Community Organizations

Table of Contents

5.1 Austin Interfaith

5.2 Back to Life Support Group

5.3 Breakfast Groups

5.4 Child Care

5.5 Counselors

5.6 Dance Committee

5.7 El Hogar Del Pueblo

5.8 Marriage Encounter

5.9 Medical Clinic

5.10 Reina Committee

5.11 Scouts

5.12 Senior Citizens

5.13 Stephen Ministry

5.14 Thanksgiving Food Baskets

5.1

Austin Interfaith

Austin Interfaith is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the largest network of local faith and community-based organizations in the United States. Austin Interfaith is one of sixty-five organizations that make up the Industrial Areas Foundation.

Austin Interfaith is itself a coalition of forty-three congregations, schools and unions that work together to address public issues of concern to its coalition partners. It is non-partisan but promotes issues important to lower income residents of Austin, including immigrants. The six traditional Spanish-speaking parishes as well as Holy Cross and St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic churches are dues-paying members of Austin Interfaith. Each parish has one or more committees who work with Austin Interfaith. Ofelia Zapata is currently the chair of the San José Austin Interfaith committee.

In January 1984, the Sunday Bulletin announced, "Austin Interfaith Organization is being formed in Austin. Among its purposes is to provide a united front and power base to work for neighborhood and city goals that we see as important. All the six Spanish Speaking Parishes, St. Ignatius and other Churches are members. This is going to be an organization like C.O.P.S. in San Antonio" (223:08/01/84).

Austin Interfaith introduced its work at San José Parish by focusing on issues concerning refugees from Central American. In March, a representative from Austin Interfaith screened a film in the San José School about refugees from Central American (233: March/1984) and in May the Austin Interfaith Task Force for Central American Refugees met in Room 2-C of the Parish Religious Education Center (the School Building) (223:27/05/84). In 1985, several parishioners of San José including the pastor were involved in its work (223:03/02/1985).

In March 1986, the pastor of San José Church, Rev. Underwood, announced that, due to rapid growth of the parish (several hundred new parishioners every year) and expansion of the church, he would not be able to continue active involvement with Austin Interfaith. He said that many of the parishioners (who were involved in Austin Interfaith) were also involved in two or three ministries and would also no longer be active with Austin Interfaith. However, anyone who wanted to continue to work with Austin Interfaith on an individual basis was welcome to do so.

Fr. Underwood took this action because, he said, "There will be a need for another 120 to 150 parishioners to become involved shortly in another major ministry" (223: 30/03/1986). Fr. Underwood had identified Parish Renewals as one of the key movements in the Catholic Church (223:04/11/84) and he was preparing to offer Parish Renewal seminars to other parishes.

In early April 1986, Fr. Underwood announced that James Pinedo and Manuel Navarro would continue to work with Austin Interfaith (223: 06/04/1986). In September, Austin Interfaith delegates met at San José Community Center with the City Council subcommittee on Affordable Housing and with Lt. Governor William P. Hobby about affordable housing and tax reform (223:21/09/1986). Two years later, the Sunday Bulletin urged parishioners to attend a meeting of Austin Interfaith to increase parental involvement in the public schools (223:29/05/1988).

In August 1988, San José and over thirty other Austin churches were members of Austin Interfaith. The San Jose Interfaith committee met on August 9 in the school to plan for a voter registration/education/participation plan called "Sign Up and Take Charge". The Bishop and the pastor both supported the program (223:31/07/1988). The parish goal was to sign up 2,000 voters prior to the upcoming presidential election (223:04/09/1988).

In September, the10th, 11th and 12th grade CCD classes attended the citywide "Sign-Up and Take Charge" rally on Monday, October 10. Bishop John McCarthy was the keynote speaker at the rally (223:25/09/1988) and a San José parishioner, Elisa Gonzales, a lector and choir member, was also one of the speakers. The Young Adults attended in a group. People were asked to sign up and to caravan to the event that took place on a Monday evening (223:09/10/1988).

In January 1989, Fr. Underwood sought to reorganize the San José committee of Austin Interfaith and called for volunteers to form San José Interfaith, a new ministry. "In this ministry, ministers communicate with neighbors and parishioners about the needs of their neighborhoods in order to plan and make them cleaner, safer and more peaceful environments." A sign-up table was placed in the foyer of the church for volunteers (223:22/01/1989).

The next week, San José Interfaith met in the church cry room to plan for a meeting with City of Austin Council Member Sally Shipman. Austin Interfaith was working with City Council to rid residential neighborhoods of adult pornographic shops (223:29/01/89). In March, San José Interfaith met in the school building (223:26/02/89). The committee wanted to close a business called the Pleasure Shoppe that was located near the church and the committee was seeking the help of City Council to do so (223:26/03/89). In October, an announcement in the Sunday Bulletin urged parishioners to attend a City Council meeting with the intention of removing the Pleasure Shoppe from the neighborhood (223:22/10/1989).

