San Diego Mission pastor celebrates its 250 years with apology

"Great pain to the Native American people”

The following comes from a Jan. 10 story by Ken and Chris Stone in the Times of San Diego. The 22nd successor of Saint Junipero Serra as pastor of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, California’s first church, opened what he called a memorable year in its history Thursday by seeking to heal wounds of its early years. Launching a year of 250th anniversary events, the Rev. Peter … [Read more...]

Archbishop Gomez recognizes ‘first peoples’ in Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Archbishop of Los Angeles signs new protocols acknowledging Native Americans as deserving special recognition and pastoral concern

Archbishop José H. Gomez signed new protocols acknowledging that Native Americans of California, as the First People of the Land, deserve special recognition and pastoral concern. “These protocols that we are signing today are not a treaty or a legal document. They are a promise. A promise that we will work together so that our future will be more hopeful than our past,” said … [Read more...]

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...]

Bishop Edward Clark: sorry for the failures of the church

LA auxiliary bishop’s Tekakwitha Conference remarks

The following comes from a July 21 California Catholic Conference post: We stand this evening on the sacred traditional lands of the Ohlone Nation. I want to begin by thanking our Ohlone brothers and sisters for welcoming us to their homeland. I am speaking to you this evening as chairman of the task force on Native American Historic Concerns of the California Catholic … [Read more...]

Native American Catholics across US to gather in Oakland

Four-day conference offers opportunity 'to learn how to forgive, let go of the bitterness'

The following comes from a July 11 Catholic Voice article by Michele Zurich: The annual gathering of Native American Catholics comes to the Bay Area this month, as the Tekakwitha Conference, which draws participants from all over the country, begins four days of liturgies, keynote addresses, workshops and social events. "Saint Kateri — The Bridge Between Our Faith and Our … [Read more...]

The Catholic origins of Thanksgiving

Debunking what G.K. Chesterton calls 'The Myth of the Mayflower'

The following comes from a November 25 Catholic World Report article by Dale Ahlquist: What most people believe about Thanksgiving is a variation on what I was taught in public school in the 1960s. The Pilgrims came to Plymouth on a ship called the Mayflower. They were the first English settlers in America. They came for religious freedom. And they had a big feast with … [Read more...]

Shock after Junipero Serra statue vandalized days after sainthood declared

Vandals targeted headstones of people of European descent

The following comes from a September 28 LA Times article by Kate Linthicum: Days after Pope Francis elevated Father Junipero Serra to sainthood, vandals struck the Carmel Mission where the remains of the controversial missionary are buried, toppling statues and damaging gravesites. The vandals, who police say acted sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning, splashed … [Read more...]

You don’t have to pray to Junipero Serra

Serra: Saint, Sinner forum draws heat from both sides

The following comes from an August 10 Catholic Voice article by Michele Jurich:   What began as a presentation on the canonization of Junipero Serra, founding father of the California mission system, was met by protesters who were invited to the table and ended leaving the leader of the religious community that sponsored it "profoundly grateful and profoundly … [Read more...]

Chumash tribe plans anti-Junipero Serra demonstration

Protest coming to Santa Barbara mission

The following comes from a May 9 Edhat article: As Junipero Serra is schedule to become a Catholic Saint, many Native Americans, including the Chumash, oppose the sainthood claiming a misrepresentation of mission history. The pope is scheduled to proclaim the Spaniard a saint during his first U.S. visit to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 23. The American Indian Movement of … [Read more...]