Local Juaneño tribal members and community friends remembered those killed in the Great Stone Church at during the Dec. 8, 1812 earthquake Thursday morning.
An annual remembrance combining native and Catholic traditions, the memorial service was officiated by the chief and chairman of the , David Belardes, and Franciscan Friar Joseph Scerbo, who served the at the mission for eight years, between 1996-2004.
A short procession led by Nicholas Firsich-Rios carrying the Juaneño banner was followed by personal testimonials and dedications in circular-prayer formation, surrounded by clear, blue skies, the dramatic, hollowed-stone apse of the old church and the scent of ceremonial burning sage.
Jerry Nieblas, descendant of pre-mission families and president of the , introduced the list of those 43 who perished 199 years ago. Father Joseph read each name in English followed by a native Acjachemen translation of each by David Belardes.