Austin Interfaith next focused its attention on public schools. The next meeting of San José Interfaith on April 18 was to discuss ways to get parents involved in their children's education (223:16/04/89). The Austin Interfaith spring assembly in May focused on parental, church and business community involvement in AISD schools (223:21/05/89). The San José committee headed by Ruby Roa hosted delegates from Austin Interfaith at a meeting at San José in July (223:04/07/1993). In October, the assembly met at Guadalupe Church and parishioners were invited to attend an Austin Interfaith event at Guadalupe Church called, "Rally for Youth" at which State Education Commissioners, Austin Mayor and AISD Superintendent were present (223:03/10/1993).

In January 1993, Austin Interfaith held an Accountability Session for candidates to the AISD School Board. The pastor urged parishioners to support the positions taken by Austin Interfaith and its affiliate San Jose Interfaith (223:12/12/1993).

In October 1993, Austin Interfaith was developing a job-training program for youth (223:24.19/1993). The program would offer fifteen hours of training for students aged 14 to 21 who were looking for a summer job. All CCD students were invited to attend an information meeting on December 7 in the parish hall (223:21/11/1993) (223:05/12/1993). This program evolved into Capital Idea, a job-training program that has provided $16.9 million dollars to 1,400 non-traditional students in Austin.

In 1993, San José Austin Interfaith continued meet on Tuesday in the school. In October, it announced that Austin Interfaith was developing a job-training program for youth (223:24/19/1993). The program would be 15 hours of training for students aged 14-21 who were looking for a summer job. All CCD students were invited to apply (223:21/11/1993). An information meeting took place on December 7 in the parish hall (223:05/12/1993).

Also in December 1993, Austin Interfaith announced an Accountability Session for candidates to the AISD School Board on January 13. The pastor urged parishioners to support Austin Interfaith positions (223:12/12/1993).

Austin Interfaith requires its affiliates to pay annual dues. Some pastors of San Jose were reluctant to pay the dues but San José continues to be a member of Austin Interfaith and San José Interfaith continues to work to improve conditions for poor and working people in Austin. In 2018, San José Interfaith was listed as a service ministry of the parish under the name Social Justice Ministry. 

                     

5.2

Back to Life Support Group

According to the Sunday Bulletin of July 8, 1990, co-dependency is a disease in which a person is addicted to a person, family, community or work situation where the primary focus is on another's needs rather than their own. The co-dependent continuously seeks to put other's needs ahead of his/her own and tends to "take care" of everyone except themselves. Thus the co-dependent enables others to take advantage of him/her. Co-dependency harmfully affects emotions, relationships and spirituality (223:08/07/1990).

In July 1990, Sherry Joseph announced the formation of a Women's Co-Dependency Support Group to meet in the school on Tuesday at 7:45PM (223:01/07/1990). Deacon George Joseph formed a Men's Co-Dependency Support Group that also met on Tuesday at 7:45PM (223:08/07/1990). The Pastoral Council was briefed on the purpose of the groups and had given its approval for the co-dependent meetings (223:15/07/1990).

After July 8, 1990, an announcement appeared in the Sunday Bulletin each week for the co-dependency groups (223). In September, both groups changed their meeting time and place to 7:00PM in the school but in different rooms (223:09/09/1990). The meetings were suspended during Lent and then resumed. The Men's Co-dependency Support Group met for a year and then stopped meeting after June 16, 1991 (223:16/06/1991). The Women's Co-dependency Group continued to meet until December 8, 1991 (08/12/1991).

In September 1991, an Open Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) group began meeting on Tuesday nights at 8:00PM in the school building (223:27/10/1991). The meetings were bilingual and for men and women. They first met in the school and later moved to the old convent (223:17/11/1991). The announcements in the Sunday Bulletin the AA meeting stopped after Nov. 1, 1992 (223:01/11/1992). The group met for a year and three months before disbanding.

In November 1991, the Bulletin announced the formation of a new support group, "to help persons who have suffered loss to cope with it in a Christian Way". The first meeting to explore possible ways to offer support was on Nov. 20 in the old church. "There is no reason for anyone to have to suffer alone" (223:17/11/1991). The next week the group was called, "Back to Life" and met on Wednesday nights. Beginning December 11, the meeting was placed on the weekly calendar (223:08/12/1991). Richard and Esperanza and later, Anita and Ken, were the contact persons (223:05/01/1992) (223:23/02/1991).

