Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Missionary, Psalms 103:1-11, Genesis 18:16-33, Matthew 8:18-22, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Pray with Tenacity, Blessed Junipero Serra, Carmel Mission California, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 2 The Human Communion Article 2:1 Participation in Social Life - Authority

Monday,  July 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Missionary, Psalms  103:1-11, Genesis 18:16-33, Matthew 8:18-22, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Pray with Tenacity, Blessed Junipero Serra, Carmel Mission California, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 2 The Human Communion Article 2:1  Participation in Social  Life - Authority

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Monday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Joyful Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis July 1 General Audience Address :

Pray with Tenacity 

(2013-07-01 Vatican Radio)

We must pray with courage to the Lord, and with tenacity just as Abraham did. That’s what Pope Francis said to the faithful gathered for early morning Mass in the chapel of the Vatican guest house Santa Marta Monday. The Pope reiterated that praying is also “negotiating with the Lord,” even coming “out of left field” as Jesus teaches us.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Secretary Bishop Brian Farrell concelebrated today’s mass which was attended by members and staff of the same council.

In his homily, Pope Francis referred to Abraham’s courage and tenacity in appealing to the Lord to spare the city of Sodom from destruction. Pope Francis drew from the First Reading, observing that “Abraham is a courageous man and prays with courage.” Abraham, he said, “finds the strength to speak face to face with the Lord and attempts to defend that city.” And he does it with tenacity. In the Bible therefore, the Pope said, we can see that “prayer must be courageous.”

“When we speak of courage we always think of apostolic courage – going out to preach the Gospel, these sort of things…But there’s also (the kind of) courage (demonstrated) before the Lord. That sense of paralysis before the Lord: going courageous before the Lord to request things. It makes you laugh a bit; this is funny because Abraham speaks with the Lord in a special way, with this courage, and one doesn’t know: is this a man who prays or is this a‘phoenician deal’ because he’s bartering the price, down, down…And he’s tenacious: from fifty he’s succeeded in lowering the price down to ten. He knew that it wasn’t possible. Only that it was right…. But with that courage, with that tenacity, he went ahead.”

Sometimes, the Pope said, one goes to the Lord “to ask something for someone;” one asks for a favor and then goes away. “But that,” he warned, “is not prayer,” because if “you want the Lord to bestow a grace, you have to go with courage and do what Abraham did, with that sort of tenacity.” The Pope recalled that Jesus himself tells us that we must pray as the widow with the judge, like the man who goes in the middle of the night to knock on his friend’s door. With tenacity.

In fact, he observed, Jesus himself praised the woman who tenaciously begged for the healing of her daughter. Tenacity, said the Pope, even though it’s tiring, is really “tiresome.” But this, he added, “is the attitude of prayer.” Saint Teresa, he recalled, “speaks of prayer as negotiating with the Lord” and this “is possible only when there’s familiarity with the Lord.” It is tiring, it’s true, he repeated, but “this is prayer, this is receiving a grace from God.” The Pope stressed here the same sort of reasoning that Abraham uses in his prayer: “take up the arguments, the motivations of Jesus’ own heart.”

“To convince the Lord with the Lord’s own virtues! That is beautiful! Abraham’s appeal goes to the heart of the Lord and Jesus teaches us the same: ‘the Father knows things. The Father – don’t worry – sends rain down on the just and the sinners, the sun for the just and for the sinners.’ With that argumentation, Abraham forges ahead. I will stop here: praying is negotiating with the Lord, even becoming inappropriate with the Lord. Praying is praising the Lord in the beautiful things he shares and telling him that he bestow these beautiful things on us. And (appealing to him) who is so merciful, so good, to help us!”

Pope Francis then urged everyone to spend no more than five minutes each day to read Psalm 102:
‘Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.’

“Pray all of this psalm and with this we learn the things we must say to the Lord when we request a grace. ‘You who are Merciful and forgiving, grant me this grace:’ just as Abraham did and as Moses did. We forge ahead in prayer, courageous, and with these motivations which come right from the heart of God himself.”


