(Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), The ruins of the colonial accounting building from the historic port of San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, have been restored and now house an exhibit room and a small restaurant. Junípero Serra … He was a man of mercy — not only in his words but also in his actions. The facts matter, distinctions need to made and the truth counts," he explained. Over the years, I have come to understand how the image of Father Serra and the missions evokes painful memories for some people. California has a rich history, much of which I have read about, being a native of its southern regions. In San Blas, a plaque on the town church recounts Serra’s 1768 departure to evangelize Alta California. As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, at a time when there is a renewed call – an awe-inspiring DEMAND – for justice, and for change, we must recommit ourselves to the work we have to do. It was from the historic port of San Blas, outside of Tepic, that Serra boarded a ship in 1768 for Loreto, Baja California, anxious to establish permanent Spanish settlements in Alta California and convert natives. It depicts, at rear, how his living quarters might have looked. Atop a cliff known as San Basilio Hill, a restored colonial building displays historic maps, sketches of Father Serra, paintings of contemporary Spanish dignitaries, indigenous and colonial artifacts and artistic interpretations of how San Blas might have looked in Serra’s time. ... And by celebrating Father Serra, he is recognizing the great Latino contribution to our culture and society. Whatever his legacy, Serra is the founder of San Diego, of San Juan Capistrano and, by default, all of modern California, said to be the sixth largest economy of the world and a global trend setter. A new religion was thrust upon the locals. Still closer to home, Mission San Juan Capistrano offers a self-guided audio tour bringing alive the early mission experience – how the locals lived, mission agriculture, the story of Serra’s life and how European civilization altered the Indians’ diet, health and way of life. "Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. Spanish missionary Juniper Serra established his first U.S. mission in 1769. It’s a fickle surf spot and locals like Miguel Ruiz Nolasco tend to surf at San Blas’ Playa del Borrego most of the time. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Diners at Restaurante Capistrano in the Hotel Fray Junipero Serra in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, may be surprised to see a full page of the menu dedicated to Father Serra and to the Mission San Juan Capistrano that Serra founded in 1776 in Alta California. He built eight more California missions over the next thirteen years. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. Worse, they began to die en masse to European diseases for which they had no immunity. San Blas has a Junipero Serra Primary School. A second plaque on the church recites a verse from a 19th Century Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, “The Bells of San Blas.”. Both Tepic and San Blas hold memories of the Spanish friar Pope Francis would elevate to sainthood in 2015. "St. Junípero Serra had nothing to do with these abuses. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. Has surfed on six continents (not Antarctica). He studied journalism and Spanish at USC on scholarship, graduating with honors. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Could it be that Fray Junipero Serra encountered the indigenous city now known as Los Toriles while approaching Tepic on an overland journey from Mexico City in 1767? A story board recounts Serra’s life, in Spanish. Use these or your own words: “Lord, I am not able to receive you now sacramentally. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Is it possible that Fray Junipero Serra walked San Blas’ Playa del Borrego in 1768 while waiting for his ship to be provisioned to depart for the Californias? Serra (1713-1784) founded nine Alta California missions and died the year the Tepic convent was built. “Remembering St. Junípero and the first missionaries changes how we remember our national story. What was the weather in Pretoria on 14 February 2013? Hackel’s book was to be my companion on a June visit to Nayarit. He was in the second graduating class at San Clemente High School, after having spent the first two years of high school in double sessions at historic Capistrano Union High School in San Juan. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), We have no way of knowing if Fray Junipero Serra saw swallows’ nests like this one in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, in 1768, as he prepared to depart to establish a chain of Franciscan missions in Alta California, including San Juan Capistrano. Remember the fact that we can make Spiritual Communions when the sacrament is not available. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), This statue in the plaza at San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, is dedicated to a fabled local personality, “La Loca de San Blas,” who remained faithful to her man, a fisherman, and ever hopeful of reunitiing with him after he was lost at sea. As Hackel relates, Serra set out from Loreto in a small mule train on March 28, 1769, for San Diego, arriving on June 29, believing that California’s indigenous people would embrace Christianity and European civilization. If you make it to Loreto, Serra’s initial destination on that 1768 departure, you can stay at a Hotel Fray Junipero Serra there. You can visit both. It proved to be a quixotic notion. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. There was submissiveness. I learned that San Blas, today a sleepy coastal village that hasn’t been overrun by high-end tourism, once was an important Mexican trading port. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. How long will the footprints on the moon last? The Blas Aguilar Adobe, a block from the mission, offers further perspectives about the Acjachemen nation, whose members would become known as the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians. Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. They faced corporal punishment if they didn’t conform to European ways. Next door, the department of tourism has furnished a room to resemble the humble living quarters that likely would have housed Serra in Tepic in 1767 and early 1768. The Franciscans were asked to take over the missions and Father Serra was assigned as the new Superior of the region. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), We are going to guess that Fray Junipero Serra (1713-1784) didn’t do the Jungle Boat Ride when he was in San Blas in 1768. The facts below speak for themselves. We even went on a field trip to Ramona’s Marriage Place, a mission and museum in the older section of San Diego. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. What did women and children do at San Jose? (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), The Padre Serra Room at Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala is a room where Serra is said to have resided during visits to San Diego from the other missions he established in California. It was a first step in the founding father of modern California’s journey to settle and evangelize a land then claimed by Spain as Alta California. For decades, San Clemente produced an annual outdoor summer pageant titled La Cristianita, “Little Christian.” It was based on the first Christian baptisms in Alta California – two dying babies that the Gaspar de Portola expedition encountered in July, 1769, in the hills behind San Clemente while heading north in search of Monterey. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Father Serra is said to have celebrated mass in 1783 at Mission San Juan Capistrano in what is now known as Serra Chapel, now restored and still an active place of worship. The indigenous people, by and large, wanted to be left alone to live as hunters and gatherers as they had for thousands of years. How much money do you start with in monopoly revolution? (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), A hill known as Presidio Park that overlooks Sea World was the original site Fray Junipero Serra settled in 1769, but he established the permanent mission farther inland, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. With the Sun Post, he began covering competitive surfing from the mid-1970s, with the birth of the the modern world tour and the origins of high school surf teams. Today he covers San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. Father Serra wasn’t with the expedition. Surfed on the USC surf team. The 1907 monument was a tribute to Father Junípero Serra: the 18th century Franciscan priest who presided over the colonizing Spanish mission system in California that resulted in the decimation of the Indigenous population, and who was made a saint by Pope Francis in 2015. Over the years, I have come to understand how the image of Father Serra and the missions evokes painful memories for some people. You make up your own mind. He aimed to establish a ladder of missions along a route to be known as El Camino Real, the King’s Highway. Mission visitors can enter Serra Chapel, where Serra is said to have celebrated mass in 1783, restored and still an active place of worship. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), The Hotel Fray Junipero Serra and shops fronting the building are a gathering place in downtown Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Mission San Juan Capistrano displays an ongoing exhibit, of which this story board is part, called “The Legacy of Saint Serra.” (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), The Great Stone Church was built at Mission San Juan Capistrano after Fray Junipero Serra’s 1784 death, but it remains the most prominent landmark at the mission Serra established in 1776. You can tour Tepic’s historic ex-convent, dedicated to Serra. We must remember that Junípero Serra was a colonialist leader who caused immense suffering. They accepted the colonists’ gifts and trade items. We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. Finally, Father Serra teaches us that the Church’s mission of evangelization is a mission of mercy. It was built the year Serra (1713-1784) died in Alta California after establishing a chain of nine Spanish missions. He was the embodiment of "a Church which goes forth." (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), This display in restored colonial structures on San Basilio Hill in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, imagines