It is not clear if the "Back to Life" support group was a continuation of the co-dependency and AA groups or if it addressed the needs of a new group of parishioners. The Pastor said, "People experiencing grief of any kind were invited, including Divorce, conflicts in your marriage, dealing with raising children as a single parents" (223:19/01/1992). It was not simply for sharing experiences. The coordinators invited expert speakers to address the group. In February 1992, Sister Margaret Basso, I.H.M., spoke on coping with loss (223:09/02/1992). On May, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Austin sent a representative to address the group (223:17/05/1992). In November, the week's topic was "How to Beat the Holiday Blues" (223:29/11/1992). The group met on Wednesday every week in the school building (223:31/01/1993) (223:07/02/1993).

The Back to Life Support Group had a benefit car wash on a Saturday in April 1992 at the Hobby Lobby Store parking lot (223:19/04/1992). The first car wash was cancelled due to rain (223:03/05/1992) and rescheduled for Saturday, June 20 from 9am to 4pm (223:14/06/1992). An announcement about the group appeared in the Sunday Bulletin every two weeks from February until the end of 1992.

The group suspended their meetings in September and then resumed meeting. According to Fr. Underwood, "The Support Group has been created for people who are confused, lost, and hurt, through divorce, separation or even just trying to be a single parent. It offers a non-shaming place where judgements are strictly voluntary and confidential. The emphasis is on self and the healing of self...new members are needed! Our only clique is with Jesus" 223:27/09/1992). In November, all active and inactive members ("people who by the blessing of God have hopefully gone on to better things") were invited to attend Mass on Sunday 9:30AM to pray together (223:01/11/1992).

Beginning in the spring of 1993, the Back-to-Life Support Group sponsored a singles group for persons aged 35 and over (23:21/03/1993). The singles group went on a field-trip to Schlitterbahn on June 28 (223:13/06/1993) and to see Jose Greco's Authentic Spanish dancing on August 21 (223:15/08/1993).

In 1993, the support group met on every other Wednesdays in the school building at 7:00PM (223:04/04/1993) until September when Ken Ensell, who was the group's a facilitator, stepped down (223:12/09/1993). Afterward, the group started meeting every week and continued to meet throughout 1993 (223:28/03/1993).The support group emphasized the healing of self after divorce, separation and death. It provided a secure environment where sharing was voluntary and confidential (223:03/10/1993). 


5.3

Breakfast Groups

In the 1950s, the Guadalupanas occasionally served food in the parish hall as a fundraiser. The menu was often tamales, menudo, tacos and enchiladas. A group of young women who husbands were in the military and who called themselves the San José Society helped prepare and serve the meals (210). The first mention of a breakfast group appeared in the Sunday Bulletin of April 22, 1962. The Sunday Bulletin announced, "Menudo on sale in Hall after Masses" (223:04/22/62). The food sale was a fundraiser for one of the sodalities. A few months later, the Catholic Youth Organization offered coffee and cake "after each of the Masses this morning" (223:06/17/62). In November 1967, the San José Cub Scouts served breakfast in the parish hall for 75 cents for adults and 40 cents for children (223:11/12/67). This was a fundraiser for the Cub Scout Pack.

On January 18, 1970, lunch was served in the parish hall after the three morning Masses (223: 01/18/70). Although the fundraiser was apparently successful, it was not repeated the next weekend (223: 01/25/70). It was not until September that the PTA next served breakfast in the hall. The cost was 75 cents for a plate of food (223:09/05/70). Soon the PTA was serving breakfast after each Sunday Mass for $1 per plate. "This is something new for us and we want to encourage everyone to have breakfast here at the hall" (223:09/13/70). After a few weeks, the breakfast schedule was changed to serve meals after the 8:00AM and 10:00AM Masses only (223:11/01/70). "If successful, the breakfast will be continued each Sunday" (223:11/08/70).

For the next month, the schedule changed every week. One week the breakfast was served after 10:00AM and noon Masses (223:11/15/70). The following week breakfast would be served after 8:00AM and 10:00AM Mass (223:11/22/70) (223:12/13/70). Finally, the decision was made to serve breakfast after the 8:00AM and 10:00AM Mass. The menu too was standardized. Menudo cost 50 cents per bowl and a plate of eggs, carne guizada, beans and tortillas cost $1. Coffee and rolls were sold separately (223:11/15/70).

The breakfast program was suspended during the summer months. When it began again in October 1971, the Catholic Youth Organization prepared and served breakfasts after all Sunday Masses (223:24/10/71). Whether or not, breakfast was served each Sunday is not known. When the breakfast program reappeared in July 1974, the Guadalupanas were in charge of it.

