St. Paul in the first century AD evangelized the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians.

Coming forward to the 18th century, St. Junipero Serra (1713-1784) evangelized the Kumayaay, Payomkawichan, Tongva, Chumash, Tepothahl, Esselen, Ohlone and Miwak, all in California.

“He was a man in the line of St. Paul, an evangelizer to the Gentiles,” said Father Matthew Guckin, a Philadelphia priest who recently spent a sabbatical visiting California and following the footsteps of America’s most distinguished Catholic evangelizer. He has written an as-yet unpublished paper on his favorite American saint.

Father Guckin is no stranger to the area. In the 1980s as a lay businessman he often visited California and has been fascinated by Junipero Serra ever since.

During his stay, Father Guckin was mostly based at the Mission in Carmel, living in the same room that was occupied by Pope John Paul II during his visit to California.

“Regardless of modern attempts to rewrite history, Junipero Serra is a founding father of the State of California who made great attempts to improve the plight of Indians as well as bring them to Christ and was successful in doing so,” he wrote.

Perhaps most telling was the reply of Andy Galvin, who prefers to be known as an Indian, not a Native American. When asked by Father Guckin why he is devoted to St. Junipero Serra, Galvin replied, “Father Serra loved us.”

Full story at Catholic Philly.