Father Serra - Missionary

Father Serra - Missionary
Always forward, never back

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Santo Junipero Serra

Anyone who reads this blog will know how pleased I am about this.

A couple of items that seem to get lost in the news of his visit.

60 people from the Mexican Sierra Gorda mountains came to attend the canonization of the man who had established 5 missions in their area that gave them and their descendants a better life.

In spite of all the noise about dissidents, hundreds of Californians were there to celebrate the man who had dedicated his life to raise them from their Stone Age society.

I am going to wait until the Pope's visit is over to post my responses to it.

Here are some articles I wish to share with you:

Latino Catholics See Reflection in a Friar Set for Sainthood

The Rev. Tom Elewaut, the pastor of Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura, Calif., holding a holy card commemorating the canonization of its founder, the Rev. Junípero Serra, which is slated for Wednesday.

Sainthood for Missionary Priest Is Disputed by Native Tribes

Pope Francis is set to canonize the Rev. Junípero Serra, a Franciscan priest who founded the first missions in the state of California, on Sept. 23. But the ceremony, which adds Serra to the Catholic Church's official roster of saints, has stirred controversy.

Several American Indian tribes oppose the canonization, saying that Serra was responsible for the enslavement and death of tens of thousands of indigenous tribespeople and the destruction of their culture. Some tribes are circulating petitions to protest the canonization. In addition, critics argue that Serra has only been credited with one miracle, rather than the two normally required to achieve official sainthood.

Read more at the link.

And then comes this piece which is most appropriate.

Always forward, never back’

The canonization of Fray Junípero Serra

The story talks about Father Serra's anger at how Governor Pedro Fages treated the natives. He walked from San Blas where his ship landed and walked all the way to Mexico City where he made a presentations to the viceroy and Fages was removed to be replaced by Don Fernando Rivera, a man who had served in the Californias since 1742.

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