Fray Junipero Serra’s departure from San Blas on March 12, 1768, boarding the ship Purisima Concepcion intent on bringing civilization to Alta California. From the homily at the canonization Mass, Pope Francis summarizes the work and life of Junípero Serra: Today we remember one of those witnesses who … He would lead them to salvation even as their numbers dwindled to European diseases and as Spanish ways wiped out their way of life and the balance with nature that they had achieved. The San Clemente area, once the site of indigenous Panhe village, is a surf town. He got into surf photography and into world travel. Junípero Serra … Sometimes they stole. I recall we studied the missionaries and Father Serra’s establishing the missions while I was in elementary school in the 1950s. A hooded figure representing the future saint is seated at a desk. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), High on a hill overlooking the historic port of San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, is a visitor attraction known today as Fuerte San Basilio. "But history is complicated. Also on display is a book in English, Robert Richter’s “Search for the Camino Real, a History of San Blas and the Road to Get There.” After thumbing through it, I ordered it. What we remember about our past and how we remember it defines our national identity -- the kind of people we want to be, the values and principles we want to live by," he said. Updated June 19, 2020. San Blas, where Serra departed in 1768 for the Californias, has swallows too. It’s on the gulf coast of Baja California, where Serra firmed up his plans for Alta California. Over the years, I have come to understand how the image of Father Serra and the missions evokes painful memories for some people. Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. If you see comments that you find offensive, please use the “Flag as Inappropriate” feature by hovering over the right side of the post, and pulling down on the arrow that appears. Today we also celebrate the life and example of César Chávez, who died 22 years ago, on April 23, 1993. The Father Serra Room, “one of the only intact sections of the earliest mission,” is said to be where Serra likely stayed when in San Diego. We honor the contributions that native peoples made to building the Church in Southern California and we cherish their gifts in the mission of the Church today. Inside Tepic’s 1784 convent, a bigger-than-life mural depicts Serra converting native California children to Christianity. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. He was the embodiment of … As Orange County sets its sights on the upcoming 250th anniversary of Mission San Juan Capistrano, travelers to Mexico can get a jump start by visiting the onetime colonial Mexican communities of Tepic and San Blas. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Tepic’s schools include the Instituto Cultural Fray Junipero Serra, named for the onetime local resident who centuries later was proclaimed Catholic saint. Father Serra was founder of the first nine missions. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), For those who can’t travel to Mexico to experience that end of the Fray Junipero Serra story, San Diego’s Presidio Park has a Serra museum that describes how Serra established San Diego in 1769. Copyright © 2021 Multiply Media, LLC. The true historical record is clear on this point." Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), An exhibit room at the office of tourism in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, imagines how Fray Junipero Serra’s living quarters might have looked in 1767 when he stayed at a Tepic convent preparing to embark to Baja and Alta California. “Today, Serra is known as the Father of the California Missions. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. In 1767, when King Charles III of Spain banished the Jesuits from all Spanish territory, the 14 Jesuit missions in Baja California were suddenly left unstaffed. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Meet one of San Blas’ toothy residents. It seems he was sincere, convinced that he had what he saw as primitive, naked Indians’ best interests at heart. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), The origins of Mariachi music is one of the displays at Tepic’s Museum of Five Cultures, down the street from the Hotel Fray Junipero Serra. Father Serra entered a Franciscan monastery at age 17 and became a Franciscan friar seven years later, in 1737. When did organ music become associated with baseball? (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Tepic’s Museum of Five Cultures introduces its displays with the faces of Nayarit. When did sir Edmund barton get the title sir and how? (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala was the permanent San Diego mission that Fray Junipero Serra established, about seven miles inland from the Spanish presidio, near Qualcomm Stadium. