Our Mission

Patronato San Xavier is a nonsectarian, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by Southern Arizona community leaders in 1978. The Patronato’s only purpose is to promote the restoration, maintenance and preservation of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a National Historic Landmark near Tucson, Arizona.

ong-time Mission conservators Matilde Rubio and Tim Lewis

Life-sized La Immaculada statue restored for the 1st time in more than 200 years

The circa-1790 La Inmaculada statue displayed in a niche above the altar in the sanctuary at Mission San Xavier del Bac has been completely restored and preserved for the first time in more than 200 years. A $10,000 grant from the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson to Patronato San Xavier helped fund the project.

The four-month process included removal, restoration, preservation, blessing and return of statue of Mary to her niche above the altar. Photo by Jeff Landers, JLImages.com

Click here to read more

2016 newsletter cover_Page_1

What’s Happening


Saving the East Tower

A major project remains, which is the restoration of San Xavier Mission’s East Tower. Restoring it will help preserve the structural integrity of the building and further enhance its beauty. In the centuries since the Mission was built, cracking in the East Tower’s exterior has allowed water to migrate behind the stucco and wick into the interior adobe brick. Click here for more information.

Bunny Fontana

Bernard Fontana | 1931–2016

Bernard “Bunny” Fontana, one of the co-founders of Patronato San Xavier, passed away this year. In 1978, Bunny, along with five other community leaders founded the Patronato San Xavier. He was a cultural anthropologist, field researcher, archaeologist, historian, writer and the leading expert on Mission San Xavier, which he described as “one of North America’s great architectural and art treasures.”

To read more more about Bunny’s life and contributions to the Mission, click here.

(Main header image) View from the Retablo Mayor (Main Altar) and Chancel, looking out toward the Crossing, East and West Transepts,
Nave and Choir Loft in the rear of the Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, AZ © 2003 Edward McCain