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: Summer

Vatican City, Summer2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father for the Summer of 2013:

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

7 July, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9:30am, Mass with seminarians and novices in the Vatican Basilica.

14 July Sunday , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29.  


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 07/01/2013.


June 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World on the 32nd Anniversary of the apparitions: “Dear children! With joy in the heart I love you all and call you to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart so I can draw you still closer to my Son Jesus, and that He can give you His peace and love, which are nourishment for each one of you. Open yourselves, little children, to prayer – open yourselves to my love. I am your mother and cannot leave you alone in wandering and sin. You are called, little children, to be my children, my beloved children, so I can present you all to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

June 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, in this restless time, anew I am calling you to set out after my Son - to follow Him. I know of the pain, suffering and difficulties, but in my Son you will find rest; in Him you will find peace and salvation. My children, do not forget that my Son redeemed you by His Cross and enabled you, anew, to be children of God; to be able to, anew, call the Heavenly Father, "Father". To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive, because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need. I, as a mother, desire my children to be in a community of one single people where the Word of God is listened to and carried out.* Therefore, my children, set out after my Son. Be one with Him. Be God's children. Love your shepherds as my Son loved them when He called them to serve you. Thank you." *Our Lady said this resolutely and with emphasis.

May 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Today's Word:  missionary  mis·sion·ar·y [mish-uh-ner-ee]  

Origin:  1635–45;  < Neo-Latin missiōnārius.  See mission, -ary
noun Also, mis·sion·er.
1. a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work.
2. a person strongly in favor of a program, set of principles, etc., who attempts to persuade or convert others.
3. a person who is sent on a mission.

4. pertaining to or connected with religious missions.
5. engaged in such a mission, or devoted to work connected with missions.
6. reflecting or prompted by the desire to persuade or convert others: the missionary efforts of political fanatics.
7. characteristic of a missionary.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 103:1-11

1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
3 He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
4 he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
9 his indignation does not last for ever, nor his resentment remain for all time;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.
11 As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.


Today's Epistle -  Genesis 18:16-33

16 From there the men set out and arrived within sight of Sodom, with Abraham accompanying them to speed them on their way.
17 Now Yahweh had wondered, 'Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do,
18 as Abraham will become a great and powerful nation and all nations on earth will bless themselves by him?
19 For I have singled him out to command his sons and his family after him to keep the way of Yahweh by doing what is upright and just, so that Yahweh can carry out for Abraham what he has promised him.'
20 Then Yahweh said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin is so grave,
21 that I shall go down and see whether or not their actions are at all as the outcry reaching me would suggest. Then I shall know.'
22 While the men left there and went to Sodom, Yahweh remained in Abraham's presence.
23 Abraham stepped forward and said, 'Will you really destroy the upright with the guilty?
24 Suppose there are fifty upright people in the city. Will you really destroy it? Will you not spare the place for the sake of the fifty upright in it?
25 Do not think of doing such a thing: to put the upright to death with the guilty, so that upright and guilty fare alike! Is the judge of the whole world not to act justly?'
26 Yahweh replied, 'If I find fifty upright people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place because of them.'
27 Abraham spoke up and said, 'It is presumptuous of me to speak to the Lord, I who am dust and ashes:
28 Suppose the fifty upright were five short? Would you destroy the whole city because of five?' 'No,' he replied, 'I shall not destroy it if I find forty-five there.'
29 Abraham persisted and said, 'Suppose there are forty to be found there?' 'I shall not do it,' he replied, 'for the sake of the forty.'
30 Abraham said, 'I hope the Lord will not be angry if I go on: Suppose there are only thirty to be found there?' 'I shall not do it,' he replied, 'if I find thirty there.'
31 He said, 'It is presumptuous of me to speak to the Lord: Suppose there are only twenty there?' 'I shall not destroy it,' he replied, 'for the sake of the twenty.'
32 He said, 'I trust my Lord will not be angry if I speak once more: perhaps there will only be ten.' 'I shall not destroy it,' he replied, 'for the sake of the ten.'
33 When he had finished talking to Abraham Yahweh went away, and Abraham returned home.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Matthew 8:18-22

When Jesus saw the crowd all about him he gave orders to leave for the other side. One of the scribes then came up and said to him, 'Master, I will follow you wherever you go.' Jesus said, 'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.' Another man, one of the disciples, said to him, 'Lord, let me go and bury my father first.' But Jesus said, 'Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.'