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! When looking to replace the statue, I am asking the Joint Rules Committee to seek input from historians and leaders from communities – like the Native community – … You’re apt to spot a heron like this one. 250 years later, Mexico remembers Father Serra,…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), 250 years later, Mexico remembers Father Serra, too, American Airlines grounding emotional-support animals, Traveling to Hawaii during COVID-19: Requirements and what to know before you go, Johnson orders new shutdown rules for the UK, Board game night: 4 great new – or newish – board and card games. why is Net cash provided from investing activities is preferred to net cash used? He has covered the town since 1970. The former convent was built the year Serra died in Alta California after founding nine missions. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Presidio Park and the Serra museum include this monument to the indigenous people Serra encountered in 1769 in what is now San Diego, the Kumeyaay. Monuments to Ulysses S. Grant and Francis Scott Key, who both enslaved Black people, were also pulled down in the park that … We honor the contributions that native peoples made to building the Church in Southern California and we cherish their gifts in the mission of the Church today. "Historical memory is the soul of every nation. We honor the contributions that native peoples made to building the Church in Southern California and we cherish their gifts in the mission of the Church today. Father Junipero Serra is known as the Father of California's Spanish missions. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. Junípero Serra … (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), The roof of Tepic’s historic former convent built in 1784 was under restoration in June, as the 250th anniversary of his arrival in Tepic from Mexico City approached. Here are some West Coast examples: Schools: Serra Preschool, San Clemente; J Serra Catholic High School, San Juan Capistrano; Junipero Serra (Continuation) High School, San Juan Capistrano; St. Junipero Serra Catholic School, Rancho Santa Margarita; Junipero Serra High School, Gardena; Junipero Serra High School, San Mateo (Patriots football quarterback Tom Brady was once QB for the Padres); Serra High School, San Diego; Junipero Serra School, Carmel Mission, Churches: Serra Chapel, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Charity: Father Serra’s Pantry, San Juan Capistrano, Businesses: Serra Plaza (a San Juan Capistrano wedding venue); Serra Center, Milpitas (shopping); Serra Laser & Waterjet, Anaheim; Junipero Serra Arts, Daly City; Serra Lumber in Capistrano Beach (became Doheny Builders Supply), Neighborhoods: Serra Mesa, a section of San Diego next to Qualcomm Stadium, Avenues: Serra Mall, Stanford University; Serra Street, Palo Alto; Junipero Serra Road, San Juan Capistrano; Serra Avenue, Chino; Avenida Serra, San Clemente; Calle Serra, Rancho Santa Margarita; Via Junipero Serra, Riverside; Junipero Serra Way, Groveland; Calle Serra, San Dimas; Serra Road, Aptos; Junipero Serra Boulevard, San Francisco; Junipero Serra Freeway, I-280 (Bay Area); Junipero Serra Avenue, San Rafael, Parks: Father Serra Park, Los Angeles; Serra Cross Park, Ventura; Ladera Serra Park, San Dimas; Junipero Serra Park, San Bruno; Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego; Junipero Serra Peak (highest in Monterey County); Junipero Serra Museum, San Diego, For a sip: Serra Vineyards, Grants Pass, Oregon; FJ Serra Wines, available online (they proclaim that he “founded the first of California’s vineyards”), Statues: Most prominent one is at the entrance to a rest stop along I-280 rest; find others also in San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Monterey, Carmel. The Franciscan priest who cemented European culture in California, paving the way for everything that the trend-setting state has become today, spent months in the Mexican colonial outpost of Tepic, Nayarit, in 1767. Serra is fondly remembered in Tepic. Father Serra was, for a variety of reasons, and I’m sure we can talk about them as we go on, but for a variety of reason, Father Serra became, in the late 19th to early 20th century, he became a symbol in the Anglo understanding of California of everything that happened in … As UC Riverside Professor Steven Hackel relates in his biography “Junipero Serra: California’s Founding Father,” Serra arrived in Tepic in August 1767 – 250 years ago this month. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Juan Garcia, a San Blas environmental activist who produces the region’s original banana bread, says he is working with local officials to put together a commemoration of Fray Junipero Serra’s March 12, 1768, departure from San Blas. San Juan Capistrano, whose mission features a “Legacy of Saint Serra” exhibit, celebrates the city’s Serra-related status as “The Birthplace of Orange County,” proudly preserving the community’s mission past and its pre-mission past. Has visited 11 San Clementes. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. Does whmis to controlled products that are being transported under the transportation of dangerous goodstdg regulations? Never let me be separated from you.” (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), San Blas is known today for Matanchen Bay as a surf spot that can produce one of the longest waves in the world. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), This exhibit room at the office of tourism in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, portrays how Fray Junipero Serra might have lived in a Tepic convent in 1767. In 2017, Gomez praised Serra as an overlooked American founder. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), This exhibit room in a restored colonial building on San Basilio Hill in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, includes indigenous and colonial artifacts, early maps, images of Fray Junipero Serra and his contemporaries and paintings imagining how San Blas might have looked in Serra’s time. There are other portraits of Serra. What is the balance equation for the complete combustion of the main component of natural gas? He remained in San Diego, struggling to establish the settlement, direly threatened by Kumeyaay attacks. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG). Locals in San Blas are exploring ideas for commemorating the 250th anniversary of Serra’s departure for the Californias next March. There were rebellions. In Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, this chapel in a historic former convent is dedicated to Fray Junipero Serra, who lived in Tepic 250 years ago while en route from Mexico City to establish a chain of missions in Alta California. It required a 500-mile, five-week trek from the Franciscan College of San Fernando in Mexico City. All Rights Reserved. Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. (High school surfing didn't exist back then.) GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. Serra started the first California mission at San Diego in 1769. A mural, at left, pictures him converting indigenous children in Alta California. Serra’s July 1769, founding of San Diego is significant whether you live in San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Dana Point, Huntington Beach, Yorba Linda or Eureka. He was granted sainthood in 2015. These huts along the way to the spring were built for a movie set, our boatman said. He was the embodiment of "a … It reminds us that America’s first beginnings were not political. Near Serra’s namesake hotel is the Museum of Cinco Pueblos, telling the story of five cultures that make up Nayarit’s heritage, including indigenous people that Serra might have encountered on his overland journey to Tepic in 1767. ... We remember the tragedy that happened in 1974, when a bus carrying migrant workers from Mexico crashed and 19 were killed. San Juan’s mission is known worldwide for the annual return of swallows, a tiny bird that summers half the year in Argentina and the other half in Southern California’s summer, making month-long aerial migrations to and fro. It offers a multi-faceted view of how modern California came to be. Dana Point, named for a young American merchant seaman who collected cattle hides near San Juan Capistrano in 1835 and wrote a book about it, is a yacht harbor town with luxury resorts. (Photo by Fred Swegles; Orange County Register/SCNG), This is how Fray Junipero Serra is remembered in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, through a mural in the chapel of a former convent built in 1784. Today the ruins are restored, just outside the town of Ixtlan del Rio. Has written photo-illustrated profiles on most of them, with more in the works. Seven miles away, at San Diego’s Presidio Park, the site of the original 1769 settlement, a museum built in 1929 is dedicated to Serra. As we have seen, Father Serra had great compassion and love for the native peoples. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), Tour buses from Puerto Vallarta arrive daily for San Blas’ well known “Jungle Boat Ride” through a mangrove to a natural spring. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG), San Blas is a popular destination for birdwatchers, and the “Jungle Boat Ride” is part of the allure. On the town’s central plaza, you can stay at the Hotel Fray Junipero Serra, a downtown hub known to locals as “The Fray.” You can dine in the hotel’s Restaurant Capistrano, where a page of the menu is devoted to Serra’s life and to the Mission San Juan Capistrano that Serra founded in 1776. A rigorous three-month overland journey from Loreto would take Serra to San Diego to bring Christianity and civilization to a people he thought primitive and ready to embrace Christ. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. They moved from their villages, enticed by gifts and exposure to European goods that they came to cherish, to live as mission Indians, working as laborers for the Spaniards. The State of California, its cities, the culture, most everything modern that evolved traces back to Serra. When the new high school opened, he became first sports editor of the school paper, The Triton. Portola’s overland explorations, themselves a struggle, would eventually help lay groundwork for future missions. Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. For those who can’t make it to Tepic or San Blas, you can learn more about Serra and his founding of California closer to home by visiting Mission San Diego de Alcala. An 1812 earthquake destroyed it. San Juan Capistrano was the seventh Alta California mission founded by Serra. Some 1,200 miles south of San Juan Capistrano, Father Junipero Serra is one popular guy. Not political European diseases for which they had no immunity am not able to receive you sacramentally. On most of them, with more in the works the complete combustion of the Gospel in these,. 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