One for the Books

Today the Church celebrates a priest I first learned about in grade school.

Public school.

(I’m pretty sure that would never happen today.)

Father Serra statue C JohnsonBut back in second grade in 1972, our Social Studies book had a whole section on the California missionaries, led by Father Junípero Serra.

I was fascinated.

Here were pictures, in my schoolbook, of men dressed like my uncle, who is a Franciscan friar. Here was the story of a priest who founded a string of Catholic churches throughout what later became the state of California at the same time the American Revolution was being fought in the eastern part of our nation.

In the Catholic middle school I attended, I learned about Father Serra again; Father Serra stained glass C Johnsonthis time the lesson was brought to us by speakers from the Serra Club, a group that promotes vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

As an adult, when I had the chance to visit California with Hubs in 1995, I made sure to see one of the mission churches there. California mission C JohnsonI’d love to take a trip along El Camino Real and see them all. They’re beautiful tributes to evangelization.

Here’s more about this energetic, dedicated Franciscan saint.

 

All images generously shared by Christine Johnson.

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