Eight years of growth and building were damaged or destroyed in just fifteen minutes at the end of 1812. Fathers Uria and Olbés reported the following: "December 21, 1812, at about 10 o'clock in the morning, two earthquakes occurred at an interval of a quarter of an hour. The first made a considerable aperture in the one corner of the church: the second shock threw down the said corner, and a quarter of the new houses fell down, demolished all the tiles, and opened a main wall. All remain serviceable, however, if no greater tremors occur."
For safety, a temporary church was erected outside the quadrangle area. Reconstruction of the damaged buildings continued over the next few years. A new and larger church was built of adobe and brick and facing east. It measured 140 feet long, 25 feet wide and 30 feet high, with heavily buttressed walls 5 feet thick. Heavy pine timbers brought from the San Rafael Mountains supported its ceiling and re-tiled roof. The ceiling height was lowered on the residence of the friars, and the flat roof was replaced with a gabled roof covered with tiles. A new belfry was constructed at this time. These buildings, which were dedicated on July 4 1817, still remain today.