Hundreds attend Easter Mass at San Xavier del Bac Mission - Tucson News Now

Hundreds attend Easter Mass at San Xavier del Bac Mission

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Hundreds of people flocked to Mission San Xavier del Bac for Easter Sunday Mass.

People packed the main chapel for late morning mass at 11 a.m., including several members of the Tohono O'Odham Nation, whose ancestors helped to build the very church they prayed in on Sunday.

Tohono member Cheryl Stevens-Morning brought her children to San Xavier for Easter. She and generations before her were baptized at the historic church.

"It keeps us grounded as a family. The mission has its own significance but being here with our own people, our own culture, it all ties in together so Easter makes it extra special," Stevens-Morning said.

The tantalizing smell of fry bread drew some visitors to the ramadas just outside the mission while others lit candles in the solemn, mortuary chapel.

By late morning, people packed the church for the second Mass of the day; but, that didn't matter to some dedicated visitors who have been coming to the White Dove of the Desert for years.

"Even though you don't make it inside the church -- you know it's so crowded you know -- just being here in the present, it gives me my own blessing," Ricky Manuel said.

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