Mission San Jose is my favorite San Antonio Mission. Sure the Alamo is the most famous, but Mission San Jose is the best preserved. It is also the home to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park welcome center and gift shop. Within the mission walls is another gift shop that is run by the church and sells religious items.
Known as the “Queen of the Missions”, due to the size of the complex, it was founded in 1720 by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus. The stone walls were used for defense and mission residents learned to use firearms. Both of these together discouraged enemy attacks.
The mission was reconstructed in the 1930’s after it had fallen into ruins, however, 80% of the church is original. The Archdiocese of San Antonio and San José parish are responsible for maintenance and preservation work needed on the church structure, while the National Park Service is responsible for the extant structures and historical landscape. In 1941 San Jose became a State and National Historical Site.
Mission San Jose is still an active parish and all are welcome to attend Sunday mass services (see below for times).
While you are welcome to take pictures on the grounds, absolutely NO photography is allowed inside the church (not even with your cell phone). In fact, there are HUGE signs posted at the entrances. Please respect this rule! Believe it or not, this is a pretty typical rule within all churches!
Getting There & Information
Address: 6701 San Jose Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78214
Hours: Open daily from 9am-5pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s
Distance From Fort Hood: 2.5 hours
Saturday at 5:00 p.m.(English)
Sunday at 7:30 a.m. (Español) 9:00 a.m. (English), 10:30 a.m. (English), and 12:00 p.m. (Mariachi – Bilingual)