Santa Cruz IMC
Santa Cruz IMC
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Day of Mourning at Carmel Mission as Pope declares Serra Sainthood

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
3080 Rio Rd, Carmel, Ca

Gather in the cemetery of Mission San Carlos at noon— *wear black* — many will be fasting for the day — Arrive early, traffic and parking will be a challenge.

Simultaneous gatherings will be held at Mission San Francisco, Mission San Juan Bautista, and Mission San Diego. See below for details.

On September 23rd, Pope Francis will be holding a special Mass in Washington DC to officially pronounce Junipero Serra a saint. California Indians, descendants of the survivors of the genocidal California Mission system, are in a state of shock, anger, and mourning over the impending declaration of sainthood for its founder.

Louise J. Miranda Ramirez, Chairwoman of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation on whose ancestral lands the Carmel Mission stands, and Caroline Ward Holland, Tataviam descendant and leader of the 2015 Walk for the Ancestors are asking the public to wear black and gather in prayer with them in the cemetery of Mission San Carlos in Carmel, CA starting at 12:00pm, for a Day of Mourning.

“It’s unfathomable that in 2015, after everything we know about the Mission System and what it did to our Ancestors, that we have to gather in a Day of Mourning while the Church honors the individual who is directly responsible for what happened,” said Caroline Ward Holland.

California Indian people and their supporters will be fasting on September 23rd as they mourn this grave disrespect being shown to their ancestors. Meanwhile, the canonization of Serra will be celebrated at churches and Catholic schools across the country with banquets and special festivities.

“We are asking that all our family, friends, and supporters join us, wherever they are, in this day of fasting and mourning,” says Corine Fairbanks of American Indian Movement Southern California. “We have the support of Indigenous relatives throughout Canada, the United States and as far away as Russia and Australia who are standing with us in solidarity as this heinous canonization of Junipero Serra proceeds.”

At Mission San Carlos in Carmel, CA, a live broadcast of the Pope’s canonization Mass will be displayed on large screen monitors in the Mission courtyard. The Diocese of Monterey estimates 200-400 people may be in attendance in Carmel for the broadcast and accompanying celebrations. Those coming to participate in the Day of Mourning are advised to arrive early and be prepared for traffic congestion and limited parking in the vicinity of the Mission.

Numerous California Indian nations and Native American organizations have issued statements strongly opposing the canonization of Serra and calling on the Pope to reverse it, including the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, California Association of Tribal Governments, and the American Indian Movement. To date, no responses from the Vatican have been received by tribal leaders on this issue.

On September 7th, Tataviam descendants Caroline Ward Holland and Kagen Holland began the Walk for the Ancestors, a 650-mile pilgrimage to each of the 21 California Missions to “honor the Indigenous ancestors who suffered and perished in the Mission system and assert California Indian rejection of sainthood for Junipero Serra.” They are currently walking from Mission San Juan Bautista to Carmel, where they will be received by representatives of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation, whose ancestors trace back directly to Mission Carmel.

“As we walk to pay our respects to the ancestors on this walk, there has always been a thought in my mind that maybe the Pope would decide to stand for what he says he stands for, and recant his decision to canonize Serra,” stated Caroline Holland. “If he is who he says he is, then he would realize that this is wrong.”

*** Simultaneous vigils of mourning and truth-telling will be held on September 23rd by Indigenous people and their supporters at

Mission Dolores in San Francisco (1pm):

Mission San Juan Capistrano (12pm):

Mission San Diego (12pm):
Added to the calendar on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 1:16PM
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
Escrivá de Balaguer
Tue, Sep 22, 2015 4:44PM
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$140.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network