• From the 10th to the 12th week of ordinary time, we have meditated on chapters 5 to 8 of the Gospel of Matthew. Following the meditation of chapter 8, today’s Gospel presents the conditions of the following of Jesus. Jesus decides to go to the other side of the lake, and a person asks to follow him (Mt 8, 18-22).

• Matthew 8, 18: Jesus orders to go to the other side of the lake. He had accepted and cured all the sick whom people had brought to him (Mt 8, 16). Many people were around him. Seeing that crowd, Jesus decides to go to the other side of the lake. In Mark’s Gospel, from which Matthew takes a great part of his information, the context is diverse. Jesus had just finished the discourse of the parables (Mk 4, 3-34) and said: “Let us go to the other side!” (Mk 4, 35), and, once on the boat from where he had pronounced the discourse (cf. Mk 4, 1-2), the disciples took him to the other side. Jesus was so tired that he went to sleep on a cushion (Mc 4, 38).

• Matthew 8, 19: A doctor of the Law wants to follow Jesus. At the moment in which Jesus decides to cross the lake, a doctor of the law came to him and said: “Master I will follow you wherever you go”. A parallel text in Luke (Lk 9, 57-62) treats the same theme but in a slightly diverse way. According to Luke, Jesus had decided to go to Jerusalem where he would have been condemned and killed. In going toward Jerusalem, he entered the territory of Samaria (Lk 9, 51-52), where three persons ask to follow him (Lk 9, 57.59.61). In Matthew’s Gospel, who writes for the converted Jews, the person who wants to follow Jesus is a doctor of the law. Matthew insists on the fact that an authority of the Jews recognizes the value of Jesus and asks to follow him, to be one of his disciples. In Luke, who writes for the converted pagans, the persons who want to follow Jesus are Samaritans. Luke stresses the ecumenical openness of Jesus who accepts also the non Jews to be his disciples.

• Matthew 8, 20: The response of Jesus to the doctor of the law. The response of Jesus is identical both in Matthew and in Luke, and it is a very demanding response which leaves no doubts: “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests but the son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”. Anyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus has to know what he is doing. He should examine the exigencies and estimate well, before taking a decision (Lk 14, 28-32). “So in the same way none of you can be my disciple without giving up all that he owns”. (Lk 14, 33).

• Matthew 8, 21: A disciple asks to go and bury his father. Immediately, one who was already a disciple asks him permission to go and bury his deceased father: “Lord, let me go and bury my father first”. In other words, he asks Jesus to delay crossing the lake for later after the burial of his father. To bury one’s parents was a sacred duty for the sons (cf. Tb 4, 3-4).

• Matthew 8, 22: The answer of Jesus. Once again the response of Jesus is very demanding. Jesus does not delay his trip over to the other side of the lake and says to the disciple: “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead”. When Elijah called Elisha, he allows him to greet his relatives (1K 19, 20). Jesus is much more demanding. In order to understand all the significance and importance of the response of Jesus it is well to remember that the expression Leave the dead to bury their dead was a popular proverb used by the people to indicate that it is not necessary to spend energies in things which have no future and which have nothing to do with life. Such a proverb should not be taken literally. It is necessary to consider the objective with which it is being used. Thus, in our case, by means of the proverb Jesus stresses the radical exigency of the new life to which he calls and which demands to abandon everything to follow Jesus. It describes the exigencies of following of Jesus. To follow Jesus. Like the rabbi of that time Jesus gathers his disciples . All of them “follow Jesus” To follow was the term which was used to indicate the relationship between the disciple and the master. For the first Christians, to follow Jesus, meant three very important things bound together: a) To imitate the example of the Master: Jesus was the model to be imitated and to recreate in the life of the disciple (Jn 13, 13-15). Living together daily allowed for a constant confrontation. In “Jesus’ School” only one subject was taught: The Kingdom and this Kingdom is recognized in the life and practice of Jesus. b) To participate in the destiny of the Master: Anyone who followed Jesus should commit himself like he to be with him in his privations (Lk 22, 28), including in persecutions (Mt 10, 24-25) and on the Cross (Lk 14, 27). He should be ready to die with him (Jn 11, 16). c) To bear within us the life of Jesus: After Easter, the light of the Resurrection, the following took on a third dimension: "It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me" (Ga 2, 20). It is a question of the mystical dimension of the following, fruit of the action of the Spirit. The Christians tried to follow in their life the path of Jesus who had died in defence of life and rose from the dead thanks to the power of God. (Ph 3, 10-11).

