Monthly Archives: September 2015

Saint Father Junipero Serra ~ Carmel Mission, CA

On two different trips. while visiting my daughter Natalie and her husband. Barcley in Monterey, CA we visited the Carmel Mission. We experienced a holy peacefulness when we were there that I find difficult to put into words. Natalie and I attended Holy Thursday service at the Mission I will long remember. I was moved to tears more than once with the simplicity of the worship service. After the Mass. the crowd moved down this outdoor hallway pass Saint Serra’s cell, to a smaller chapel to relocate the Blessed Sacrament. We all became one, flowing to the singing, the increase and the Holy Spirit. There was a reverence, I still remember with wonder and awe. I want to share some of what I saw. It is said that Carmel Mission was the saint’s favorite mission and why he choose to be buried here.

On June 3, 1770, after a year of journey and hardship, the soldiers of De Portolá and the missionaries led by Fr. Serra, gathered by the Monterey Bay to witness a formal ceremony of the erection of the Holy cross that would mark the establishment of the second mission which was to be called Mission San Carlos Borromeo. The Mission was located near the Monterey Presidio beside the Bay of Monterey.

A bit of history about Saint Father Serra who was canonized today by Pope Francis: Some of the soldiers at the Presidio were treating the Indians badly. This kept many away from Fr. Serra. The Indians felt Fr. Serra was a part of the Presidio. So, on August 24, 1771, Fr. Serra moved the Mission from Monterey to its present site in Carmel. This also put the Mission closer to a fresh water source and better land for growing crops. The early years here at Carmel were hard. The first Church and dwellings were made of wood and mud. The padres depended mostly on ships from Mexico for their supplies. Unfortunately, these ships did not make it to the Monterey Bay very often. So the Indians shared what little food and supplies they had. Over time, the Padres were able to grow their own crops, and this provided a great deal of the food for the people. Also, the wood and mud buildings were replaced with adobe structures. Carmel became the headquarters for Father Serra and all the Missions. It was from here that he oversaw the building of seven other Missions in California. Here he labored with his Indian friends until his death on August 28, 1784.

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How great are the works of the Lord!

Two days this week, the Responsorial Psalm  has been “How great are the works of the Lord.” I thought it was unusual when I heard the response the second day in a row but that is how the readings had been planned for the year, I thought and moved on.  This morning on the way to morning Mass I was treated with some Great Works of the Lord! I wanted to share a few with you! Truly, the Lord creates great works for us to delight in!

The photos all took place over a few minutes in time, the colors and clouds were changing and moving before my eyes. A real treat to take in and enjoy!

R. (2) How great are the works of the Lord!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

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