Junipero Serra Research Paper

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Few Californians know hardly anything or nothing about California’s founding father. Fourth graders go on a field trip to a mission to learn about missions and then return to their regular lives, never wondering about missions again. Few of those children return to visit a mission. There is a chance that a few know of California’s founding father and who he was. Father Junipero Serra is that founding father who is just as important as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and several others. However he was a different founding father, a religious one who shaped California. Junipero Serra by Steven W. Hackel delves into Junipero Serra’s life and how he lived. Father Serra, a devoted Catholic, “devoted himself to the universalism of Catholicism, the suppression of individualism, and the renunciation of materialism.” (242) Father Serra made it his mission to spread Catholicism to remote areas of New Spain. He was truly devoted to the religion and went to great efforts to teach those afar. (66) Apart from having complete faith in the Catholic religion, he who experienced the losses of his colleagues seemed to have wanted the gentiles and unbelievers to have faith in something during a time of great hardship. Perhaps it was a way for him to help those to alleviate the pain they suffered and not just about Catholicism but Catholicism was the means to do it. In books we are left to figure out whether Junipero Serra was a good or bad guy but the thing we can be certain about is that he was human who had faults like everybody else. His devotion baptized numerous children but adults were not too keen on getting baptized. (93) Adults were kept in their ways but children were more receptive to Serra and the Franciscans. It seems c... ... middle of paper ... ... gives insight into Junpero Serra’s world, his views, and how he changed New Spain and California. He inspired to spread Catholicism, the suppression of natives’ individualism, and the rejection of materialism. The books helps to show Juniper Serra in the good and bad. He had faults like any human being. Apart from seeing Junipero Serra in his life the world around him was also on display. It shows how New Spain and California was with the influence of Junipero Serra and how has drastically changed over time to what it is today. Now here in California there are various religions not just Catholicism anymore. California society is now individualistic something Serra had fought against; furthermore in society materialism is even more important than ever before. There changes have provided us the people a picture of the California of the past. One we should not forget.

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