Personal questions
• To be a disciple of Jesus. to follow Jesus. How am I living the following of Jesus?
• The foxes have their lairs and the birds of heaven their nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head. How can we live today this exigency of Jesus?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Junípero Serra

Feast DayJuly 1

Patron Saint:  n/a
Attributes: n/a

Monument of Junípero Serra (with Juaneño Indian boy) on plaza de San Francisco de Asis in Havana
Junípero Serra, O.F.M., (/nɨˈpɛr ˈsɛrə/; Spanish: [xuˈnipeɾo ˈsera]), known as Fra Juníper Serra in Catalan, his mother tongue,[1] (Catalan: [ʒuˈnipər ˈsɛrə]) (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, which at the time were in Alta California of the Las Californias Province in New Spain.[2] He began in San Diego on July 16, 1769, and established his headquarters in Monterey, California at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.[2]

The missions were primarily designed to convert the Indians, and develop self-sufficient landed enterprises. The architectural design of the mission continues to be a major influence on California architecture. Serra not only dealt with church officials, but also with Spanish officials in Mexico City, to deal with his frequent controversies with the military officers who commanded the nearby garrisons. He brought to California the European products that eventually became central to the state's agriculture empire: oranges, lemons, olives, figs, grapes, and vegetables, as well as cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. He was not eager to see Spanish settlers move to California and therefore he made no effort to develop export crops that would have built the economy and attracted settlers. The treatment of the Indians at the missions has been controversial, for they were under tight controls, were given corporal punishment (beatings), and were not allowed to leave.

Fr. Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988.


Serra was born Miquel Josep Serra[3] in Petra, Majorca, Spain. On November 14, 1730, he entered the Alcantarine Franciscans, a reform movement in the Order, and took the name "Junipero" in honor of Saint Juniper, who had also been a Franciscan and a companion of Saint Francis.[2] For his proficiency in studies he was appointed lector of philosophy before his ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Later he received a doctorate in theology from the Lullian University in Palma de Mallorca, where he also occupied the Duns Scotus chair of philosophy until he joined the missionary College of San Fernando de Mexico in 1749.

That same year he journeyed to Mexico City, where he taught. He was bitten by a snake and suffered from it throughout his life, though he continued to make his journeys on foot whenever necessary. He requested a transfer to the Sierra Gorda Indian Missions some 90 miles north of Santiago de Querétaro, where he spent about nine years. During this time, he served as the mission's superior, learned the language of the Pame Indians, and translated the catechism into their language. Recalled to Mexico City, he became famous as a most fervent and effective preacher of missions. His zeal frequently led him to employ extraordinary means in order to move the people to penance: he would pound his breast with a stone while in the pulpit, scourge himself, or apply a lit torch to his bare chest. He established ten missions including Velicata.

In 1768, Father Serra was appointed superior of a band of 15 Franciscans for the Indian Missions of Baja California. The Franciscans took over the administration of the missions on the Baja California Peninsula from the Jesuits after King Carlos III ordered them forcibly expelled from New Spain on February 3, 1768. Serra became the "Father Presidente." On March 12, 1768, Serra embarked from the Pacific port of San Blas on his way to the Californias. Early in the year 1769, he accompanied Governor Gaspar de Portolà on his expedition to Alta California. On the way, he established the Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá on May 14 (the only Franciscan mission in all of Baja California). When the party reached San Diego on July 1, Father Serra stayed behind to start the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the first of the 21 California missions (including the nearby Visita de la Presentación, also founded under Serra's leadership).