1974

In July 1974, the Guadalupanas began serving breakfast after every 8AM and 10AM Mass in the Community Center. Breakfast cost $1.25 and consisted of beans, bacon or chorizo Mexicano, scrambled eggs, flour tortillas and coffee. Extra burritos were sold for 35 cents each (249:14/07/74). The Guadalupanas continued to serve breakfast each Sunday after 8AM and 10AM Masses until at least October, 1974 (250:12/09/74). They probably continued to prepare breakfast until at least May 1975 when they may have suspended the program for the summer months.

1975

In September 1975, the breakfast program began again under the supervision of the pastor. The pastor informed the congregation that, "Starting Oct. 3, breakfast will be served at the Community Center after the 8 and 10 o'clock Mass. There will be a new host and hostess every week" (223:28/09/75). Six to eight couples, called Breakfast Couples, agreed to make and serve breakfast every Sunday for persons attending Mass (209). Breakfast was prepared and served in the San Jose Community Center (209).

The menu and the prices were not standardized but varied only slightly (223:25/10/75). The menu might be bacon, eggs, burritos, menudo, sweet bread, orange juice and coffee one week (223:09/05/76) and menudo, tacos, eggs, pan dulce, coffee and orange juice the next (223:21/01/79). In 1976, the Breakfast Couples included Joe and Francis Treviño, Gonzalo and Rosie Reyna and Mr. and Mrs. Ramírez (223:09/05/76).

1983

In 1983, breakfast servers included Rudy and Ruth Ortegon, Simón and Connie Castillo (223:06/03/83), Ruth Martinez and Connie Sosa (223:13/03/83), Anselma Riojas (223:19/06/83), Mary and Frank Gonzalez (223:26/06/83) and Mary Alice Requejo (223:17/07/83).

The breakfast program continued to operate in this way until 1985. After a change in the Mass schedule in January 1983, a breakfast was added after the Youth Mass at 10:30AM. Afterward, breakfasts were served after the first three Sunday Masses (223:27/02/83). The breakfast program was popular with the parishioners and was well attended. Of the 272 parishioners who answered a survey in 1982, 243 rated the Sunday breakfast as either excellent or good (223:26/09/82).

The breakfast program was also a profitable fundraiser for the parish. In February 1983, the breakfast groups donated $1,860 to make a payment on an outstanding loans (223:27/02/83). The weekly income from the breakfasts was printed each week in the Sunday Bulletin (223:06/03/83) and in 1983 ranged from $150 to $225 per week (223:06/03/83). The breakfast servers handled the funds and donated their surplus to the church as needed, usually when a building note had to be paid (223:13/03/83).

The parish also served lunch and dinner as fundraisers. On Sundays when dinner was served, no breakfast was served (223:17/04/83). If dinners were served after the 10:30AM and noon Mass then breakfasts would be served only after the 7:30AM and 9:00AM masses (223:05/06/83). During the summer months, the youth group sold snow-cones after the last two Sunday Masses (223:14/08/83).

During 1983, breakfast income for 1983 was $8,124. By comparison, net profit from the Fall Fiesta was $14,184; dance income was $15,609; dinner income was $4,580 and Snow Cone income was $2,132. Sunday Collections for 1983 was $149,537 for a total parish income of $222,765 (223:12/02/84). All of this information was printed in the Sunday Bulletin.

1984

In 1984, Frances Treviño coordinated the breakfast groups (223:23/09/84) and the proceeds from the sales were used for the bell tower and canopy (223:30/09/84).

Sales were higher than the previous year and sometimes the income from a breakfast exceeded $300 (223:29/07/84). On September 16, income from breakfast was $506. This was the first time the net income was greater than $500 (223:30/09/84). The breakfast schedule remained the same as in previous years (223:12/08/84). Breakfast income for 1984 was $15,289.41. Income from both the Jamaica and the dance committee were also higher at $22,371.57 and $19,000.88 respectively (223:03/02/1985).

1985

Thirty-five persons worked in the breakfast groups in 1985 (223:03/02/1985). Breakfast was served after the first three Masses (8:00AM, 9:30AM and 11:00AM). The pastor wrote in the Sunday Bulletin, "Thanks to the various groups that cook and serve breakfasts. The people really enjoy them. They provide an opportunity for parishioners to visit with each other and also provide a good income for the parish" (223: 22/09/1985) (223: 20/10/1985). Breakfast income for 1985 was $12,107.06. Income from the Fall Fiesta declined to $13,603.40. No raffle was conducted because raffles had been declared to be illegal.

1986

Breakfast income averaged about $400 per week in the last half of 1985 and the first half of 1986 (223: 02/02/1986). Breakfast was still being served after the first three Masses on Sunday morning (223; 09/03/1986). In March 1986, the breakfast scheduled changed. The pastor called a meeting of the Breakfast Group for a planning session (223:30/03/1986) and announced that, beginning April 20, breakfast was served only after the 8:00AM and 9:30AM Masses. Instead of breakfast, dinners would be served after the 11:00AM and 12:30PM Masses for $3.00 per plate. The dinner menu would be printed in the Sunday Bulletin the week before.

