The following comes from a Jan. 16 story on the Catholic News Agency.
Two California bishops have voiced elation and gratitude at Pope Francis’ announcement that he will canonize Blessed Junípero Serra, when he comes to the United States next September.
“This is great news and I am very happy about it,” said Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles. “We are grateful to our Holy Father Pope Francis for this gift to California and the Americas.”
“It’s wonderful to think that this new saint once walked the road that is now the Hollywood Freeway and called it El Camino Real, ‘The King’s Highway’,” the archbishop said in a Jan. 15 statement.
“I believe Padre Serra’s canonization will help the Church’s new evangelization. It will remind us that our state and our country and all the Americas, are built on Christian foundations.”
Pope Francis made the surprise announcement of the canonization Jan. 15 during a press conference aboard the papal flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines.
“In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States,” he said.
Pope Francis praised him as “the evangelizer of the west in the United States.”
The date and location of the canonization have not been specified. However, Pope Francis will be in the United States in September to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Organizers are expecting him for the final Mass on Sept. 27 and say he could be there for events from Sept. 25-27.
Stops in New York and Washington, D.C., are also being considered, but have not been confirmed, said the Vatican Secretary of State in early January.
While there are not currently any official plans for the Pope to visit California, Archbishop Gomez said, “we are excited to hear more details from our Holy Father about his plans for this canonization.”
He noted that Blessed Serra is one of his own spiritual heroes and a major figure in the evangelization of the New World, as a founder of California with special ties to Los Angeles, where he founded two missions.
“(W)e thank God today for this special moment of grace,” the archbishop stated. “We rejoice with the universal Church, with the Franciscan religious order that Father Serra belonged to, and with the Catholic faithful in the two parishes and high schools that we have named for our new saint, Blessed Junípero Serra.”
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco also voiced gratitude and joy at the sainthood announcement.
“We are all elated at the news of the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra,” he said in a Jan. 15 video online, referring to the future saint as “the great apostle here in California.”
He noted his own personal connection with Bl. Serra, growing up three miles from the first mission founded by the friar, later living at the parish house of a church established by him in San Diego, and now shepherding the archdiocese of San Francisco, another of the missions founded by Bl. Serra.
To read the original story, click here.
Good call, Pope Francis!! Fr. Serra brought the blessings of the Catholic Church to the CA native peoples, a gift that they would not otherwise have known.
Notwithstanding this wonder, many people in CA curse the Franciscans, and Fr. Serra in particular. Calling them “conquerors” and far worse, the idiots on college campuses and government agencies reject any benefits that Fr. Serra had on indigenous peoples. Expect much opposition, Holy Father.
And, of course, all will get to the see the complete hypocrisy of American bishops with this Papal gesture. People like Abp. Gomez, who lacks even one missionary bone in his body, will extol the wonders of Fr. Serra and others (at least for awhile). Expect the message to be very muddled, here, as well, perhaps even from Pope Francis.
The missionaries are important only because they brought the Faith to California, and for no other reason. Diveristy, multi-culturalism, all that nonsense was absent in their thinking. Here were pagans, doomed for Hell without their loving intervention and instruction. Of course, almost no Zombie-Liberal Catholic believes this at all, so the “celebration” will likely take — somehow — a movement character: immigration reform, homosexual rights, reproductive freedom — all that stuff. But, Pope Francis, you have done an inspired thing. God Bless You!!
Had Father Serra done anything adverse to the natives he would never have become a Blessed.
Malarkey. The population declined rapidly during the Mission Period. There were about 225K indigenous people in Alta California in 1769. By 1840 there were less than 60K. That’s about as “adverse” as it gets.
That said, the decline was certainly not intentional. It was due to ignorance about disease, maintaining proper sanitation and adjusting to the different seasons.
don’t forget that fr serra began all his california work in baja california. alta only came later. will the pope decide to ‘go to the periphery’ and choose tijuana or mexicali as the location for canonization ?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Holy Father chose Tijuana?
Wrong. The Jesuits and not the Franciscans began the missionary efforts in Baja California. The secular government forced the Jesuits out and the Church replaced them with the Franciscans.
All those being canonized should conform to the requirements – including the two miracles.
If God wants someone canonized for veneration, the 2 miracles will happen.
It is my understanding that Fr. Serra has not had the 2 Miracles yet.
Pope Francis does not know about the personal life of those who lived before him.
We don’t want or need “saints” based upon the personal opinion of a Pope or Diocese Bishop.
Not following the formal and stringent procedure will cast doubt about “saints” in the future. And this is not good.
