May 4, 2003 |
We were in rugged, barren country with awe-inspiring views. The terrain and vegetation seemed to change each time we rounded a curve or drove through a valley. We had entered the Sierra Gorda, a remote chain of mountains in northern Queretaro state. It is a region of steep mountain ridges, deep canyons and ravines, along with the only cloud forests in central Mexico. There are jaguars, black bears, river otters, spider monkeys and nearly 400 species of birds.
December 20, 2001 |
Jeff Kaiser, Ventura's stalwart champion of improvised and experimental music, turned 40 recently and put on a birthday bash in suitable style. The public was invited, and they showed up in droves to Ventura City Hall for two hours of uncharted and often inspiring sounds. The tall wooden statue of Padre Serra in the atrium seemed to stand over the proceedings like a sentry who looked a bit suspicious of the mayhem unfolding.
June 10, 2001 |
Father Jerome Tupa is not a missionary, but he understands the urgency of a mission. As a Benedictine monk at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., he belongs to a Catholic order that emphasizes prayer and work within a religious community. During an artistic pilgrimage to all of California's 21 missions, he began to appreciate the work of his long-ago fellow traveler, Father Junipero Serra, the Franciscan who launched the building of these churches, starting in 1769.
March 18, 2001 |
Whatever the reviews of his work in California--and they run from "saintly" to "genocidal"--in his hometown of Petra on the Spanish island of Majorca, Junipero Serra is the local boy who left home and made very, very good. Here Father Serra began the odyssey that has put him in line for Catholic sainthood. The plaque at the church where he was baptized boasts broadly of the native son as "explorer, missionary, hero, civilizer of the lands of California."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2000
Re Daood Moosa's March 28 letter accusing Father Serra of "converting Indians . . . by pouring boiling water" on them: In reality, Junipero Serra did more for the California Indians than anyone in thousands of years. He brought civilization to Stone Age tribes who had not yet invented the wheel. He brought agriculture, a written language, permanent housing and the skills to prosper at many trades, all while treating them as humans worthy of conversion and intermarriage, unlike the English colonial approach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 1998
Re "Road To Remembrance" (April 12): As a Californian whose family helped to establish missions, pueblos and presidios during the infancy of a land that was to emerge as California, I must urge that the name of Ortega Highway remain as a historical landmark to this particular part of the state. I was born and raised in California, where my family first set roots when then-Sgt. Jose Francisco Ortega was sent as scout for the Father Serra/Portola expeditionary force. The purpose of going north was to ensure Spanish control of this West Coast.