Father Junipero Serra founded the Mission San Luis Obispo on Sept. 1, 1772, while on a hunting expedition to the Valley of the Bears. The mission is named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France.
The Mission San Luis Obispo was built with the help of local Chumash Indians. Adobe and tile structures were used due to hostile American Indians setting fires in the first few years. During the Mexican Independence War from 1810 to 1821, the mission's buildings deteriorated. The structures were modernized during the early 20th century.
Mass is offered daily at 7 a.m. at the Mission San Luis Obispo. Five masses are held on Sunday, along with a Spanish mass. Sacraments are provided, including confirmation classes, matrimony and reconciliation.
The Mission San Louis Obispo has two schools. Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School is operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey. The Old Mission School educates elementary and middle school children.
21st Century Changes
The Mission San Luis Obispo is now a diocesan parish that serves 2,200 families in central California with its ministries, including a youth ministry, social justice ministry, catholic charities and thrift store.