Junipero Serra moved to the area that is now Monterey in 1770, and founded Mission San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo. He remained there as "Father Presidente" of the Alta California missions. In 1771, Fr. Serra relocated the mission to Carmel, which became known as "Mission Carmel" and served as his headquarters. Under his presidency were founded Mission San Antonio de Padua, Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission San Francisco de Asís, Mission Santa Clara de Asís, and Mission San Buenaventura. Fr. Serra was also present at the founding of the Presidio of Santa Barbara on April 21, 1782, but was prevented from locating the mission there because of the animosity of Governor Felipe de Neve.

In 1773, difficulties with Pedro Fages, the military commander, compelled Father Serra to travel to Mexico City to argue before Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa for the removal of Fages as the Governor of California Nueva. At the capital of Mexico, by order of Viceroy Bucareli, he printed up Representación in 32 articles. Bucareli ruled in Father Serra's favor on 30 of the 32 charges brought against Fages, and removed him from office in 1774, after which time Father Serra returned to California. In 1778, Fr. Serra, although not a bishop, was given dispensation to administer the sacrament of confirmation for the faithful in California. After he had exercised his privilege for a year, Governor Felipe de Neve directed him to suspend administering the sacrament until he could present the papal brief. For nearly two years Father Serra refrained, and then Viceroy Majorga gave instructions to the effect that Father Serra was within his rights.

During the American Revolutionary War (1775–83), Father Serra took up a collection from his mission parishes throughout California. The total money collected amounted to roughly $137, but the money was sent to General George Washington. Serra also received the title Founder of Spanish California. During the remaining three years of his life he once more visited the missions from San Diego to San Francisco, traveling more than 600 miles in the process, in order to confirm all who had been baptized. He suffered intensely from his crippled leg and from his chest, yet he would use no remedies. He confirmed 5,309 persons, who, with but few exceptions, were Indians ("neophytes") converted during the 14 years from 1770.

On August 28, 1784, at the age of 70, Father Junípero Serra died at Mission San Carlos Borromeo. He is buried there under the sanctuary floor.[4]

Intellect, personality and character

Father Junipero Serra was considered brilliant by his peers. Prior to his departure to the Americas at age 27, he was ordered by his superiors to teach philosophy in professorial status to students at the [Convento de San Francisco]. Among his students were fellow future missionaries Francisco Palóu and Juan Crespí.[5]



Statue of Junípero Serra at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego
Franciscans saw the Indians as children of God who deserved the opportunity for salvation, and would make good Christians. in terms of intellectual skills, but Franciscans considered Indians to be childlike and in need of protection. Converts were segregated from Indians who had not yet embraced Christianity, lest there be a relapse. Discipline was strict, and the converts were not allowed to come and go at will. Serra successfully resisted the efforts of Governor Felipe de Neve to bring Enlightenment policies to missionary work, because those policies would have subverted the economic and religious goals of the Franciscans.[6]

The Mission in Carmel, California containing Serra's remains has continued as a place of public veneration. The burial location of Serra is southeast of the altar and is marked with an inscription in the floor of the sanctuary. Other relics are remnants of the wood from Serra's coffin on display next to the sanctuary, and personal items belonging to Serra on display in the mission museums. A bronze and marble sarcophagus depicting Serra's life was completed in 1924 by Catalan sculptor Joseph A. Mora. Father Serra's remains have not been transferred to the sarcophagus.

The chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano, built in 1782, is thought to be the oldest standing building in California. Known as "Father Serra's Church," it has the distinction of being the only remaining church in which Father Serra is known to have celebrated the rites of the Roman Catholic Church (he presided over the confirmations of 213 people on October 12 and October 13, 1783).

