Father Serra - Missionary

Father Serra - Missionary
Always forward, never back

Monday, March 30, 2015

In Support of Father Serra

With the pope's announcement that he is going to make the founder of the California missions a state, isolated small groups and intellectuals are attacking this decision.

As someone who has studied Father Serra's life, this article is quite heartwarming and it corroborates what I've come to feel about this devout and caring man. Here is a quote from the article that says what needs to be said:

I began to realize: especially the most malicious comments about Fr. Serra were usually by people who knew nothing about him, who had picked it up secondhand on the internet or on a blog, or who simply just didn’t care for the Catholic Church and its doctrine.”

It is refreshing to see a man who fell away from the church have the integrity to take an honest look at Father Serra and his fellow friars. I've long felt I was a lone voice in the wilderness espousing his virtues and efforts.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

California Indians Complain to Pope Francis

Amah Mutsun’s Letter to Pope Francis
Date: 02 Mar 2015
By: Vincent Medina

Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of Costanoan/Ohlone Indians, wrote a poignant letter to Pope Francis sharing a Native perspective on why Junipero Serra should not be named a Saint.

I read every word of this letter and found myself torn by it. As those who have read this blog know, I've done a great deal of research about the Spanish colonization of both Californias. A lot of so-called historical works relate this in a somewhat biased basis against the Catholic missionaries. So, as I read this, I tried comparing it to what I've learned.

Two things caught my eye:

I told you of how many of our female ancestors were tied together by their thumbs and forced to march to the missions. Once there they were considered the property of the mission. It’s estimated that life expectancy was less than two years at some missions.

This is totally against everything I've read from Catholic and other historians! The friars NEVER forced any natives to come to the missions! There was an instance when one of the friars went into the interior valley of the northern part of California to being back some converts who had fled there from Mission San José. The description of tying them by their thumbs to be somewhat dramatic and overblown.

Another paragraph in which he quotes some letters from Father Serra to the governors about punishing converts. In the instance of the letter to Governor Rivera, the reason for the punishment is left out – it was not just leaving the mission but doing so after stealing property that was not theirs. And, as for “That the spiritual fathers [priests] should punish their sons, the Indians, by blows appears to be as old as the conquest of these kingdoms” quote, it was an admonishment for the governor NOT to whip them but to “spank” them in accordance with the mores of the time.

However, I invite you all to click on the link and judge for yourselves. Remember, however, the tribes involved are a tiny proportion of remaining California natives and that the vast majority of those who did not meld in with the Europeans were reduced, not by the Spanish or Mexican but the Americans who came with their generations of policies of exiling the “barbaric savages” to their own enclaves so Europeans could make the best use of their lands.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Father Serra - A Controversial Canonization

Where's the “controversy” coming from? The Left, of course.

Yes, Serra was a zealous missionary and he “took away” ancient Indian cultures from the natives of California.

But, just what was that “culture” other than living like animals, day to day, with no future and never traveling more than one day from where they were born. Crouching in the rain or starving when there was none. Being fodder for the massive Grizzly Bears that freely roamed the area.

All they had to look forward to from the day of their birth was hardship leading to eventual death. Father Serra and his fellow missionaries gave them filled bellies, relief from harsh weather – and the hope that there was something more to life than just dying and ending it all.