Rivera's legacy is largely forgotten today, but in his own time he was a controversial figure; he clashed with Father Serra
and Juan Bautista de Anza, and at one point was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for violating church sanctuary.
It blends a biography with a California history and reviews accounts of Spanish and Native American interactions and different intersections of colonization and tribal and white man encounters in the area, and includes translations of letters between Rivera and Father Serra
. The result is a unique presentation offering much original source material not available elsewhere: a 'must' for any collection serious about California history.
Thank goodness Father Serra
came to the rescue, we schoolkids all agreed.
In the website's Frequently Asked Questions section, one question asks, "Why is Father Serra
a saint?" It is answered: "Father Junipero Serra left behind a life of academic prestige and renown to take on a life of hardship, sacrifice and toil in order to become an advocate and spiritual minister to the Native California Indians.
Born in Majorca, Spain, in 1713, Father Serra
joined the Franciscan order in 1730.
Biographers of Father Serra
write that he believed "laughter was inconsistent with the terrible responsibilities of his probationary existence." In other words, life is a dress rehearsal for the afterlife, so take it seriously.
Beginning with Queen Calafia and continuing through Father Serra
, the Gold Rush, the 1906 earthquake and fire, and Silicon Valley, no place in America, and few places in the world, have generated more legends than California.
Conflict was inevitable and by the time tension reached breaking point at San Diego, Father Serra
had gone north to found other missions, leaving Father Luis Jayme in charge.
(47.) Mystic in Motley (Milwaukee, 1946); Richest of the Poor (Garden City, N.Y., 1948); Through My Gift: The Life of Mother Frances Schervier (New York, 1952); The Better Part: The Life of Theresa Demlanovich (New York, 1952); The Long Road of Father Serra
(New York, 1954); St.
Eventually Father Serra
and his party overcame famine, disease, and Indian raids to establish Mission San Diego de Alcala.
The first expedition into Alta California was mounted under the leadership of Don Gaspar de Portola, with Father Serra
in charge of the missionaries.