Miguel Joseph Serra was born on November 14, 1730, he entered the Alcantarine Franciscans.That same year he journeyed to North America, first to Mexico City, where he taught. Father Juniper refused to ride the mule that was provided him and walked from Veracruz to the capital. In 1768, Father Serra was appointed superior of a band of 15 Franciscans for the Indian Missions of Baja California. On March 12, 1768, Serra embarked from the Pacific port of San Blas on his way to the California's. Early in the year 1769, he accompanied Governor Gaspar de Portola on his expedition to Alta California. In 1773, difficulties with Pedro Fages, the military commander, compelled Father Serra to travel to Mexico City to argue before Viceroy Antonio Maria de Bucareli y Ursua for the removal of Fages as the Governor of California Nueva. In 1778, Fr. Serra was given dispensation to administer the sacrament of confirmation for the faithful in California.During the American Revolutionary War, Father Serra took up a collection from his mission parishes throughout California. The total money collected amounted to roughly $137, but the money was sent to General George Washington.