The menu for the first dinner was chicken mole, rice & beans (arroz y frijoles) and tea or coffee (223: 13/04/1986). Fajita tacos were also sold for $1.50 each (223: 20/04/1986). Usually, income from breakfast exceeded the income from dinner. For April, income from breakfast income was $385.51 and income from the chicken mole dinner was $270.00 (223:27/04/1986).

For the next four months, income from the breakfast program and the dinner appeared in the Sunday Bulletin each week. Income from breakfast varied between $225 and $315 per week while income from the dinners varied from $47 to $190 per week (223:04/05/1986) (223:20/07/1986). When dinner was served, it began at 11:00AM (223:08/03/1987). When dinner was not served, breakfast was served after the 8:00AM, 9:30AM and 11:00AM Masses (223:03/08/1986). Serving both breakfast and dinner in this way did not increase the net income. The net income was about the same whether or not dinner was served (223:15/03/1987).

During 1986, the breakfast crews were Juan and Elia Flores, Candido and Jane Rodriguez, Pete and Consuelo Guerrero (223: 27/04/1986), Ralph and Stella Rivera, Carlos and Lucy Polanco (223: 04/05/1986), Ruth Martinez (223: 11/05/1986) and Joe and Frances Treviño (223: 25/05/1986). Juan and Elia Flores, Carlos and Lucy Polanco, Ruth Martinez and Pete and Connie Guerrero were to most active.

1987

The breakfast and dinner programs continued in 1987. In April the program was reassessed and some changes were made. Breakfast continued to be served after the 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00AM Masses but the dinner schedule became more flexible. During the summer, snow cones were sold at the Community Center after the 9:30AM, 11:00AM and 12:00 noon Masses (223:19/07/1987).

Dinners were sold only when a church group decided to hold a fundraiser (223:19/04/1987) (223:20/09/1987). Frank and Mary Gonzales raised $213 by selling brisket tacos after the morning Masses to raise money for carpet for the new church (223:19/07/1987) (223:26/07/1987). Other groups, including the ushers from the 8:00AM Mass, served dinner plates after all Masses as a benefit for the new church (223:26/07/1987).

Hot dogs ($0.50) and chili dogs ($0.75) were sold on the side of the church after all the morning Masses on October 4 to benefit the new church (223: 27/09/1987). This sale was aimed at the CCD children. Breakfast was also served after the first three Masses by Carlos and Lucy Polanco and crew (223: 20/09/1987). Income from the hot dog sale was $209.35 and income from breakfast was $441.75 (223: 27/09/1987).

On July 26, newcomers to San José Church were welcomed by a greeter at the Parish Hall and offered free coffee, juice and sweet rolls after each Mass (223:26/07/1987).

1988

For the first six months of 1988 the breakfast leaders were Pete and Consuelo Guerrero, Ruth Martinez, Ralph and Stella Rivera, Becky Reyna, Frances Treviño and Juan and Elia Flores. In July, Chico Govea and crew replaced that led by Juan and Elia Flores. The Young Adult Group, Altar Servers and others occasionally prepared a special breakfast (223). The breakfast income was always listed in the next Sunday's bulletin and varied from $255 to $582 per week (223). Breakfast was served every Sunday after the 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00AM Masses from January 3 to December except for June 19 (Father's Day), July 17, Nov. 6, Dec. 4 and Dec. 25 (223). On Mother's Day, the altar servers served breakfast as a fundraiser.

Beginning May 8, snow-cones were sold after the 9:30AM, 11:00AM and 12:30PM Masses by the Altar Servers (223:08/05/1988) (223:15/05/1988). For several years, the CYO sold snow cones during the summer as their fundraiser. Revenue from the sale of snow cones was typically $90 per week (223:21/08/1988) at a time when breakfast income ranged from $220 to $480 per week (223:28/08/1988).

In June 1988, Frank and Mary Gonzales began selling a take-out meal of menudo, hot dogs, chili dogs, beef tacos and punch every other week after the 8:00, 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30 Masses. The meals cost $3.00 and the proceeds were for the church fund. They set up their stand in the patio in front of the parish hall (223:29/05/1988). The meals cost $3.00 (223:17/07/1988).

At the urging of the pastor, various sodalities and ministries sold food and donated the proceeds to the building fund. The ushers cooked and sold tacos on September 4 for a profit of $283 and later in the month the Socios sold a barbecue lunch and donated the profits of $248.90 to the church (223:25/09/1988). Breakfast on a typical Sunday raised $370 (223:11/09/1988).

