Carmel Mission Foundation
Carmel Mission Foundation




Pope Francis announced on January 15, 2015 that he plans to canonize Junípero Serra when he comes to the States in September. Serra’s canonization ceremony will take place in Washington D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The date has been tentatively set for September 23.

Fr. Serra was the founder of the first nine of 21 missions in California, including the Carmel Mission in 1771, which was his headquarters. He was also buried there in 1784.

Making Junípero Serra a saint could turn the Carmel Mission, already a major religious and tourist attraction, including a State and National Historic Landmark, into an international shrine, drawing many more visitors to the Carmel Mission and the Monterey Peninsula.


The Carmel Mission Foundation announced on December 9, 2014 that the recent $5.5 million restoration of the Carmel Mission Basilica has received a Project-of-the-Year Award from the construction industry for the Northern California and Hawaii Region in the religious/cultural category. Vic Grabrian, President & CEO of the Carmel Mission Foundation said, “We were pleased to receive this award, as it is a wonderful way to honor the donors who supported the project and demonstrates the care and quality of the restoration work completed by the Preservation Team.” The Basilica restoration project was completed safely, ahead of schedule, and $1.5 million below budget.

Over 140 projects were submitted for this annual competition, conducted by the construction industry’s Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine through an independent panel of industry judges. Judging criteria included collaboration and teamwork, ability to overcome challenges, safety performance, and use of innovative design and construction solutions. The judge’s panel also considered the contribution to the construction industry and community, design quality, and construction craftsmanship.

The Carmel Mission Preservation Team was recently honored at an industry awards ceremony in San Francisco. The Team includes Franks Brenkwitz and Associates, architect of record; Blach Construction, general contractor; Architectural Resources Group, preservation architect; Donald C. Urfer & Associates, structural engineer; on site management; and the Carmel Mission Foundation that funded the project.





The Foundation announced on August 7, 2014 that it had been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. From this date forward, all new donations will be matched dollar for dollar, until reaching the total match of $500,000. This challenge grant will help the Foundation accelerate its efforts to fund the next phase of the preservation of the Carmel Mission complex. The Foundation is deeply grateful to this most generous donor.


Photo courtesy of K.C. Jones



Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain visited the Carmel Mission on Wednesday, November 13, in honor of Junipero Serra’s 300th birthday later this month. Vic Grabrian, President of the Carmel Mission Foundation, briefed the royal couple on the history of the Carmel Mission and the recently completed seismic retrofit and restoration of the Basilica. They then placed a wreath on the tomb of Junípero Serra and, after touring the Convento Museum, joined about 90 guests for a private reception in the Mission’s main courtyard. Accompanying the Prince was the Spanish Ambassador to the United States and the President of the Balearic Islands. For more information see the KSBW TV news video.