” Francis is going ahead and making Father Serra a saint despite the fact that technically a verified miracle would be necessary for this step, though the Pope has the authority to dispense with this requirement.
He did the same thing for Wednesday’s canonization of Father Joseph Vaz, Sri Lanka’s first recognized saint.
The Pope explained to the press corps that this method of “equipollent” canonization—that is, without the verification of a miracle and by express order of the Pope—is used when, “in practice, this person is venerated as a saint,” Francis said. ”
Most Californians including most Catholics have never heard of Blessed Junípero Serra, and therefore this person is not venerated as a Saint in the USA by very many.
I hope we are not being asked to rely on the ‘judgment’ of the Pope and Abp Gomez
rather than God who would give us two miracles if God wanted someone venerated.
The Pope always said he wants everyone to make a “MESS”.
A few years down the road people will not know what to believe because of the “MESS” made or encouraged by Francis.
If you travel at all in Baja California, you will see Bl. Junipero Serra venerated in many places, including public statues in his honor.
Baja California, is in MEXICO not the USA.
As someone else posted: ” Most Californians including most Catholics have never heard of Blessed Junípero Serra, and therefore this person is not venerated as a Saint in the USA by very many.”
All native Californians know about Fr. Serra. The history of the missions are even taught in the public schools here. We have shopping centers, statues and so forth named after him, and by the way, there are still native Californian tribal Indians here. Some have intermarried with other ethnic groups. Some liked him and some did not.
When I used the term “native Californian” in my last post, I meant those of us born here of any ethnic groups.
Anyone who knows anything about California history, anyone who has ever spent any time here, knows who Serra is. If you are from Oklahoma, maybe not so much, but California is bigger than most countries.
For purposes of discussion, I will stipulate that neither Padre Serra nor the Franciscans deliberately did anything adverse to the Native Americans. They worked to propagate the faith. But the other half of the history is that various traders, profiteers, and settlers also soon came on the scene. Remember why Columbus sailed West. The arrival of Spanish and Portugese Europeans was a mixed bag.
That depends on your definition of adverse, I guess.
Happening upon a 1,000 year old civilization, where the people are free and thriving, then intentionally destroying all traces of the civilization, forcing the population into labor camps by brutal force, and decimating the population (by 1/3 during the mission era, followed by near extinction in following couple of decades… all for a roughly 25% retention of the faith when the era of oppressive enforcement is over… Is that anything to celebrate?
Serra’s legacy is primarily a number of pretty buildings in picturesque locations and Spanish Saint names for cities in California… and virtually no trace of the people he sought to convert. There is plenty of historical record of the conditions of the missions. The presence of Spanish missionaries and conquistadors was nothing but negative for native Californians.
Maybe he was a good person, or believed he was… and was so resolute and blinded by his sense of superiority in faith and European culture that he went to the grave believing he was doing God’s work… but objectively, it’s difficult to think he’s deserving of sainthood. Is enforcing a faith that can only be sustained by threat of violence even successful missionary work?
… 8,000 year old civilization. (typo)
How can you stipulate to a fact that you have no knowledge of? The Franciscans were cruel to the natives, and you can’t just dismiss that with a wave of your “stipulation”. You don’t even know what the word means, for crying out loud.
Why don’t we ask the Native Americans how they feel about all this?
Never far from the Zombie-Left speaking notes on this are you, “Bob One”? The point is the conversion of pagans, “Bob One”, not what they felt like it at the time (although histories show the Indians had a positive regard for the Franciscans, generally).
And, “Bob One”, these Indians did not refer to themselves as “Native Americans”, but who they were within a defined Tribe. Your supercilious comments also reek of some stale liberal academia outrage, or other. In fact, the CA Indian Tribes were blessed to have the intervention of Fr. Serra in their lives (whether they knew it, or liked it, or not, at the time).
You know what, “Bob One”, someday, you should ask them. Although it is likely that you do not believe in the place, try to pretend that there is a Heaven and that you are there. Well, find the CA Indians of the time and ask them how they feel now about Fr. Serra. You will get a robust chorus of praise and thanksgiving, most assuredly.
Why do you even bother to comment here, given your sneering asides and juvenile sarcasm? You clearly do not like the Church and what it stands for. Your role, as you likely perceive it, is to disrupt believers and sow confusion and discord if you can. Notwithstanding your negative efforts, the record of Fr. Serra is secure. Perhaps you could start a hobby?
Post-Scriptum: Take a look at the progress of the wonderful seminary SSPX is constructing in rural Virginia, not far from Charlottesville (and the great UVA). There is a video on the Jan. 19th Rorate Caeli to this effect.