1989

In January 1989, there were six breakfast groups headed up by Ruth Martinez, Chico Govea, Frances and Joe Treviño, Pete and Connie Guerrero, Mary and Paul Gonzales and Jim Sanchez and Angel Rivera. Breakfast was sometimes served after all Mass and sometimes after only the first two Sunday Masses. On Father's Day and several other days there was no breakfast after Mass. When the annual Thanksgiving dinner was served, no breakfast was served (223:19/11/1989).

Frances Treviño was in charge of the breakfast program. She announced on January 22 that the breakfast crews would start serving lunch after the 11:00AM and 12:30PM Masses starting that day. There will be a different "specialty" served every Sunday. The menu included Carne Asada Plate (223:12/02/89), Enchiladas (223:26/02/89) and Elgin Sausage Plate (223:12/03/89).

Lunches were sometimes served in the Community Center after 11:00AM and 12:30PM Mass by the same crew that served breakfast (223:29/01/1989). On other Sundays, lunch was served at another of the breakfast groups (223:05/02/1989) (223:12/02/1989) (223:19/02/1989) (223:05/03/1989) (223:12/03/1989) (223:19/03/1989) (223:16/04/1989). No lunches were served from June 4 until December 3. On December 3, breakfast was served after 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00AM by one crew and then Jim Sanchez and his crew sold lunches after 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30 Mass (223:03/12/1989).

The profits from the breakfast and lunch programs were used to service the debt on the new church (223:09/04/89). During the spring of the year, weekly profits from the breakfast averaged about $300 and about $100 from the lunches (223:05/02/89) (223:19/02/89) (223:26/02/89) (223:12/03/89) (223:19/03/89) (223:26/03/89) (223:09/04/89) (223:16/04/89) (223:23/04/89).

On March 19, Joe and Francis Treviño served a Palm Sunday barbecue lunch of Elgin Sausage or Chicken for $3.50 for adults and $3.00 for children after the 11:00AM and 12:30PM Mass. The sale realized $1,016.80 in net profit. The net profit was the most ever realized on a Sunday Dinner other than the annual turkey dinner (223:19/03/89) (223:26/03/89) (223:26/03/1989).

Animated by the astonishing success of the Palm Sunday barbecue plate, plans were made to sell a combination B.B.Q. plate on the San José Grounds beginning at 11:00AM on April 30 for $3.50 per plate (223:16/04/89). The income from breakfast/dinner on April 30 was only $488.54 (223:14/05/89).

In June, the bulletin advised that the church staff was looking for someone to sell snow-cones after the 12:30 Masses (223:11/06/1989). Snow cones were already being sold after the 9:30 and 11:00AM Masses (223:25/06/1989). The next week snow-cones were offered at all three Masses with income of $95 (223:16/07/1989).

Beginning in August, breakfast was served after each Mass. Income ranged from $242 and $346. No breakfast was served on Father's Day, August 27, October 22, Thanksgiving and December 24 and 31.

Lunch was served after 11:00 and 12:30 Mass on nine Sundays in the spring and on November 5 and December 3. The combined breakfast and lunch income ranged from $301 to $659 per week. Lunch income ranged from $99 to $123. The lunch crews were Pete and Theresa Sepada, Pete and Connie Guerrero, Chico Govea, Frances and Joe Treviño. After August breakfast was served after all Masses. The breakfast income was used to pay the debt on the new church (223:19/11/1989).

1990

Between January and December, 1990, breakfast was served after all Masses by Ruth Martinez, Chico Govea, Becky Reyna, the Socios and the Guadalupanas. Each group took turns. No breakfast was served on Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, Labor Day and the week after Thanksgiving. Breakfast income ranged from $308 to $659. The average was probably $400 (223). The pastor thanked the breakfast crews for "the delicious meals they serve and the great financial help it is for the church (223:11/03/1990).

During 1990, Jim Sanchez served lunch after 11:00 and 12:30 Masses on January 21, Feb. 11, March 4, April 1, April 22 and Dec. 9. Income ranged from $183 to $286. A lunch plate was served after the breakfast beginning on July 29. Sometimes one crew served breakfast and another crew served the lunch plate. The Guadalupanas served a Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings after 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30 Mass on Thanksgiving (223:18/11/1990).

Maria Rosas-Garcia and "Chico" Govea were in charge of the breakfast crews. A unified policy of all the Breakfast Crews was, "To serve only the best and fresh food; to serve large portions and to be courteous at all times". Parishioners were advised to contact Maria Rosas-Garcia with their complaints (223:22/04/1990). She was the church office manager.

