Category: Mission Period

AlJazeera Television Report on the Canonization of Junipero Serra

Some argue that California’s native peoples voluntarily joined the Spanish Missions founded by Junipero Serra in the 18th Century. “Not true,” Valentin Lopez of the Amah Mutsun told AlJazeera Television. “That’s why they had soldiers with them, to capture the Indians.”


How Tarnished is Serra’s Halo?

A report written by Vinnie Rotondaro in the National Catholic Reporter explores the controversy surrounding Junipero Serra


Writings of Junipero Serra 1773

Serra Gate: A Fabrication of a Saint  By Christine Grabowski, Ph.D.  There is a scurrilous fabrication being disseminated by the Catholic Church regarding Junípero Serra, the missionary whom Pope Francis intends to canonize on September 23, 2015.The attached file is the English translation from a book published by Antonine Tibesar, “Writings of Junipero Serra,” Vol. 1, Published  Read more…


Letter to Pope Francis Re: The Doctrine of Christian Discovery

New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends has ssent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to repudiate and rescind the Doctrine of Christian Discovery promulgated by predecessor popes. In addition to achieving its stated goal, the letter supports the Amah Mutsun effort to call attention to the inhuman way that the  Read more…


Tribal Psychiatrist Says Serra Canonization Will Deepen ‘Soul Wound’

“For the most part, California Indians have never healed from the treatment their ancestors endured in the missions, and making Junipero Serra a saint is going to make it even harder for healing to occur,” psychologist Donna Schindler told former Franciscan friar Mark Day.  In an article published in La Prensa San Diego Day explores  Read more…


California’s Saint, and a Church’s Sins

An opinion piece by New York Times writer Lawrence Downes describes opposition to the canonization of Junipero Serra. The piece quotes Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band: “How can Pope Francis and the Catholic Church speak or act with moral authority when they know that they have mistreated the indigenous people?” and the  Read more…


Far from Human and Scarcely Civilized

Letters written by California Mission founder Junipero Serra and one of his successors, Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, help create context for the attitude of leaders of the missions toward Indians. Told by church officials to allow Indians to “change their location” and “journey from place to place,” Lasuén protests that this would never work for  Read more…


The Impact of Colonization on Native California Societies

By 1769 the Spanish had had nearly two and a half centuries of experience in dealing with American Indians, and were therefore prepared for managing the California Indians who had nothing worth taking, and who fell in that class of people called “Barbarians.” Spanish Indian policy was at heart that of the obligation to civilize  Read more…


Native American Holocaust Exterminate Them! The California Story

This powerful video, written and edited by Floyd Red Crow Westerman, documents the forces that destroyed Indian cultures in California: The Mission Period, the California Gold Rush, and the following flood of settlers determined that manifest destinty gave them to right to lands that had been tended by native peoples for clenturies. (video) 


Demanding the pope’s attention

San Jose Mercury News, July 12, 2015 By Tracy Seipel Several hundred people gathered at Mission San Juan Bautista July 11 calling for the Vatican to halt it’s plans to canonize Junipero Serra, founder of the California Missions. “The true history of what happened here has never been told,” said Valentin Lopez, chairman of the  Read more…


Author Shatters the Image of California’s Missions

In a presentation to the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, Author Elias Castillo refutes the myth that the 21 Franciscan missions in California were idyllic sites where Franciscan padres and Native Americans lovingly commingled. In reality, the missions were death camps in which the Catholic missionaries, guided by mission founder Junípero Serra’s direction that the “savage”  Read more…


Historic Trauma is Real, Valentin Lopez Tells a Symposium at UC Riverside (Video)

Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun Band, argued against canonizing Junipero Serra at a symposium at UC Riverside on March 13, 2015. “Historic trauma is real and it ties back to mission times,” he said.


Letter to Pope Francis regarding the Encyclical July 1, 2015

Letter-to-Pope-Francis-re-Encyclical-1 July 2015 The Amah Mutsun’s Response supporting the Catholic Church Encyclical on the Environment and reiterating the request that the Pope reverse his decision to canonize Junipero Serra. Respuesta de Amah Mutsun a la Encíclica de la Iglesia Católica con relación al Medio Ambiente  (en Español)  


Letter to the Pope from Donna Schindler, April 24, 2014

April 25, 2014 Your Holiness, Pope Francis   It was with great pleasure that we received your letter of Oct 19, 2013.  As a sign of our gratitude, we are sending you a t-shirt of the Amah Mutsen tribe and a necklace of abalone in a traditional Mutsen design, which Val Lopez has made for  Read more…


Letter to Pope Francis from Donna Schindler March 15, 2015

Pope Francis Vatican City March 12, 2015 Your Holiness, After two centuries of struggling to heal since being enslaved by Franciscan priests, California mission tribes will be hit with another damaging blow: the upcoming canonization of Junipero Serra. As the founder of the California missions, Fr. Serra is responsible for a legacy of cruelty to  Read more…


Mass Reconciliation Video

A Mass of Reconciliation for the Historic Amah Mutsun Tribal Band was held Dec. 22, 2012 by Bishop Richard Garcia of the Monterey Diocese to apologize for the tragic events which occurred during Mission times. A video and news story are available:  


Historic Mass of Reconciliation: Mission San Juan Bautista

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2012 Historic Mass of Reconciliation Mission San Juan Bautista December 22, 2012   On December 22, 2012, Bishop Richard Garcia of the Monterey Diocese will offer a Mass of Reconciliation for the Historic Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. This mass is an important event in the history of the Amah Mutsun  Read more…

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