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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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El Viaje de Portolá Named Honoree for Mission Preservation Foundation Benefit Gala and Broadway Star David Burnham is Featured Artist

Readers of this blog know that we are big fans of the Mission San Juan Capistrano. From its founding by Father Junipero Serra in 1776, to the tragedy of the Great Stone Church to the iconic annual return of the swallows, our beloved Mission is the heart of Orange County history and a fixture of [...]

Update on the Mission’s 200 Year Old Crucifixion Painting and its Replica

You may recall that 200 year old painting of the Crucifixion, the twelfth station of the Cross, that was recently discovered beneath a replica painting in the Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano. We wrote about it here. The San Juan Capistrano Patch has an interesting story about William Maldonado, the church organist and [...]

Revealing Hidden History in the Serra Chapel

Here in South County, we are fortunate to be surrounded by early California history. You might say that history is sometimes hiding right in front of us — literally. Yesterday in the Serra Chapel of Mission San Juan Capistrano, a 213 year old painting was revealed, after being hidden beneath a reproduction for the last [...]