A statue of Saint Junípero Serra must return to the Loyola Marymount University campus, an alumni group has said in a letter and petition to the president of the Los Angeles-area Catholic university.
St. Junípero Serra “recently completed the lengthy and rigorous examination process involved in becoming a canonized saint,” Marcos Chavira, a Loyola Marymount University 1995 graduate, said in an open letter to university president Timothy Snyder, posted at the Renew LMU website.
“Regardless of what any committee may recommend to you, we hope your decision about this statue does not further erode our Catholic identity,” Chavira said.
He cited Pope Francis’ words about Serra during a Sept. 23, 2015 canonization Mass. Serra “sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it,” the pope said.
Chavira’s letter to Snyder cited recent comments from Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.
Serra “defended indigenous people’s humanity, decried the abuse of indigenous women, and argued against imposing the death penalty on natives who had burned down a mission and murdered one of his friends,” the archbishops wrote in a Sept. 12 essay for the Wall Street Journal. “At age 60, ill and with a chronically sore leg, Serra traveled 2,000 miles to Mexico City to demand that authorities adopt a native bill of rights he had written….”
In a Nov. 24 statement, the university said: “In summer of 2020, the statue of Rev. Serra on LMU’s Westchester campus was removed to conduct repairs. When the campus reopened from the pandemic in fall of 2021, the university convened a task force to invite feedback from the community and to develop recommendations on future plans. No final decisions have been made, and the university remains committed to a thoughtful process of open dialogue.”
Chavira said Snyder’s choice to remove the statue was “one more step you have made towards LMU losing its distinctive identity and becoming just like any secular school.”
“With all due respect to some on campus who see things differently, the statue of St. Junípero Serra should be returned to a place of honor,” Chavira said. “The saint’s statue should be accompanied by exactly the same contextualization, historical perspective, and critical evaluation that accompanies all the other statues, plaques, memorials, and quotations in stone on campus from figures including Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and the Virgin Mary.”
“That is to say, none,” Chavira added. “For these figures, we do not publicly document their real or alleged sins, or the sins of those associated with them, near their sites of commemoration….
“If a Planned Parenthood fundraiser can be held at LMU in Roski dining hall, certainly a statue of this country’s first Hispanic saint canonized by the first Hispanic pope can be in a place of honor and respect at LMU,” he said. “If you wish to have the statue placed inside, so as to lessen the likelihood of vandalism, it should be in a place of high visibility as it was before. We suggest putting it in Roski….”
The above comes from a Nov. 24 Catholic News Agency story.
how cute, they think President Snyder cares. I’m an alumna, and I know LMU is past the point of no return. It’s not going to become a Catholic school ever again. So just accept that and move on.
It’s good to see those alumni take action (instead of only complaining). Saint Junipero has been greatly maligned and slandered. Pope Francis would not have canonized him, if he were the bad person that some falsely portray him as. He was (and still is) the Apostle of California. Saint Junipero, pray for us.
What I don’t understand is that the University is supposed to be the center of learning. As such, a thorough historical investigation, rather than emotive outbursts, should be what guides the institution in evaluating Fr. Serra’s life and work. Moreover, there is the Church’s investigation already done which ought to aid LMU in such an investigation. But nowhere do I read that the university has done this work, rather, it has succumbed to the woke mob, who themselves seem void of the rigorous capacity to think critically, as is often the case with groupthink. Are not the administrators embarrassed by their failure to use all this as a teaching moment — an opportunity to educate? Am I missing something? If so please enlighten.
“…the university remains committed to a thoughtful process of open dialogue.” What? No “nuanced”? No “walking together”? I can hardly believe it. Or anything the university says, for that matter.
Dan, you didn’t miss anything; you hit the nail on the head. LMU never had any claim to intellectual curiosity. But at least in years past it didn’t bend the knee to nincompoops on scholarship. In another post, LMU’s annual tuition, costs, etc. were estimated at $53,000+. What?? When the quality of professors and their academic reputations are at best mediocre? So parents, smarten up! If your kids have any brains, try to get them into UCLA where they can earn a degree worth something.
And you know all this how? You are a student, faculty, staff?
As to your first question: I can read, and do.
As to your 2nd question: None of your business
Did you read that it is ranked #7 of 164 Catholic colleges in America?
I have never heard anything bad about it. I always thought it was considered a great Catholic college.
I did not consider it for my kids because I wanted a traditional Catholic education but found out those colleges have issues too.
You are suggesting a secular college and UCLA might be better depending on what you want from a college.
From niche I have read these things: parking is expensive; there is no Greek life; it is not a party school.
cd, LMU lost its Catholic identity, like all Jesuit schools, many years ago, and removed the “commitment to upholding Roman Catholic beliefs” from its Mission statement. It is a completely secularized, shamefully non-Catholic school, with lots of the typical immoral, radical leftist liberal “politically- correct” and “woke” professors teaching students. This has been the fate of all Jesuit schools, today, in the post-Vatican II era. As is now tragically typical, there are even professors who have worked with or associated with Planned Parenthood. As noted by many who are outraged, the Dean of the LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, Robbin Crabtree, has worked with Planned Parenthood. Waste of money.
LMU Waste, that is not what the commenter that I replied to was complaining about. But thank you. Like I said, I never considered it because I wanted traditional Catholicism.
LMU likes to tout itself as the university of silicon beach, pretending it’s a major research and technological institution. It doesn’t take much digging to realize LMU is just a four-year community college. Has no cache.
These are not Roman Catholic colleges or universities anymore, they are all woke communist leftist indoctrination institutions to teach young people to hate America, hate the military, hate the family and above all hate White people and the Roman Catholic Church. Funny it turned out the Democrats are the true racists and bigot’s who would’ve thought?
On a sidenote you must remember the Democrats of today or not the John F Kennedy Democrats of yesteryear, John F Kennedy would’ve been considered a conservative he was pro life, pro military, pro America, not a Democrat communist hating party
I signed the LMU alumni group’s petition to restore the statue of St. Junipero Serra.
Fr. James Martin, S.J. is scheduled to give a lecture at Marquette University, a so-called “Catholic” school! You can contact Dr. Michael R. Lovell, Marquette University President, at (414) 387-7223
You can also email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And please sign a petition to protest Fr. Martin’s lecture– here is the link: https://tfpstudentaction.org/petitions/urge-marquette-university-to-cancel-talk-by-fr-james-martin
k… ill post on my twitter and that will be my activism for the day
Do you know anything about Marquette University? Are you too young to remember Daniel McGuire?
Daniel McGuire, a former priest, was denounced by the USCCB for his heretical, evil, false teaching and promoting of abortion, contraception, homosexuality and same-sex unions, and euthanasia. I think he was at one time, head of Jesuit Marquette’s Theology Dept., Also, tragically– he is a renowned ethicist, and past president of the Christian Ethics Society.