Mission to Arizona, 1916-1940: Father Augustine Schwarz, O.F.M.
Mission to Pimería: St. Francis of Assisi
Father Augustine made his first visit to St. Francis of Assisi Church, Salt River, on August 12, 1916, where he found a sturdy adobe church and outdoor ramada or eating area. The resident missionary lived in the one-room addition to the church.
Father Augustine made regular visits to the church for a time, and particularly for the St. Francis Day Feast on October 5. He photographed parishioners carrying a processional arch of flowers and bringing holy pictures to the church. Later, they all gathered for a chicken dinner.
The celebration over, Father Augustine climbed into his mule-drawn wagon, which was driven by Thomas Jose, who was also the main coronet player in the St. John's Mission Band. They had a 30-mile drive ahead of them.
Years later, in 1959, a new St. Francis Church replaced the older building and in 1977, a feast house was added, where parishioners from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community could gather indoors. It was named Antone Hall in 2000.