Mission San Rafael Arcángel

Mission San Rafael

Picture taken 2:21pm 18 Feb 2012

Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded 14 December 1817 (20th in order) by Padre Vicente de Sarria. The mission is named for Saint Raphael the Archangel. The Indian name was Awániwi (Nanaguami). The mission was originally an asistencia (sub-mission) of San Francisco de Asís and used as a place for the sick of that mission to recover. The current buildings are a replica built on the approximate site of the original, although not oriented in the same direction as the original. This diagram, found outside, in front of the Mission, shows how the original is thought to have been oriented relative to the current buildings. The original outline is in orange. Please keep in mind that this is just a guess right now (2012) as excavation has not been done to determine the exact location.

Mission San Rafael Outside Old vs New Layout Map

Picture taken 10:50am 17 Feb 2012


The Mission is approximately 11 miles North of the Golden Gate Bridge off of U.S. 101 in San Rafael. Both Northbound and Southbound 101 take the Central San Rafael exit and proceed to 5th Avenue. Proceed West (Northbound left turn and Southbound right turn) a third of a mile to A Street. The mission is at 1104 5th Avenue at A Street (California Landmark 220). There is parking meter parking on the street and just beyond the Mission is a right turn into a steep driveway leading up to a small parking area next to the large Church of Saint Raphael. This lot is reserved for school/rectory employees but sometimes may have a spot available on a weekend or holiday. City parking lots are available within walking distance in several directions.


  • If planning to visit the Mission please contact them directly to get the latest information.
  • Mail: 1104 Fifth Avenue San Rafael, CA 94901-2916
  • Phone: (415) 454-8141 (voice) or (415) 454-8193 (fax)
  • Web: http://www.saintraphael.com/ (Parish Website)
  • Mass Schedule: Please see the parish website for the current Mass schedule.