Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Buenaventura Sitjar

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 14
Buenaventura Sitjar

by Zephyrin Engelhardt


Born at Porrera, Island of Majorca, 9 December, 1739; died at San Antonio, Cal., 3 Sept., 1808. In April, 1758, he received the habit of St. Francis. After his ordination he joined the College of San Fernando, Mexico. In 1770 he was assigned to California, arriving at San Diego, 21 May, 1771. He was present at the founding of the Mission of San Antonio, and was appointed first missionary by Father Junipero Serra. He toiled there until his death, up to which time 3400 Indians had been baptized. Father Sitjar mastered the Telame Language, spoken at the Mission of San Antonio, and compiled a vocabulary with Spanish explanations, published at New York in 1861. Though the list of words is not as long as Arroyo de la Cuesta's dictionary of 2884 words and sentences in the Mutsun idiom of Mission San Juan Bautista, Sitjar's gives the pronunciation and fuller explanations. He also left a journal of exploring expedition which he accompanied in 1795. His body was interred in the sanctuary of the church.

Archives of Mission of Santa Barbara; Records of Mission San Antonio; SITJAR, Vocabulary, in SHEA'S Library of American Linguistics (New York, 1861); ENGELHARDT, The Franciscans in California (Harbor Springs, 1897); BANCROFT, California, II (San Fancisco, 1886).

Zephyrin Engelhardt.