Local News in Brief : Catholic Marchers Ask Sainthood for Serra

About 20 members of the Knights of Columbus set out from the San Fernando Mission Thursday morning as part of a statewide march aimed at persuading the Vatican to declare Father Junipero Serra California's first saint.

Members of the Roman Catholic fraternal organization are retracing Serra's footsteps across California, traveling from mission to mission. The Franciscan friar started the state's network of 21 missions in the 18th Century.

Tony Lammersen of Glendale, the Knights of Columbus project coordinator for the Los Angeles area, said the marchers who set off Thursday are expected to arrive Sunday morning at San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura.

Along the way, a wooden staff topped with a cross will be passed among marchers from various Knights of Columbus councils.

The march began on Feb. 3, simultaneously in San Diego and San Francisco. The marchers are scheduled to converge on May 17 at Mission San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel, where Serra is buried.

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