Looks like the Church is back among the pagans (or neo-pagans, anyway) again, to bring the benefits of the Faith to all. Sadly, tragically, few if any of the Catholic Churches anywhere near this new seminary even have any idea about the real Catholic Faith. The posts to CCD certainly prove this to be true; two “catholic” churches to be sure.
You are just trying to bait people.
If you really believe there are two Catholic churches then you are a heretic.
See the Catechism of St. Pius V.
Read for understanding, Anonymous, that helps.
St. C, how can you say than nearly all the churches near the new seminary even have any idea about the real Catholic Faith. It may be true, but you give no data to support your claim. As I remember, one of the “complaints” about Pope Benedict and his predecessor was they only appointed ultra-conservative/orthodox Bishops, most of whom still lead up the majority of dioceses in this country. Let’s stipulate that they are orthodox.and will not let serious abuses take place for long. Seminaries teach the faith. Check the curriculum at any of the seminaries in the country. There is a standard academic and a standard formation process. The real Catholic faith has not changed for millenniums. The outward rites may have changed, but not the dogma. So, here is an opportunity for you to become a bit more civil in your comments. People do know the real Catholic faith. People who follow the rubrics of the church are not Zombie Liberals. It is important that our comments not be offensive to others and should not border, in a few cases, on hate speech. We are Christians and should act that way don’t you think. I know that you are zealous in your love of tradition, but don’t let you zeal be offensive. The Zeal of the Lord will take care of the church and those that believe in him..
“SSPX?” That Protestant group at odds with the Catholic Church?
St. Christopher, if you are going to use a saint’s name, you should strive to behave like a saint. You seem to be letting your irritation get the best of you.
Saint Nicholas punched the heretic Arius in the face, Anonymous. Perhaps you should get past the childish saint stories that portray our rightful role models as wooden two-dimensional beings with nothing human about them.
God gives us our passions to be used in proper order, not just something to be subdued 100% of the time.
St. C, your comments, as usual, are interesting it somewhat accusatory.
History is written by the victors. Always has been. My question “ask the native Americans” was simply an effort to bring both sides of the story to the front. At the time of the Spanish conquest of baja and alta California, the Catholic church was intertwined with the government. Spain at that time had was a deeply Baroque country in the age of Enlightenment. The purpose of the colonization was the usual land grab and conversion on pagans. How that was done, when studied in later years, was problematic. The way the government/church used the native people, by today’s standards, would be close to slavery or at least harsh control. How much latitude the native people had relative to conversion is, by most accounts, problematic. By the standards of the times, perhaps less so. It doesn’t appear to be as bad as current day ISIS standards – convert or we will cut your head off – but harsh none the less by many accounts. Today’s Native American population has already started raising issues about this canonization. I suspect there are more than two sides to the coming discussion there too. Conversion by force, if there was any isn’t what you would hope for.
Because it’s not their call. We have had enough outsider interference in the cases of Pius XII and St. Josemaria Escriva.
The Native Americans alive today would not know Junípero Serra, as neither would Pope Francis or Abp Gomez.
This is why the official investigative process which includes 2 miracles is so important.
Why is there a need to skip this process?
If God wants someone venerated, there will be 2 miracles.
The Pope is protected from error in this matter by the infallibility of the Church. If the Pope decides to make Serra a saint, then we cam be assured that Serra is in heaven.
Some of the objectors sound like bean-counters, the rest make entrance to heaven sound like fraternity rush week…
No, the Pope is not infallible in this matter. In fact Pope Francis explained it to the secular press.
Catholics must clamor for the saintliness and canonization for it to take place.
This is not the case in California with the vast majority of Catholics.
The Pope explained to the press corps that this method of “equipollent” canonization—that is, without the verification of a miracle and by express order of the Pope—is used when, “in practice, this person is venerated as a saint,” Francis said.
Ah, the authority of Breitbart News! Bill, please note Mook Nino’s post, above.
hugh and anonymous, i would like to be able to refer to sources to read more about what you are sharing. have any historians consulted and reported on the spanish historical records where correspondence from goveremt and church missions usually reside? these are highly accurate regarding michoacan franciscan mission history. howard zinn was very good on finding carribbean spanish colonial misdeeds. who are the california history ‘whistleblowers’ among the academics?
There’s this one from 2013: (the author also collaborated on the Serra exhibition at the Huntington Library).
Fr. Serra’s own correspondence is collected here (available online)
There’s quite a lot of info about the Chumash at the SB Historical and Natural History museums.
Shelburne Cook’s collected work about the colonial era (c. 1940s) goes into a lot of the abuses of the mission era.
