Father Serra worked in the Sierra Gorda area of north-central Mexico for the next 17 years. This website uses cookies to provide you with the best browsing experience. In pairs, one student reads a quote aloud, then both will make a quick note about each quote: With approximately 10 minutes left in class, give the students time to individually reflect, in writing, on the exercise. On the way to California, Serra's leg was so sore that he could barely walk, but he refused to go back to Mexico. Watching the scenes around the Golden State and the country, I’m thinking he was a prophet. Reporter 1: Back to you in … Junípero Serra, the saint whom the Church remembers today (July 1) on her liturgical calendar, certainly suffered persecution in his lifetime, and has become an object of scorn due to a false narrative about the Church’s missionary efforts in the New World. In commemoration of the founder ... many Masses, sermons, and catechetical lessons, the endless labor of building civilization in the wilderness, and much of this work while vexed by a Spanish colonial bureaucracy that did not fully share his aims. They started out with 300 people, but only about half of them remained. Saint Junipero Serra's Story. He wore heavy shirts with sharp wires pointed inward, whipped himself until he bled, and used a burning candle to scar his chest. Padre Junipero Serra by Francis Palou Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo- Library of Congress, HABS CAL,27-CARM,1--20 Junipero Serra preaching- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-132753 Book/Journal Source(s) Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. In 2015, during his visit to the United States, Pope Francis canonized Serra, making him an official saint. When he joined the order, he changed his name to Junipero. Father Serra was born Miguel Jose Serra on November 24, 1713, at Petra on the island of Mallorca in Spain. He first went to Mexico before being given responsibility over missions in Baja California. He suffered bouts of scurvy (a disease caused by lack of Vitamin C), and yet he walked and rode a horse for hundreds of miles through the rough and dangerous terrain. ‘Here is the truth. By Lisa M. Hendey on November 9, 2015 Articles from Our Contributors, Book Notes. St. Junipero Serra (1713-84) is a significant name in California’s history. At that time, the average life expectancy was about 35 years. Born and raised in Petra, Mallorca, Spain, he responded to God’s call and was ordained a priest in the Franciscan order in 1737. . CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION. Given the recent events surrounding the statues of Padre Serra, Robert shines light on the history and Christianity of the saint.. Robert M Senkewicz is Professor of History Emeritus at Santa Clara University. Christian Clifford is a veteran Catholic-school teacher and author of three books about Catholic Church history in Spanish-Mexican California. Junipero Serra was eager to do so. (photo: FREDERIC J. His Early Life. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son. The first occupants of the mission were the Tonga, called the Gabrieleno by the early missionaries. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. Junipero Serra, an 18th century Spanish missionary, will be canonized as a saint during Pope Francis's trip. Junípero: (as he limps away, smiling) I don’t need luck; I have God! . Early Life . Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. St. Junipero Serra residence hall at Franciscan University of Steubenville. A central figure was Father Junipero Serra, who forcibly converted thousands of Native Americans to the Catholic faith. He became a professor of theology. In 1787, the Franciscans took over the California missions from the Jesuits, and Father Serra was put in charge. However, his spirituality can be challenging for one to discern due to the bulk of his extant writings pertaining to his role as an administrator. How does what St. Junípero Serra wrote inspire you to bring others to Christ? In fact, Junípero has dedicated his life’s work to Our Lady of Guadalupe. SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CS) — Here is a timeline of key points in the life, ministry and sainthood cause of Blessed Juniper Serra, the 18th-century Spanish missionary to … From 1740-1749 he lived a comfortable life as a university professor. By using Learn Religions, you accept our, California Mission Facts and Answers to Frequent Questions, Quick Guide to Carmel Mission for Visitors and Students, Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores). By Carol Kuruvilla. In 1776, when the American Revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. Father Serra was a small man who worked hard despite physical ailments that included asthma and a sore on his leg that never healed. The country of Spain wanted to get control of California — and the ocean trade routes off its shores — before the Russians pushed into it from the north. By 1790, 11 missions and four presidios had been constructed, occupied by an estimated 30 priests and 211 soldiers. Born on November 24, 1713, on the Spanish island of Majorca, Junipero Serra came from humble beginnings. Junipero Serra Biography, Life, Interesting Facts. Serra was an intellectual man who was considered to be brilliant. We trust in God’s plan. Junipero Serra - "Father of the Missions" Writing Sheet. Inspiration from the patron saint of vocations, “Today, like [St. Junípero Serra], may we be able to say: Forward! Junipero Serra. In March 1769 Captain Gaspar Portolá and Father Junípero Serra left Baja California, and reached San Diego Bay on July 1, 1769, where they were surrounded by an estimated 300,000 Indians. San Juan was the seventh of nine missions established under the direction of this indomitable Spaniard. At age 16, he entered the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church, a group of priests who follow the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. It is hard to incorporate one’s deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in a letter that deals with requesting plates from a government official. Apostle of California: Junípero Serra. Father Junipero Serra is known as the Father of California's Spanish missions. There is a black and white portrait of Father Serra. He