My NCR colleague Joshua J. McElwee reported this morning that during the plane trip from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, Pope Francis said he plans on declaring Blessed Junipero Serra (1713-1784) a saint in September. Serra, a Spanish Franciscan priest and missionary, created 21 missions throughout California.
This is great news. I have been a longtime fan of Serra and was part of a small group that organized the Downtown Washington (DC) Serra Club many years ago.
Serra is one of the two California statues in the U.S. Capitol's statuary collection, which features statues representing two of each state's most important citizens. The state of California gave the statue to the U.S. Capitol in 1931. You can see the statue here.