If it helps the case of the colonial Spanish, the early days of US California was much worse:
Here’s a Native American perspective that’s pretty spot on:
A previous commentator said I dont know what the word ‘stipulate’ means. Without cracking open my Websters “American Dictionary”, to quote verbatim, I stand by my usage. Stipulate means to agree to a [set of] facts, generally to permit discussion of points of difference. I recognize the word has precise usage in legal circles; I apologize if my usage did not meet that precise definition.
I was trying to give Padre Serra and the Franciscans the benefit of the doubt while making the point that the European migration as a whole (from all countries, England, France, Spain and Portugal) visited many questionable results on the then natives. Subsequent commentators were far more specific regarding these results.
Perhaps I should start using SIN NOMBRE (Spanish) or SANS APPELE (French) , rather than my real name.
If you crack the dictionary, you might learn that you used the word “stipulate” incorrectly.
Nothing against Fr. Junirpero Serra, but for V2 members, canonization has lowered itself on account of being fraught with possible fraud for the last declared esteemed winners to about to the same degree as the Nobel Peace Prize after Obama and other liberals have won. Just like Obama won before spending a couple months in office doing anything, those esteemed winners did more to destroy the Roman Catholic faith and sacraments than any others before them. You shall know them by their fruit, and the V2 fruits include the loss of millions of souls is indeed rotten to the core. So many millions of souls in jeopardy, how can anyone think that God will reward them for that, only if they admitted and begged for God’s forgiveness before they breathed their last!
Anomynous, Kindly put, You are wrong! You can prove that the V2 Church is Roman Catholic! Go ahead convince us! There is only one Roman Catholic Church and the changed liberal V2 Church is not it. It doesn’t look anything like the Roman Catholic Church prior to V2. Doctrine has changed, the sacraments have changed, liturgical abuse reeks, and the faith has been diluted and changed. Take for example, in the V2 Church 1 January is nolonger a Holy Day of Obligation! It is however in the Roman Catholic Church parishes that follow tradition! The liberal spirit of V2 opened the doors for extensive change which you deny and paint false pictures. Even Paul VIth said that the smoke of Satan had entered the Vatican. Luther did less destruction during his time and was excommunicated for his liberal interpretations that are so well accepted by the V2 wolves in sheeps clothing today. St. Christopher is correct.
Anomynous, Kindly put, You are wrong! You can prove that the V2 Church is Roman Catholic! Go ahead convince us! There is only one Roman Catholic Church and the changed liberal V2 Church is not it. It doesn’t look anything like the Roman Catholic Church prior to V2. Doctrine has changed, the sacraments have changed, liturgical abuse reeks, and the faith has been diluted and changed. Take for example, in the V2 Church 1 January is nolonger a Holy Day of Obligation! It is however in the Roman Catholic Church parishes that follow tradition! The liberal spirit of V2 opened the doors for extensive change which you deny and paint false pictures. Even Paul VIth said that the smoke of Satan had entered the Vatican. Luther did less destruction during his time and was excommunicated for his liberal interpretations that are so well accepted by the V2 wolves in sheeps clothing today. St. Christopher is correct
Marlene, it is odd that you consider Luther’s action as causing destruction at all, since you obviously agree with him on his essential point – that the status of the Church as the eternal creation of the Lord is subject to the determination of its individual followers. That In this case it is you, relying upon such a trifle as the reassignment of a Holy Day of Obligation, should stand as evidence as how wrong Luther was!
With Harvey, you are entitled to your opinions, but you are not empowered to determine who is in heaven. In this matter, you simply join millions of other people worldwide, who do not believe what the Church teaches. Why you would expect your opinion to matter to faithful Catholics is a mystery.
Brian S. I wonder how you came up being so confused that you think I agree with Luther ” – that the status of the Church as the eternal creation of the Lord is subject to the determination of its individual followers”. Makes me wonder what you were smoking to hallucinate like that. Obviously you haven’t a clue over what is important to God thinking that a once holy day of obligation now relegated to nothing special at all by the V2 church and the likes of you is just a mere “trifle”.
Goes to show the V2 church isn’t God-centered, but man-centered, you seem to endorse this, and this explains why it has fallen into Apostacy and won’t be around in a couple of generations. On the other hand the Roman Catholic parishes practicing tradition world-wide, are backed by Christ’s promise to be with Her always. They will not only survive, but thrive. Compared to the recent decisions of the V2 Church, which is counterfeit and deceiving, the real Roman Catholic Church of the Ages was following along with God’s wishes of Him being glorified, worshipped, honored, adored, and thanked for His infinite graces and material gifts to us when the1 January Feast was instituted and again at the beginning of this year.