once told the territory’s governor that if the natives should kill him, they should be forgiven and pardoned. From us there is nothing except ingratitude.” That comes from a sermon by Saint Junípero Serra, founder of the California missions. It seemed like he would spend his life teaching and learning, but that changed in 1750. Yet he was also a man of his time, using harsh forms of personal penance and upholding corporal punishment, actions peculiar to us today. As if this weren't enough, Serra was known for actions intended to deny his bodily passions and appetites, sometimes causing himself pain. A tragic unintended consequence of the cultural exchange was that the majority of California Indians who did convert died due to diseases for which they had no immunity. Not everyone admires Serra, however. The Spanish priests and soldiers carried European diseases that the natives had no immunity to. Junipero Serra portrait- Internet Archive- from Life of Ven. Along the way, a mosquito bit him, and the bite became infected. St. Junípero Serra (1713-1784) came from humble beginnings. The Spanish established missions in North America to spread Christianity to Native Americans . Several bishops further addressed St. Junípero’s life and legacy — and the movement to remove his statues — in articles and letters. Native American groups have long argued that Junipero Serra — an 18th-century California missionary — was a white supremacist and a colonizer. In essence, the students present what is most important to them and help others to reflect and pray in the future, thus creating a charism at the grassroots level through a focus group. In order to clear up misconceptions about our school’s namesake, I decided to present a Serran spirituality to the community. Class with St. Junípero Serra Lesson Plan. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Junípero Serra was a Spanish priest. By the time the last mission closed its doors in 1836, due to the Secularization Law passed in 1834 by the Mexican Congress, 142 Franciscan priests had ministered in Alta California. … He penned what would go down in history as the native bill of rights. Select the quote that was most memorable to you and respond to one of these questions: Sign up today for free resources, activities, lessons plans, special promotions, and much more! Lesson Plans; Pre K Lesson Plans; You are at: Home » Articles from Our Contributors » New Children's Book Shines Light on Life and Heart of St. Junípero Serra. Over the course of the remainder of his life, Bl. How does what St. Junípero Serra wrote relate to the world? Jared Zimmerer, Director of the Word on Fire Institute, recently sat down with Robert Senkewicz, the author of a fascinating book on the life and Missions of St. Junípero Serra. Set up the context and objective by reading this introduction to the class: St. Junípero Serra was a complex man living in complex times. Most importantly, he brought thousands of natives into the fold of Holy Mother Church and therefore saved many souls. New Children's Book Shines Light on Life and Heart of St. Junípero Serra 0. To request permission to reprint online, email editor@catholicteacher.com. At age 16, he entered the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church, a group of priests who follow the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. Unfortunately, not all the results of Spanish settlement were good. Inaugurated in 1959, the museum houses a number of objects related to the life of Junípero Serra, from Mallorca, to Mexico and the Californias, as well as artifacts related to the missions he founded. He was buried under the sanctuary floor. There he was given at age 16 to the Franciscan order to educate, became a Franciscan friar, was ordained a priest, and became a professor of philosophy training others. Among other accomplishments, Serra introduced agriculture and irrigation systems and converted the Indians to Christianity. Perhaps ironically, one of those who worked to get sainthood for Serra included a descendant of Native Americans. Governor Jerry Brown (CA-D) called Junípero Serra “one of the innovators and pioneers” in California history. The Catholic Church wanted to convert the Native Americans into devoted Christians. Divide the students into pairs, giving each pair a copy of the printable quotes. When he joined the order, he changed his name to Junipero. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. Good luck, Junípero Serra! Occupancy 181 men. Native Americans In California Are Toppling Statues Of This Catholic Saint. His life will surely inspire them to be living Gospels. Serra was sick when he arrived in Vera Cruz, Mexico, but he insisted on walking from there all the way to Mexico City, 200 miles away. Divide the students into pairs, giving each pair a copy of the printable quotes. These quotes are provided to help one get to know his beliefs and how they affected his ministry. July 1—Memorial Liturgical Color: White Patron Saint of California and vocations “Always forward!” was his motto and his life The United States of America’s impressive Capitol building in Washington, D.C., includes the majestic, semicircular Statuary Hall. St. Junípero Serra identified himself as a spiritual father. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. That year a gray-robed Franciscan founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, now famous for its annually returning swallows. All rights reserved. Saint Junipero was born in 1713 on the island of Majorca, Spain. They went for political and religious reasons. Well, we will let you continue on your way. (The crowd cheers.) When the Indians caught those diseases, they often died. In 1750, Father Serra was considered old at age 37. New York: … Terrific to use as part of your California Missions unit. Today, a diverse parish there celebrates Sunday Masses in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. I initially created the lesson for a high-school class, but it can be adapted for middle-school students. This is an 8-1/2 x 11 Letter size document with blank lines for students to write about Father Serra. Father Serra was born Miguel Jose Serra on November 24, 1713, at Petra on the island of Mallorca in Spain. The museum exudes calm and peace, and the broad porch at the entrance beckons the