Statuary and monuments

Fray Junípero Serra. Esculture in The National Statuary Hall

  • A gold statue of heroic size represents him as the apostolic preacher at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
  • Jane Elizabeth Lathrop Stanford, wife of Leland Stanford, governor and U.S. Senator from California, though she was not a Roman Catholic herself, had a granite monument erected to honor Father Serra at Monterey.
  • In 1884, the Legislature of California passed a concurrent resolution making August 29 of that year, the centennial of Father Serra's burial, a legal holiday. Many of Serra's letters and other documentation are extant, the principal ones being his "Diario" of the journey from Loreto to San Diego, which was published in Out West (March to June 1902) along with Serra's "Representación."'
  • A statue of Friar Junípero Serra is one of two statues representing the state of California in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol. The statue, sculpted by Ettore Cadorin, depicts Serra holding a cross and looking skyward.
  • When Interstate 280 was built in stages from Daly City to San Jose in the 1960s, it was named the Junipero Serra Freeway. Along the freeway in Hillsborough, California, is a statue of Serra. It stands on a hill on the northbound side and has a large pointing finger facing the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific.

Points of interest

Many cities in California have streets, trails, and other features named after Serra. Examples include Santa Barbara, which contains Alameda Padre Serra (Father Serra's Street), running from Mission Santa Barbara along the base of the Riviera, the hill overlooking the city; Serra Cross Park in Ventura, site of the cross Serra erected at Mission San Buenaventura's founding; and San Diego, in which Father Junipero Serra Trail runs through the Mission Trails Regional Park to Santee. Among the many schools named after Serra are Junípero Serra High School in the San Diego community of Tierrasanta, Junípero Serra Elementary School in Ventura, J Serra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Serra Catholic School(Grades JK-8) in Rancho Santa Margarita, Junípero Serra High School in Gardena, CA and Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo.


Both Spain and the United States have honored Fr. Serra with postage stamps.

Relationship with Native Californians

Most Native American converts in the early years were forcibly captured by Spanish soldiers, and once in the mission were not allowed to leave.[7]

According to George Tinker, himself an Osage/Cherokee and professor at Iliff School of Theology in Denver Colorado [8] Serra's legacy included forced labor of converted Indians in order to support the missions, and creating an environment equivalent to a concentration camp. Overwhelming evidence suggests that "native peoples resisted the Spanish intrusion from the beginning".[9] Tinker also states that Serra's intentions in evangelizing were honest and genuine.[10]

...recent scholarship recognizes like Serra played a significant role in the institutions and practices that brought extreme hardship and pain to native communities.[11]
Serra's own views are documented. In 1780, Serra wrote: "that spiritual fathers should punish their sons, the Indians, with blows appears to be as old as the conquest of the Americas; so general in fact that the saints do not seem to be any exception to the rule."[12] Serra pushed for a system of laws to protect natives from some abuses by Spanish soldiers, whose practices were in conflict his.[2]

Mark A. Noll, a professor at the religious Wheaton College in Illinois has noted that this reflected an attitude, common at the time, that missionaries could, and should, treat their wards like children, including the use of corporal punishment.[13] On the other hand, Tinker [14] argues that it is more appropriate to judge the beatings and whippings administered by Serra by 18th century Native American standards (since they were the recipients of the violence) and notes, for instance, that Native Americans were unaccustomed to punishing their children.

Dr. Iris Engstrand, professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of San Diego described him as "much nicer to the Indians, really, than even to the governors. He didn't get along too well with some of the military people, you know. His attitude was, 'Stay away from the Indians.' I think you really come up with a benevolent, hard-working person who was strict in a lot of his doctrinal leanings and things like that, but not a person who was enslaving Indians, or beating them, ever....He was a very caring person and forgiving. Even after the burning of the mission in San Diego, he did not want those Indians punished. He wanted to be sure that they were treated fairly..."[2]


Junípero Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, this being the critical next-to-last step towards canonization, or recognition of sainthood, in the Catholic Church.[15] His feast day is July 1 and his is a patron saint of vocations.[16]

During Serra's beatification, questions were raised about how Indians were treated while Serra was in charge. Complaints of Franciscan mistreatment of Indians began in 1783. The famous historian of missions Herbert Eugene Bolton, gave evidence favorable to the case in 1948, and the testimony of five other historians was solicited in 1986 to bolster the canonization process when it came under attack.[17][18][19]


