New documentary explores Junípero Serra sainthood controversy


A new documentary short explores the controversy surrounding the canonization of Junípero Serra, the 18th-century Franciscan friar who came from Spain to evangelize California Indians. At times rough around the edges (in terms of production value), the film, titled “Saint: Canonization of Junípero Serra,” offers important historical detail regarding relations between Serra and the California Indians, descendants of whom now accuse Serra of having helped to commit genocide. The documentary presents contemporary viewpoints straddling both sides of the debate.

Pope to Franciscans: Stay true to charism, keep people's respect


Pope Francis urged Franciscan friars to hold true to their charism of fraternity, humility and poverty and not lose the respect they have earned over the centuries for living up to those ideals.

The more one feels small before God and in need of his mercy, "the closer we are to salvation; the more we are convinced of being sinners, the more we are willing to be saved," he said in an audience Tuesday with 200 Franciscan leaders.

Preview: Understanding Franciscan identity key to US friars' restructuring


For the first time in their centuries-long history, the leaders of the seven separate provinces of the major group of Franciscan friars in United States met together in Milwaukee in December 2012.

Joined by the international head of the order founded by the 13th-century St. Francis of Assisi, the leaders had made the historic summit to answer a decidedly uncomfortable question faced by religious orders across the globe: What to do in an era of steeply declining numbers?


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July 14-27, 2017