Archbishop José H. Gomez recently published a statement that thoughtfully, prayerfully, and historically addresses the recent controversy surrounding public monuments to St. Junipero Serra and the California missions.

“The sad truth is that, beginning decades ago, activists started ‘revising’ history to make St. Junípero the focus of all the abuses committed against California’s indigenous peoples. The real St. Junípero fought a colonial system where natives were regarded as ‘barbarians….’ For St. Junípero, this colonial ideology was a blasphemy against the God who created all men and women.”

His statement is profound in recognizing the place St. Junipero has in our church and state’s history and why he has been recognized as an important saint for us here in Los Angeles and beyond.

Some of our region’s most historically significant treasures from St. Junipero’s time are housed at the San Fernando Mission and Archival Center. The artifacts and writings preserved and displayed there offer a window into California’s mission days. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is home to five of the 21 historical missions; CCF-LA administers endowments in support of both the San Fernando Mission and Mission San Buenaventura (pictured above).