BizRESTORATION continued from page 57 in the altar cloths. Today the restored altars and flawless finish of the west tower, however, contrast sharply with the crumbling plaster so dramatically visible on the east tower. “We’ve completed one chapter,” Albanese said, “but the mission is a living, breathing church that does not stand still.” He pointed to the low-fired Mexican brickwork and adobe on the east tower, which is slowly dissolving. “Every day that the mid-day sun beats against its surface, more of the church erodes. Substantially more work remains.” To fund improvements for the deteriorating east tower and to continue the interior restoration, the Patronato is making inquiries to raise funds in support of the remaining east tower restoration. “This is a $3 million capital project over three years,” said Barbara Peck, Patronato member and co-chair of an upcoming campaign launch for the mission’s continued restoration. “We are confident we’ll be able to do the work quickly, not closing the church. Approvals are in place. We just need the funding.” Lured by the Light
Peck, a 30-year public relations professional, was immediately drawn to the mission when she moved to Tucson. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Peck is named for Saint Barbara, whose statue appears on the San Xavier façade, near the massive mesquite doors. “Like everyone, I’ve found my personal connection at San Xavier,” she said. “It’s a very beautiful and holy place where everyone finds meaning.” “The restoration of San Xavier is a work in progress, and that’s why the restoration must continue,” said Jeff Willis, a Snell & Wilmer partner and member of the Patronato. Willis knows about legacy – he stepped in as Snell & Wilmer’s representative when partner Claque Van Slyke, who practiced law in Tucson for 50 years, passed away. “Claque would say the mission’s restoration requires our attention every day,” Willis recalled. “The historical, spiritual and cultural significance is incomparable, and we need to ensure the mission exists for the next generation of 58 BizTucson
parishioners, our community and the public.” San Xavier’s recovery effort is an ongoing passion for many. Long-time individual supporters include Patronato members Pat and Chuck Pettis, Laura
We need to ensure the mission exists for the next generation of parishioners, our community and the public.
– Jeff Willis Partner, Snell & Wilmer Member, Patronato San Xavier
and Arch Brown, folklorist Jim Griffith and 92-year-old Tucsonan Ann Fallon. Corporate sponsors include The Click Group and Tucson Electric Power. Foundation support includes Southwestern Foundation, the Green and Stocker foundations, the Silver & Turquoise Ball (see sidebar p. 56) and the Robert B. Hansen and O’Reilly family foundations. The support has allowed restoration work on the parish’s original arcade design to continue. Albanese indicated that east tower restoration could begin this fall if funding progresses. “If you think of how many 1770s structures are still standing, there’s no doubt about how priceless this incredible sample of mission architecture is to our community and our country,” said Albanese, who often visits the mission to paint the rich values inspired by the changing light. On one day of painting, the wind stirs, pushing sand spirals up against the mission. Albanese reaches to steady his easel. Beyond him, the sacred site appears in the sandy sunlight more luminous than ever, seeming to shout out centuries of history that are written from yesterday, today, and – if the Patronato has its way – tomorrow.
The Tucson region's business magazine.