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placeholder July 13, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA
'Serra Saint and Sinner' presentation in Fremont

The operative word in the title of the upcoming presentation about Father Junipero Serra, to soon-to-be-canonized founder of the California missions, is "and."

"Junipero Serra — Saint and Sinner," said Andrew Galvan, who with his cousin Vincent Medina Jr., will make a presentation July 25 at the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in Fremont. Galvan and Medina are Chochenyo Ohlone Indians; some of their ancestors were baptized at Mission San Jose, and some are buried in the cemetery at Mission Dolores in San Francisco, where Galvan serves as curator and Medina his assistant.


Blessed Junipero Serra is depicted in a copy of an undated oil-on-canvas painting by Franciscan Father Jose Mosqueda.

Junipero Serra
— Saint and Sinner

When: July 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Dominican Sisters Auditorium
43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont

Cost: $25 donation,
payable at the door
Lunch included

RSVP: rosemarie@msjdominicans.org
or http://bit.ly/MSJSerra

The audience's participation is also welcome. The Sisters' invitation for the event reads, "Join the conversation." To facilitate that conversation, a list of reading materials will be made available to those who register.

There has been quite a lot of conversation since January, when the Vatican announced the long-awaited canonization of the founder of the California mission system, who was beatified in 1988.

The canonization on Sept. 23 in Washington is unlikely to end the conversation. "As a practicing Catholic," Medina said, "I understand the need to be critical of this canonization." It's important, he said, to point out why there is criticism, and the impact the mission system had on the native people.

Galvan, who favors canonization and plans to be in Washington for the Mass, points out recent events that show the church's inroads in reaching out to the ancestors of the people who lived in the missions.

Members of the Costanoan Rumsen Ohlone Tribe, he said, recently made "their first return visit in 250 years" to Mission Carmel, where they were greeted by Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia.

Franciscan hospitality has been extended at Mission Santa Barbara, he said, and an event at Mission San Juan Bautista is on the calendar.

At the presentation in Fremont, Galvan will discuss the process of sainthood; the history of the Serra cause; offer a brief biography; and why the church is considering him for sainthood.

Galvan and Medina will bring with them a traveling exhibit of Ohlone culture, and welcome the opportunity for conversation with participants.

To register for the presentation, RSVP to rosemarie@msjdominicans.org or http://bit.ly/MSJSerra. Lunch is included, in the event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. The suggested donation of $25 can be made at the door.

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