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Book Chapter

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Academy of American Franciscan History


One of the greatest regrets of Junipero Serra's life was that he was never able to establish a mission in Santa Barbara. He never really lived there. He spent some time at the presidio during its first few years, but for the most part he was somewhat like a contemporary tourist-passing through, hoping that maybe some day he could put down roots, but never quite succeeding in doing this. However, it is important to study and understand the experience Serra had in the Santa Barbara Channel with the peoples who had lived there for thousands of years before he arrived, as well as with others who had arrived in Alta California even more recently than Serra himself. This experience sheds a special light on the challenges that Serra faced as a missionary in the Alta California missions and it illustrates a number of crucial aspects of the Alta California mission experience.

Chapter of

To Toil in That Vineyard of the Lord: Contemporary Scholarship on Junípero Serra


Rose Marie Beebe
Robert M. Senkewicz


Copyright © 2010 Academy of American Franciscan History. Reprinted with permission.

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