Beginning July 29, both breakfast and lunch were served in the parish hall after 9:30AM and 11:00AM Masses, (223:22/07/1990). The breakfast menu was a Breakfast Plate costing $2.50; flour taco $1; menudo $2, coffee 30cents; pan dulce 40 cents; orange juice 50 cents and soda 50 cents. The lunch menu was a Taco Plate costing $2.50 (223:29/07/1990). The menu and price of lunch was printed in the Sunday Bulletin (223:19/08/1990).

In July 1990, the pastor pleaded for more breakfast workers. He pointed out that while San José had four breakfast crews. Cristo Rey Church had eleven. The pastor urged people to sign up to form a breakfast crew to lessen the workload on the existing groups (223:29/07/1990).

1991

Apparently insufficient volunteers answered the pastor's call for help serving lunch and, in March 1991, the Sunday dinners were cancelled and, by popular request, breakfast was served after 8:00AM, 9:30AM and 11:00AM Masses (223:10/03/1991).

The breakfast crews were Chico Govea and his crew, the Guadalupanas, the Socios, and the SUAVE Youth Group. The names of the persons serving breakfast as listed in the Sunday Bulletin reveal that the crews were frequently mixed. The individuals who helped on the breakfast groups were in 1991 included Connie & Max Cavazos, Elias Rangel, Maria Vasquez, Gloria Ramos, Angelica Ramos, Chico Govea, Manuel & Velia Castillo,

Juanita Rodriguez, Maria Galvan, Helen Camarillo, Teresa Peña, Stella Trejo, Julian Gutierrez, José Jiménez, Richard Galvan, Alfredo Rangel, Greg Trejo, Lorenzo Rodriguez, Ester Terrazas, Analisa Ramos, Albert Terrazas, Juan Pérez, Rosie Sanchez,

Angelica Martinez, Pete Guerrero, Joshua Davis, Patty Pérez, Connie Alcala, Peter Botello, Connie Guerrero, Geronimo Sanchez, Rene Riojas, Ben Martinez, Alica Botello, Anna Sabana, Joe Ramos, Martha Degollado, John Nira, Maria RosasGarcia, Mary DeLaVega, Blasita Guerra, Juanita Rodriguez, Joanna OlivaresJaime Ramos, Analisa Ramos, Gloria Vásquez, Jesus Gutierrez, Lorenzo Rodriguez Jose Jimenez,Anna Sabana, Patty Perez, Connie Alcala, Eddie Medel, Rene Riojas, Pete & Connie Guerrero, Martina Davila, Veronica Garcia, Gloria Ramos, Gloria Vasquez, Romeo Davila, Louisa & Jesse Hernandez, Juanita Rodriguez, Gloria Vasquez and Louisa Hernandez.

The breakfast income was listed as Parish Income in the Sunday Bulletin. On May 12, for the first time, the Sunday Bulletin said that the proceeds from the breakfast program "go to sponsor youth programs and scholarships". Until the breakfast program terminated in the fall of 2017, the income from the breakfast program was placed into a scholarship fund for students connected in some way with San José Parish.

In November, the kitchen was reconfigured and an additional serving line was added. The pastor said, "You will not have to wait outside the building and we will be serving you home cooked meals quickly. Pancakes and bacon have been added to the menu" (223:10/11/1991).

1992

Beginning February 9, 1992, Jim Sanchez and his family began serving hot dogs, punch, popcorn and cotton candy after all CCD classes in the parish hall (223:02/02/1992). The proceeds were used to finance the CCD program (223:09/02/1992). The snacks were served after the 9:30AM, 11:00AM and 12:30PM Masses (223:16/02/1992). The snack program continued until May 3, the last day of CCD classes for all grades (223:03/05/1992).

The snack program was resumed on August 30. The snack bar was open after 9:30AM, 11:00AM and 12:30PM Masses" (223:30/08/1992). The snack bar was closed when there were no CCD classes (223:13/12/1992).

During 1992, breakfast income was listed under income for Youth Programs and totaled $24,503 or an average of $521 per week. Breakfast sales were lowest in the summer months and highest in the fall (223). Breakfast was served after 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00AM Masses. The snack bar was open after 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30PM Masses beginning on August 30. Jim Sanchez donated the equipment he had on his portable trailer-mounted snack bar to the church and installed in the room where beer was previously sold. He sold hot dogs, brisket on a bun, ice cream cones and cotton candy with the proceeds going to the Youth Program (223:23/08/1992).

1993

The breakfast income as reported in the Weekly Financial Report was always net of expenses. During the first three months of the year, the income averaged about $630. After March 14, breakfast income was no longer reported.

In 1993, the breakfast groups included the Catholic War Veterans, Angel Rivera and his crew, the World Youth Day Youth Group, Ruth Martinez and family, Arthur Dominguez and friends, Ester Terrazas and the confirmation students, the Religious Educaton Department (with profits going to RE Department) and Esther Terrazas and friends (223).

