By Alex Groves
Area Catholics and members of the Capistrano Historical Alliance Committee gathered at the Old Mission Cemetery in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, Nov. 10, for the ninth annual Mass of Remembrance, an event that remembers those interred at the cemetery while also honoring members of the community.
Dozens of visitors packed neatly lined rows of white chairs as Monsignor Michael McKiernan of Mission San Juan Capistrano conducted a Mass.
McKiernan said the look of the once-rundown cemetery had improved considerably thanks to the work of faith and civic groups.
“Through the Dioceses of Orange as well as through Jerry (Nieblas), as well as in a very, very special way the Boy Scouts, they have done such an amazing job at changing this from a place that not long ago was filled with weeds and you had to be careful where you walked,” McKiernan said.
This year’s honorees were Ricardo Beas Arias, owner of restaurant Ricardo’s Place, and Theresa Nieblas-Saunders, an honorary member of the Capistrano Historical Alliance Committee.
After the Mass, congregants made their way over to the Blas Aguilar Adobe on Camino Real for a potluck reception, where food from Ricardo’s Place was served.
The 10th annual iteration of the event is scheduled to take place in November 2019.