Mission San Juan Capistrano next week will honor the upcoming canonization of its founder — Father Junipero Serra — with a week of celebratory events, including a live streaming presentation of Pope Francis recognizing Father Serra as Saint Serra.
The celebration begins on Sunday, Sept. 20 with a ceremonial bell-ringing at 9 a.m., followed by a special Father Serra and Chapel tour at 2 p.m.
The bell-ringing and tour will commence each day through Sept. 27 (There will be no tour on Sept. 23, the day of the canonization ceremony). Also each day during the week, a limited number of collectible coins will be given away to those in attendance.
On Monday, Sept. 21, the Mission’s “Legacy of Saint Serra” exhibit will open. The exhibit will feature Father Serra’s road to sainthood, noting his founding of nine of California’s 21 missions, including Mission San Juan Capistrano on Nov. 1, 1776.
Monsignor Arthur Holquin will give a lecture “Legacy of Father Serra” on Tuesday, Sept. 22 beginning at 10 a.m.
On Wednesday, Sept. 23, followed by the bell-ringing at 9 a.m. and a moment of silence, the Mission will present live streaming in the central courtyard from 1-5 p.m. of the official canonization of Father Serra, conducted by Pope Francis, and a papal mass. There also will be a Grand Ceremonial Bell Ringing at noon.
“Pope Francis’ visit to the United States and Blessed Father Serra’s canonization is a powerful and historic moment in the history of Mission San Juan Capistrano,” said Mechelle Lawrence Adams, Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano. “As stewards of one of Father Serra’s original California missions, the Mission Preservation Foundation, staff, and volunteers stand ready to greet visitors from all over the world who will want to walk the grounds that a saint once walked and visit his chapel, the most historically significant chapel in California.”
The celebratory week will continue from Thursday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 27 will a daily bell-ringing at 9 a.m., the Saint Serra and Chapel tour at 2 p.m. and the continued opening of the “Legacy of Saint Serra” exhibit.
“We are honored to ensure the continued sustainability of a most revered religious and historic landmark and look forward to this new chapter in our Mission’s local and worldwide history,” Lawrence Adams said. “With this new chapter we will work even harder to ensure the continued care, access and meaning of this special place founded in faith and steeped in history.”