Bengaluru: The Serra Club of Bangalore join Serrans worldwide on September 23, 2015, to celebrate the day that Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Father Serra, an 18th century Franciscan friar, left a very comfortable life in Spain to go to the New World and share his love of the Gospel. Born Miguel Jose Serra on the island of Majorca on November 24, 1713, Serra took the name of Junipero when he entered the Franciscan Order. Ordained in 1737, he taught philosophy and theology at the University of Padua until 1749.
At the age of thirty-seven, Father Serra landed in Mexico City on January 1, 1750. Junipero Serra’s missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native people. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight till dawn. He founded the first nine of 21 eventual missions, and is said to have baptized over 6,000 people and confirmed 5,000. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death. Father Serra died at the age of 70 at Mission San Carlo Borromeo, Carmel, and is buried there. He was beatified in 1988.
Blessed Junipero Serra is the patron of Serra International and has been since its founding in 1935. His goal was to bring people into the Catholic faith. Today, hundreds of years later, the Serra Club of Bangalore, with Serrans worldwide, focus on fostering and promoting vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life and supporting those who have already answered the call to become priests, religious or members of the Secular Institutes. In 1951, Serra was aggregated to Congregation for the Clergy by Pope Pius XII.
Serrans come from all walks of life, but they are united by a common mission : to promote, encourage and affirm vocations. Each Serra Club supports the Church in its own unique way, and the Serra Club of Bangalore since its inception in 2002, strives to work in the service of the local diocese.
Thanksgiving Mass will be offered in different Parishes across Bangalore, on September 23, 2015. Where possible, Serrans will set up a help desk for any lay person wishing to join them in their mission.
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