To Some in California, Founder of Church Missions Is Far From Saint

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tags: Junipero Serra

Related Link:   Junipero Serra's campaign against homosexuals

For generations, fourth graders in California’s schools, often with a parent’s touch, built models of church missions out of poster board or sugar cubes to celebrate the Rev. Junipero Serra and the religious communities he established along the West Coast in the late 1700s.

Last week, Pope Francis announced plans to canonize Father Serra, putting “the evangelizer of the West in the United States” closer to sainthood.

These days, the pious preacher who once walked much of what is now California, bringing Christianity to the American Indians, is viewed in less benevolent terms.

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