Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November 24,and took the name of Junipero when inhe entered the Franciscan Order. Ordained inhe taught philosophy and theology at the University of Padua until At the age of thirty-seven, he landed in Mexico City on January 1,and spent the rest of his life working for the conversion of the peoples of the New World. InFather Serra took over the missions of the Jesuits who had been wrongly expelled by the government in the Mexican province of Lower California and Upper California modern day California.
Orphaned at 11, he was educated at Barcelona and at 16 became a Benedictine monk in the monastery of St Martin of Compostela, taking the name of Benedict.
A few months later, when the first Spanish Republic declared religious life in common illegal, Serra left Spain and entered the abbey of La Cava near Naples. In with R. Salvado he offered himself for work in foreign missions. After initial difficulties Serra, as superior of a community of four Benedictine monks, began missionary work among the nomadic Aboriginals of Victoria Plains where the foundation stone of the monastery of New Norcia was laid on 1 March Next year, after the first diocesan synod, he left for Europe to raise funds and recruits for the mission.
In Rome he was consecrated first bishop of Port Victoria but representations from Brady changed his appointment to coadjutor of Perth. With ample funds from Italy, mainly from his many influential friends in Spain, he returned in December with forty religious and artisans for New Norcia.
Sharp differences arose with Brady, who refused to accept him as coadjutor of Perth and tried to obtain control of his funds.
The conflict was only resolved by legal action and the disciplinary visit of Archbishop Polding in During his administration of Perth diocese in Serra enlarged the existing church and collected money for the erection of a new one; he also built churches in Fremantle, Guildford, Toodyay, York, Dardanup, Albany and Bunbury.
He built a magnificent residence for the bishop and his priests in Perth, and provided schools and teachers for Perth and Fremantle. He also showed great interest in the welfare of prisoners at Rottnest Island and newly arrived convicts.
His impetuous zeal in these and other controversial issues did not increase his popularity among many local residents. In Serra visited Europe for his health and returned with more missionaries and four sisters of the French community of St Joseph. In the mids he took a firm stand against Governor Kennedy on the question of education and the rights of independent schools.
Salvado resented his disregard for their common foundation of New Norcia and his concentration of attention and missionaries on the monastery he had founded at Subiaco, three miles from Perth. Salvado was dedicated to the Aboriginals at New Norcia, but Serra stressed the immediate and future needs of the diocese of Perth, of which he was now the undisputed administrator.
The monastery of New Norcia was given autonomy on 1 April Serra returned to Europe expecting that the decision would be reversed; he wanted to carry out his ambitions for Subiaco and to build a new cathedral for Perth, for which he sent a Carrara marble altar.
He returned via England to Spain, where he founded the Oblates of the Most Holy Redeemer, a community of nuns devoted to the care of lapsed and destitute girls and based on female social work he had observed in London; it spread rapidly through South America as well as Spain and in recent years has extended its work to Boston and New York in the United States of America.
Serra died on 8 September in a rest home in Guadalajara, Spain, and was buried at the mother house of his foundation at Ciempozuelos, Madrid. The suburb of Subiaco in Perth takes its name from his monastery.According to tradition, the history of the Catholic Church begins with Jesus Christ and his teachings (c.
4 BC – c. AD 30) and the Catholic Church is a continuation of . Miquel Joseph Serra was born and baptized on November 24, in Petra, a farming village on the island of Mallorca, Spain. As a child he attended a Franciscan elementary school. At the age of fifteen, Serra left home to enter the Franciscan University in Palma to study philosophy.
Miguel Jose Serra, born at Petra on the Island of Mallorca, Spain. At the age of 16 he entered the service of the Catholic Church.
He soon entered the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, and and took a new first name, Junípero, that of St. Francis' beloved original companion friar. Early Life. Born on November 24, , on the Spanish island of Majorca, Junipero Serra came from humble beginnings.
His parents, Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer, spent their lives working the land in the town of Petra. They had him baptized on his first day in the world, giving him the name Miguel Jose. Catholic Church in the process of European integration.
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