    • Cook, Sherburne Friend (1976-10-28). The conflict between the California Indian and white civilization. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03142-5.; Cook did not discuss Serra but looked at the missions as a system
    • Deverell, William Francis; William Deverell, David Igler (2008-10-31). A Companion to California History. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-1-4051-6183-1.
    • Fitch, Abigail Hetzel (1914). Junipero Serra: The Man and His Work.
    • Geiger, Maynard J. The Life and Times of Fray Junipero Serra, OFM (2 vol 1959) 8 leading scholarly biography
    • Geiger, Maynard. "Fray Junípero Serra: Organizer and Administrator of the Upper California Missions, 1769-1784," California Historical Society Quarterly (1963) 42#3 pp 195-220.
    • Gleiter, Jan (1991). Junipero Serra.
    • Guest, Francis P. "Junipero Serra and His Approach to the Indians," Southern California Quarterly, (1985) 67#3 pp 223-261; favorable to Serra
    • Hackel, Steven W. "The Competing Legacies of Junípero Serra: Pioneer, saint, villain," Common-Place (2005) 5#2
    • Hackel, Steven W. Junípero Serra: California's Founding Father (2013)
    • Hackel, Steven W. Children of Coyote, Missionaries of St. Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769-1850 (2005)
    • Sandos, James A. (2004). Converting California: Indians and Franciscans in the Missions. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10100-3.
    • Luzbetak, Lewis J. "If Junipero Serra Were Alive: Missiological-Anthropological Theory Today," Americas, (1985) 42: 512-19, argues that Serra's intense commitment to saving the souls of the Indians would qualify him as an outstanding missionary by 20th century standards.

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:   Carmel Mission,  California

    Carmel Mission California
    Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission, is a Roman Catholic mission church in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

    It was the headquarters of the original upper Las Californias Province missions headed by Father Junípero Serra from 1770 until his death in 1784.

    A mission also was the seat of the padre presidente, Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. It was destroyed in the mid-19th century, only to be restored beginning in 1884.[13][14] It remains a parish church today. It is the only one of the California Missions to have its original bell tower dome.

    Carmel is the mission's second location. It was first established in nearby Monterey, California near the native village of Tamo on June 3, 1770. It was named for Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, Italy. It was the site of the first Christian confirmation in Alta California.[5] When the mission moved, the original building continued to operate as the Royal Presidio Chapel and later became the current Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo.

    In May 1771, Spain's viceroy approved Serra's petition to relocate the mission to its current location. [15] Serra wanted to put some distance between the mission's neophytes and the Presidio of Monterey, the headquarters of Pedro Fages, who served as military governor of Alta California between 1770 and 1774, and with whom Serra was engaged in a heated power struggle.[16] Serra also did not want the Indian neophytes to be influenced by the bad behavior of the Spanish soldiers and the agricultural land was better around the new mission.[17] By the end of 1771, the population of mission was 15 with an additional 22 baptized Indians, out of a total population of northern California of 60.[17] Farming was not very productive and for several years the mission was dependent upon the arrival of supply ships.[17] Historian Jame Culleton wrote in 1950, "The summer of '73 came without bringing the supply ship. Neither Carmel nor Monterey was anything like self-supporting."[17]

    "Mission Carmel", as it came to be known, was Serra's favorite and, being close to Alta California's capital of Monterey served as his headquarters. When he died on August 28, 1784, he was interred beneath the chapel floor.

    The Esselen and Ohlone Indians who lived near the mission were taken in and trained as plowmen, shepherds, cattle herders, blacksmiths, and carpenters. They made the adobe bricks, roof tiles and tools needed to build the mission. In the beginning, the mission relied on bear meat from Mission San Antonio de Padua and supplies brought by ship from Mission San Diego de Alcalá. In 1794, the population reached its peak of 927, but by 1823 the total had dwindled to 381.

    On November 20, 1818, French privateer Hipólito Bouchard raided the nearby Monterey Presidio before moving on to other Spanish installations in the south.

