Monday, July 1, 2013

California's Catholic roots

When my brother-in-law was studying for his doctorate at Stanford University in California, I visited with him and my sister there.  They gave my other sister and me a guided tour of the area including a wonderful day-long trip along the Pacific Coast.  California is a beautiful state!  We took in the Indian Missions along the coast and stopped, of course, in beautiful Carmel. (My brother-in-law was anxious to show us the famous golf course there!)  However, we were interested in the Missions founded by Franciscan Blessed Junipero Serra so we stopped at San Carlos Borromeo mission in Carmel.  As I knelt at the altar railing of this beautiful  church, designated as a Basilica, I looked down and there before me in the floor of the sanctuary was the tomb of Blessed Junipero! I was so astounded -  I hated to leave.

As I did a search on the internet for information about Blessed Junipero (I knew today was his feast day) I found out that today, July 1, is the 300th anniversary of his birth!  Click here for wonderful information about him.
There are 23 missions in California, nine were founded by Father Serra and the others by another Franciscan priest. (e.g. San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego etc.)  However, Father Serra was somewhat involved with all of them.  Many Californians, I am sure, have lost touch with the state's early Catholic roots.  Catholic missionaries have been involved in much of this country's early history but sadly, today, the Church is being persecuted for its positions on social issues. 
Let us pray to Blessed Junipero that he will implore God's blessing on our country. 



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