Mission Concepción Pano

Mission Concepcion, in San Antonio, Texas, looks pretty much as it did in the mid-1700s. It is still in use for worship today, which makes it all that more special. Though it may not be as large or elaborate as newer churches, the feeling of holiness still prevails in this traditional setting.



Mission Concepción Pano

Mission Concepción Kneeler and Crucifix

To the left of the entrance in the Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, Texas, is a small room for worshipers to light a candle and pray. Even with the high ceiling, the stone walls make the room feel smaller than it really is. Though the original fresco paintings on the walls have faded, you still have the sense of how it may have felt when it first opened in 1755.


To the left of the entrance in the Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, Texas, is a small room for worshipers to light a candle and pray.

Mission Concepción Interior

Last weekend, my friends Jeremy Mancuso, David Morefield, Andy Crawford and I reunited for a trip to San Antonio. Since part of the trip was for photography, we hit the ground running. Our first stop in town was Mission Concepción.

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña was established in 1716 as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais in East Texas. From missionconcepcion.org… Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepcíon de Acuña was founded on March 5, 1731 in San Antonio, Texas. The mission is an active Catholic parish which is a part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

As part of the national parks service, Mission Concepcion looks basically as it did in the mid-1700’s when it served as the Mission’s center of religious activity. Although abandoned for long periods, the sturdy church of Mission Concepción is once again used for worship.

While we may all shoot the same locations, we each interpret things differently. Check out David’s version of the same scene.

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South Main Pipe Organ

Many modern-day churches feature bands and praise teams during their worship times. While there is nothing wrong with these, there is something uniquely special about the sound of a large church pipe organ, especially when played by an accomplished organist. Some people would call this a traditional style of worship. Maybe I’m just getting old (hold the laughter please), but I think of its majestic sound as a fitting way of praising and worship the Lord. This the Sanctuary Pipe Organ at South Main Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. According to their website, this organ dates back to 1934 and will soon be going through a renovation or replacement.


The Sanctuary Pipe Organ at South Main Baptist Church in Houston, Texas dates back to 1934.

Shining on La Sainte-Chapelle

Prior to that morning in Paris, I had never heard of this famous chapel. But after that morning, I shall never forget it. It was one of the remarkable buildings I saw while in France. With details like its large stained glass windows and gargoyles looking down from above, this building it beautiful inside and out.


With details like its large stained glass windows and gargoyles looking down from above, La Sainte-Chapelle is beautiful inside and out. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

The Little Window in Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle is like not other chapel I have ever visited. Yes, it was grand on the outside, but the inside had lots of surprises. Though the lower chapel is smaller and not as grand as the upper chapel, it is still very colorful and ornate.

Though this little window pales in comparison to those upstairs, it is still a work of art by any standard of measurement.

This little window in Sainte-Chapelle pales in comparison to those upstairs, but is still a piece of art by any standard of measurement. Photo by Tim Stanley Photographyg

The Lexington Chapel

Old churches and cathedrals make for great subjects for the type of photos that I enjoy taking. Things like architectural designs, large rooms  and stain glass windows all contribute to making a wonderful image. But it doesn’t take a huge church or fancy dwelling surroundings to go and worship. Matthew 18:20 reminds us that it just takes a few believers to come together, no matter how simple the accommodations might be.

This is the small chapel aboard the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. Simple, yet effective.


This is the small chapel on the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.