    The mission was in ruins when the Roman Catholic Church regained control of it in 1863 . In 1884 Father Angel Casanova began some restoration. In 1931 Monsignor Philip Scher appointed Harry Downie to be curator in charge of mission restoration. Two years later, the church transferred from the Franciscans to the local diocese and became a regular parish church. In 1961, the mission was designated as a minor basilica by Pope John XXIII. In 1987, Pope John Paul II visited the mission as part of his U.S. tour.


    As a result of Downie's dedicated efforts to restore the buildings, the Carmel mission church is one of the most authentically restored of all the mission churches in California. Mission Carmel has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. It is an active parish church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey.

    In addition to its activity as a place of worship, Mission Carmel also hosts concerts, art exhibits, lectures and numerous other community events. In 1986, then-pastor Monsignor Eamon MacMahon acquired a magnificent Casavant Frères organ complete with horizontal trumpets. Its hand-painted casework is decorated with elaborate carvings and statuary reflecting the Spanish decorative style seen on the main altar.
    The mission also serves as a museum, preserving its own history and the history of the area. There are four specific museum galleries: the Harry Downie Museum, describing restoration efforts; the Munras Family Heritage Museum, describing the history of one of the most important area families; the Jo Mora Chapel Gallery, hosting a cenotaph sculpted by Jo Mora as well as rotating art exhibits; and the Convento Museum, which holds the cell Serra lived and died in, as well as interpretive exhibits.

    The mission grounds are also the location of the Junipero Serra School, a private Catholic school for kindergartners through 8th grade.

    At one end of the museum is a special chapel room containing some of the vestments used by Serra.

    Notable interments

    Several notable people are buried in the church and churchyard.
    • Juan Crespí (1721–1782), Spanish missionary and explorer
    • Fermín Lasuén (1736–1803), Spanish missionary
    • José Antonio Roméu, Spanish governor of California
    • Junípero Serra (1713–1784), founder of the mission


    • Forbes, Alexander (1839). California: A History of Upper and Lower California. Smith, Elder and Co., Cornhill, London.
    • Jones, Terry L. and Kathryn A. Klar (eds.) (2007). California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity. AltaMira Press, Landham, MD. ISBN 0-7591-0872-2.
    • Krell, Dorothy (ed.) (1979). The California Missions: A Pictorial History. Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-376-05172-8.
    • Leffingwell, Randy (2005). California Missions and Presidios: The History & Beauty of the Spanish Missions. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. ISBN 0-89658-492-5.
    • Paddison, Joshua (ed.) (1999). A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush. Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA. ISBN 1-890771-13-9.
    • Ruscin, Terry (1999). Mission Memoirs. Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA. ISBN 0-932653-30-8.
    • Smith, Frances Rand (1921). The Architectural History of Mission San Carlos Borromeo, California. California Historical Survey Commission, Berkeley, CA.
    • Vancouver, George (1801). A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World, Volume III. Printed for John Stockdale, Piccadilly, London.
    • Yenne, Bill (2004). The Missions of California. Advantage Publishers Group, San Diego, CA. ISBN 1-59223-319-8.



     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 2:1   Participation in Social  Life - Authority

    1699 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man (chapter one). This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity (chapter two). It is graciously offered as salvation (chapter three).

    1877 The vocation of humanity is to show forth the image of God and to be transformed into the image of the Father's only Son. This vocation takes a personal form since each of us is called to enter into the divine beatitude; it also concerns the human community as a whole.

    Article 2
    I. Authority
    1897 "Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all." By "authority" one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.
    1898 Every human community needs an authority to govern it.Leo XIII, Immortale Dei; Diuturnum illud. The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.
    1899 The authority required by the moral order derives from God: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."Rom 13:1-2; cf. 1 Pet 2:13-17
    1900 The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.
    Pope St. Clement of Rome provides the Church's most ancient prayer for political authoritiesas early as 1 Tim 2:1-2 "Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel, following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to them, they may find favor with you."St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 61: SCh 167,198-200
    1901 If authority belongs to the order established by God, "the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens."GS 74 # 3
    The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them. Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order, and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed.
    1902 Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a "moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility":GS 74 # 2
    A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 93, 3, ad 2
    1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."John XXIII PT 51
    1904 "It is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the 'rule of law,' in which the law is sovereign and not the arbitrary will of men."