visitor in. St. Junipero Serra’s zeal for souls, defense of human rights and dignity, and his firm reliance on God’s providence and mercy leaves a lasting and relevant example for all Catholics. St. Junípero Serra, pray for us! He personally founded nine of California's 21 Spanish missions and served as president of the California missions from 1767 until he died in 1784. All content copyright © Today’s Catholic Teacher/Bayard.com. Saint Junipero Serra, Priest 1713 – 1784. ..Junipero Serra and the California Missions Pt 1.Junipero Serra and the California Missions Pt 2 This injury bothered him for the rest of his life. St. Junipero Serra’s zeal for souls overflowed in his preaching, gradually orienting him to the frontier of California, where so many souls were waiting to hear the good news of the Gospel. The suspects are accused of toppling a statue of St. Junípero Serra, an 18th-century Catholic missionary criticized by Indigenous activists. She has visited every corner of California and helps others enjoy her home state as much as she does. At the age of 56, Serra went to California for the first time with explorer Gaspar de Portola. It was an act that some people applauded and some condemned. Junípero Serra was born on November 24, 1713, as Miguel José Serra in the village of Petra on the island of Majorca off the eastern coast of Spain. Father Junipero Serra (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) was born as Miquel Josep Serra i Ferrer to a family of humble means. Begin with the Prayer for the Intercession of Junípero Serra. In 1987, Pope John Paul II beatified Father Serra, a step on the way to sainthood. Set up the context and objective by reading this introduction to the class: St. Junípero Serra was a complex man living in complex times. In certain circles Junípero Serra symbolizes the negative outcomes of Spanish colonialism, though the historical record proves otherwise (the Church collected 2,420 documents — 7,500 pages total — of Serra’s writings and 5,000 pages of materials written about him from those who knew him, and testimony of people inspired by his life). (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) In his homily for the Mass and canonization of Blessed Junípero Serra on Sept. 23, 2015, Pope Francis shared, “Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. Because of that, California's Indian population declined from about 300,000 in 1769 to about 200,000 in 1821. Spread the good news about St. Junípero Serra with your students. Hackel's book begins with Serra's early life in Mallorca. A statue of St. Junipero Serra stands outside San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California. But in 1749 he traveled to Mexico, and for the next 20 years he served the Christian Indians north of Mexico City. In 1769 he founded the first mission (Christian community) in California at the Spanish settlement of San Diego. His parents Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer were from the farming community. Innovations in Catholic Education Awards: 2020, Innovations in Catholic Education Awards : 2019, Innovations in Catholic Education Awards 2018, Innovations in Catholic Education Awards 2017, Innovations in Catholic Education Awards 2016, Prayer for the Intercession of Junípero Serra, Prayer for Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time. Serra spent the rest of his life as head of the missions in California, founding nine missions in all, including Mission San Carlos de Borromeo in Carmel where he had his headquarters. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Serra and Portola arrived in what is now San Diego on July 1, 1769. For more information, visit Missions1769.com. Reporter 1: Very good. He is quoted as saying "Even though I should die on the way, I shall not turn back.". . As a result, students learn the qualities and traits of St. Junípero Serra and turn to him to intercede on their behalf. In spite of that, he volunteered to become a Franciscan missionary in the New World. Serra traveled with the soldiers and established missions in the new territory. Junipero Serra, like many religious people, genuinely believed he knew the path to salvation and eternal life—and that was something he dedicated much of his adult life to sharing with Californians. … A statue of St. Junípero Serra in Sacramento, in a 2015 file photo. He was a small, frail man who was also in ill health. Father Serra died in 1784 at the age of 70 at Mission San Carlos de Borromeo. May be reproduced for classroom/parish use with full attribution as long as the content is unaltered from its original form. Saint Junípero Serra (1713-1784) took his baptismal promises very seriously and lived them to a heroic degree. Two of these priests were killed at the hands of natives. Bishop Robert McElroy of the Diocese of San Diego referred to Serra as a “foundational figure” of the Golden State. He’s currently being expunged from the state — and I wouldn’t bet against the U.S. Capitol building before too long. Clifford’s writings have appeared in California Teacher, Catholic San Francisco, Catholic Standard, and Today’s Catholic Teacher, and on Aleteia, Catholic Exchange, Crux, Patheos, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Let’s keep moving forward!” — Pope Francis, at Junípero Serra’s canonization on September 23, 2015. A police vehicle is seen parked near a statue of Father Junípero Serra in front of the San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California, on June 21, 2020. He improved their lives and brought them Christian civilization. Saint Junipero Serra was a friend and dedicated father to the natives. In spite of all this, he traveled more than 24,000 miles in his lifetime. Early Life . That’s why in 2015 when Pope Francis, the first leader of the Catholic Church from Latin America, awarded the 18th century Spanish priest sainthood, there was a backlash from Native Americans. Begin with the Prayer for the Intercession of Junípero Serra. Junipero Serra’s early life as a Franciscan was characterized by a course of rigorous academic study, then teaching and preaching. Betsy has been a travel writer since 1998. The following are excerpts from three of their responses. In 1769, he finally was given the chance to do what he had wanted to do for so long: be a missionary priest.