HUNDREDS OF CATHOLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS VIEWED HISTORIC CANONIZATION OF SAINT JUNÍPERO SERRA BY POPE FRANCIS
Catholic school students from 35 middle and high schools from around the Archdiocese of Los Angeles gathered on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles to witness, via live transmission, the canonization of Saint Junípero Serra. Students viewed this historic event via a live broadcast as Pope Francis elevated the first Hispanic American saint and first saint canonized on American soil.
Archbishop José H. Gomez was concelebrating at the canonization Mass with Pope Francis in Washington, D.C., but sent the students a video message, saying: “This is a moment of grace and joy for all of us as Blessed Junípero Serra, the apostle of California, will be canonized. He was a great example for all of us on how to be a good Christian, good Catholic and good missionary.”
Saint Serra founded the first nine of the 21 California Missions and is regarded by Pope Francis as one of the “founding fathers of the United States.”
The event kicked-off with a welcome by Cathedral Pastor, Monsignor Kevin Kostelnik. Before the canonization began, Fr. Christopher Bazyouros, Director, Office of Religious Education, provided a brief overview on the life and legacy of Fr. Junípero Serra, the significance of sainthood and the canonization process. Tom Mueller, a recent graduatefrom Eastman School of Music with a PhD in Organ, preformed as the students entered the Cathedral and awaited the beginning of the Mass transmission.
In solidarity with many of the dioceses across the Nation, including the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Cathedral rang its bells at 1:15 p.m. to celebrate the beginning of the canonization Mass for Saint Junípero Serra.
This canonization viewing event is made possible by support from the Catholic Communication Collaboration, Food4Less and the Catholic Education Foundation.