on March 19th.

The complete schedule of the day’s events:

Mission Basilica
8:30-9:15 a.m.: St. Joseph’s Day mass

Bell Wall
9 a.m.: Daily ringing of the Historic Bells upon opening of the Mission

9:15-9:45 a.m.: Mariachi music

10:15 a.m., noon, 3:15 p.m.: Ringing of Historic Bells

11:40 a.m.-noon: Official Bell Ringing ceremony, welcome by Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams, performance by Native American Tushmal singers, National Anthem performed by JSerra Catholic High School Central Courtyard

9:55-10 a.m.: Official welcome by Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams

10-10:05 a.m.: Renee Bondi will sing “When the Swallows come back to Capistrano,” the famous song written by Leon Rene

10:05-10:15 a.m.: Ringing of the school bell and Mission Basilica School procession

10:15-11:15 a.m.: Performance of traditional songs and dances by students of Mission Basilica School 11:25-11:55 a.m.: Mariachi music

12:05-12:10 p.m.: Renee Bondi will sing “When the Swallows come back to Capistrano,” the famous song written by Leon Rene

12:15-12:35 p.m: Performance by San Juan Elementary School kindergarteners

12:45-1:30: Journeys to the Past: California Native American stories and dances

1:30-2 p.m.: Performance by Duende Flamenco
Soldiers Barracks Gallery

12:30-1 p.m.: Lecture on Father Junipero Serra by Gregory Orfalea 2-3 p.m.: Lecture on the swallows by Dr. Charles Brown

For more information please link to Mission San Juan Capistrano

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