Father Junipero Serra’s Canonization

| October 5, 2015 | 0 Comments
The Knights of Columbus provided security over the relic of Father Junipero Serra.

The Knights of Columbus provided security over the relic of Father Junipero Serra.

This past month was an extremely eventful time for Catholics. I am Catholic and was excited about the arrival of Pope Francis to the United States. I remember when he was elected to head the Catholic Church. It was a day of celebration because he is also a Franciscan.

For those of us who are Catholics, we know that Franciscans are of a special order. They are dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate and they believe in living a simple life.

Pope Francis is commonly referred to as a kind and humble person who shows humility toward others. It is said he has chosen to live in a simple, two-room apartment rather than the luxurious papal accommodations in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. In choosing to live more simply, Pope Francis broke a tradition that had been upheld by popes for more than a century. For me, this is refreshing. He wants to be with the people.

Pope Francis recently supported the canonization of Father Junipero Serra, who was also a Franciscan. I believe that Pope Francis felt it was time to recognize the work and mission of Fr. Serra, which was to bring Catholicism to the United States. To learn more, I have read the diary, also referred to as the journal, of Fr. Serra from Loreto, CA to San Diego, CA.

It is obvious by what I read that Fr. Serra sought to change the people he met from being “pagans” to Christians. I also learned that he attempted to feed and find safety for those he met during his difficult journey.

This past month I was invited to attend the canonization ceremony at the Mission San Diego de Alcala. It was held at noon, Sunday, September 27. Father Peter Escalante, who is a native San Diegan, presided over the mass. In order to accommodate more people, the liturgy took place in St. Francis Chapel. Following the liturgy there was a procession to the Mission Church with a relic of Saint Junípero Serra which was placed on display for private prayer and devotion throughout the day.

The Knights of Columbus were on hand to contribute to the ceremony. As I was reminded, the Knights of Columbus are responsible for guarding the priest. However, the order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.

What I am leading to is that the day of celebration was very much about the common message of Pope Francis. He says that as Catholics we should be charitable, kind and humble. Hundreds of Catholics attended the mass and ceremony that followed. The tone and feeling of the mass and ceremony was gentle, peaceful and unassuming.

I left the Mission San Diego de Alcala feeling calm and at peace. For all of those who participated in the day’s ceremony, I thank and applaud them for their contributions. It was memorable and I believe life changing.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Events, Featured Articles, Local News

About the Author ()