History of Christmas still celebrated at California missions

A 'miracle' has been ocurring at Mission San Juan Bautista for 200 years

The following comes from a December 1 Chicago Tribune article by Jay Jones: On the winter solstice, as the sun rises in the dip between two hills, the amazing accomplishment of some 18th-century priests becomes crystal clear. Through an open window at Mission San Juan Bautista, a brilliant beam of light enters, bathing the altar in gold before traveling directly up the … [Read more...]

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Should El Camino Real be honored?

Indian leaders oppose efforts by California Mission Foundation to have route linking state's missions declared a UNESCO Heritage Site

The following comes from an August Amah Matsun article by Cathy Castillo: A proposal by the California Mission Foundation to have the state’s famed El Camino Real route declared a UNESCO Heritage Site is being bitterly opposed by state Indians who said it would only “honor and glorify the brutal conquest” of Indian lands. “Our tribe and many other California Tribes … [Read more...]

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The golden era of California mission music

Loud drumming, women, and children singers within adobe walls

The following comes from a May 29 story in the Catholic Sentinel, a publication of the Oregon Catholic Press. …. Steven Ottományi, a California liturgical music composer and musicologist, has been studying the music sung two centuries ago in those mission churches, where Spanish Franciscans melded medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, classical and native music customs to help … [Read more...]

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Ventura candlelight procession honors canonization of Saint Junipero Serra

Archbishop Gomez gave the homily at Mass attended by 300

The following comes from a November 21 Ventura County Star article by Megan Diskin: The 300 or so people attending a special Mass on Saturday night were led to embrace a time of healing and love at Mission San Buenaventura as they celebrated the recent canonization of Junípero Serra. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, head of the nation's largest Catholic archdiocese, … [Read more...]

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California’s explicitly Christian heritage

If the goal is to eliminate Christian symbols and references from official materials, an enormous amount of work remains to be done

The following comes from an October 31 Deseret News article by William Hamblin and Daniel Peterson: From 1957 through 2004, the official seal of Los Angeles County, California, centered on a standing image of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards. In 2004, the county board of supervisors, faced with claims by the American Civil Liberties Union … [Read more...]

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On a new Saint and negative press

The canonization of Fr. Junipero Serra should have been a cause for great rejoicing for all Catholics and for the people of California, and, well, for everybody else. But it wasn't.

The following comes from an October 29 Catholic World Report article by Dale Ahlquist:   For most of the last two hundred plus years, newly canonized Father Junipero Serra had a good reputation among Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Considered “The Man Who Founded California”, the state honored him with a statue in the U.S. Capitol. He founded the first nine of … [Read more...]

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San Juan Capistrano City Council says no to Junipero Serra’s motto

“Always forward, never back” will not be inscribed on chamber walls

The following comes from an October 21 Orange County Register article by Erin Donnelly: SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – San Juan Capistrano’s City Council voted Tuesday not to install St. Junipero Serra’s motto onto the council chamber walls. The vote was 3-2 against, with Council members Kerry Ferguson and John Perry in support. Serra’s motto is "Siempre Adelante, Nunca Atras," a … [Read more...]

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