New Children's Book Shines Light on Life and Heart of St. Junípero Serra 0. Divide the students into pairs, giving each pair a copy of the printable quotes. A central figure was Father Junipero Serra, who forcibly converted thousands of Native Americans to the Catholic faith. In 1787, the Franciscans took over the California missions from the Jesuits, and Father Serra was put in charge. 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. CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION. 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. St. Junipero Serra (1713-84) is a significant name in California’s history. Hackel's book begins with Serra's early life in Mallorca. The suspects are accused of toppling a statue of St. Junípero Serra, an 18th-century Catholic missionary criticized by Indigenous activists. The Spanish established missions in North America to spread Christianity to Native Americans . Junipero Serra was eager to do so. New York: … The first occupants of the mission were the Tonga, called the Gabrieleno by the early missionaries. On the way to California, Serra's leg was so sore that he could barely walk, but he refused to go back to Mexico. St. Junípero Serra (1713-1784) came from humble beginnings. Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Serra traveled with the soldiers and established missions in the new territory. Sign up today for free resources, activities, lessons plans, special promotions, and much more! It was an act that some people applauded and some condemned. He was a small, frail man who was also in ill health. 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. Betsy has been a travel writer since 1998. By 1790, 11 missions and four presidios had been constructed, occupied by an estimated 30 priests and 211 soldiers. 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. In 1769 he founded the first mission (Christian community) in California at the Spanish settlement of San Diego. In order to clear up misconceptions about our school’s namesake, I decided to present a Serran spirituality to the community. Native Americans In California Are Toppling Statues Of This Catholic Saint. Bishop Robert McElroy of the Diocese of San Diego referred to Serra as a “foundational figure” of the Golden State. Today, a diverse parish there celebrates Sunday Masses in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. His Early 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. Begin with the Prayer for the Intercession of Junípero Serra. He was buried under the sanctuary floor. There is a black and white portrait of Father Serra. But in 1749 he traveled to Mexico, and for the next 20 years he served the Christian Indians north of Mexico City. . This website uses cookies to provide you with the best browsing experience. 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). 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. 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). This is an 8-1/2 x 11 Letter size document with blank lines for students to write about Father Serra. 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. Saint Junipero Serra was a friend and dedicated father to the natives. He wore heavy shirts with sharp wires pointed inward, whipped himself until he bled, and used a burning candle to scar his chest. Christian Clifford is a veteran Catholic-school teacher and author of three books about Catholic Church history in Spanish-Mexican California. Select the quote that was most memorable to you and respond to one of these questions: Serra was an intellectual man who was considered to be brilliant. Early Life . Over the course of the remainder of his life, Bl. Born and raised in Petra, Mallorca, Spain, he responded to God’s call and was ordained a priest in the Franciscan order in 1737. 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. 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. All content copyright © Today’s Catholic Teacher/Bayard.com. ..Junipero Serra and the California Missions Pt 1.Junipero Serra and the California Missions Pt 2 The following are excerpts from three of their responses. In 1776, when the American Revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. Among other accomplishments, Serra introduced agriculture and irrigation systems and converted the Indians to Christianity. 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. In spite of all this, he traveled more than 24,000 miles in his lifetime. Several bishops further addressed St. Junípero’s life and legacy — and the movement to remove his statues — in articles and letters. From us there is nothing except ingratitude.” That comes from a sermon by Saint Junípero Serra, founder of the California missions. He became a professor of theology. Because of that, California's Indian population declined from about 300,000 in 1769 to about 200,000 in 1821. (photo: FREDERIC J. Class with St. Junípero Serra Lesson Plan. 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. 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. 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. Born on November 24, 1713, on the Spanish island of Majorca, Junipero Serra came from humble beginnings. ‘Here is the truth. Native American groups have long argued that Junipero Serra — an 18th-century California missionary — was a white supremacist and a colonizer. Father Serra died in 1784 at the age of 70 at Mission San Carlos de Borromeo. 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. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Junipero Serra, an 18th century Spanish missionary, will be canonized as a saint during Pope Francis's trip. 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