In later years, various church organizations prepared and served breakfast in the Community Center after the first two Sunday Masses. The income (after deducting expenses) went directly into a fund for scholarships. The same or another church organization prepared and served lunch after the final two Sunday Masses. The lunches were served outside of the Community Center and were fundraisers for the parish organization that served the food, usually the organization that served breakfast.

In June 2017, the breakfast program was discontinued for June, July and August because, the pastor said, of the high expense of air conditioning the Community Center. Breakfast was served sporadically during the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018. The program began again in July 2018. The income after expenses for the breakfast program was usually $600 per Sunday. $500 per Sunday was budgeted for the purchase of breakfast supplies. Breakfast was served after the first two Masses. Lunch was served outside after the last two Masses.


5.4

Child Care

This article will describe two different childcare programs at San José Church. A Federally funded childcare program, called Child Inc., operated on the San José campus from 1965 until 1986. This program still exists. It currently operates sixteen child development centers in Austin including one at Dawson Elementary School and another at the South Austin Neighborhood Center.

The second childcare program was a baby sitting or nursery service that was available to San José parishioner's children while their parents attended services in the church. The nursery service was available from 1967 until at least 1993. San José Parish no longer provides a nursery service.

Head Start

The Head Start program began in 1965 as an eight-week summer program. It was part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society campaign. In 1966, Head Start became a year-round program. The Federal Government identified the children of San José as disadvantaged and San José Parish was offered funds for a Head Start program. The Sunday Bulletin of January 2, 1966 announced a meeting at the Community Center on Thursday, January 6 at 7:30PM to discuss this offer. "The entire Parish is invited to a meeting on accepting the Government Program of Day Care", Fr. Houser said (223:01/02/66).

Heads of various Federal Government departments met with the parishioners of San José and offered to fund a day care center on the parish grounds. The parish had to accept the program at that meeting or it would be offered elsewhere. The parishioners were divided about the proposal but eventually agreed to accept the proposal (223:01/23/66). Miss Daniels, a government-paid secretary, asked interested parents to bring their children to the Community Center between 2:00PM and 6:00PM during the week of February 13 to be registered. This was done and the day care opened on February 14 for children 3 to 4 years old (223:02/13/66). In September 1966, the parochial school moved to the new San José School building and the Day Care moved into two of the wooden military surplus buildings in the School Compound. On the weekends, CCD used these same buildings.

Parents of the children in the program incorporated Child Inc. as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1972. Ever since then Child Inc. has been the Head Start grantee for Travis County. The Day Care Center employed San José parishioners. In October 1978, the Sunday Bulletin noted that Mrs. Ramona Sosa died suddenly. "She worked for many years to establish and to supervise the day care center here at San José" (223:22/10/78).

The San José Day Care Center, like many organizations at San José, occasionally sponsored dances to raise money. Nash Hernandez provided the music for a benefit dance in June 1972. The tickets were priced at $6 at the door, a relatively high figure for the period (223: 04/06/72). In December 1974, the Day Care rented a venue called the Chaparral on Ben White Boulevard for a Christmas dance. Admission was $2 per couple or one unwrapped new toy for the Day Care Center (250: 08/12/74).

In 1974, the Day Care Center shared space in the old school buildings with the CCD. Three nurses from the Austin Travis County Health Department (249:03/02/74) and the Neighborhood Center (250:20/10/74) shared space in the San Jose Community Center. The Neighborhood Center and the Clinic soon moved to new buildings on Durwood Street or South First Street. The Day Care Center rented two of the old school buildings until 1984.

In 1983, the Day Care Center paid the church $4,212 to use the old school buildings during weekdays (223:12/02/84). The church also rented out the 1st floor of the school building. Even though the total parish income in 1983 was $222,765, income from renting out the school buildings was important sources of income for the parish. The rental money was used to pay the notes on the construction loans for the new school and the Community Center (223:18/03/84).

In 1984, the Day Care Center occupied two of the old barrack buildings. In May 1984, new roofs were put on both Day Care Buildings with the Day Care furnishing the material and the church furnishing the labor (223:13/05/84). In November 1984, arsonists started a fire in one of the buildings housing the Day Care Center and a portion of the building was destroyed. A 2x2 inch photo of the burnt up Daycare Center was printed in the Sunday Bulletin of December 16 (223:16/12/84).

In January 1985, the Day Care Center reopened in the rear of the burned barracks and in the Community Center. Plans were being made to purchase a 50' x 100' x 12' high metal building and to raise money with a citywide benefit dance (223:27/01/85). In the meantime, the barracks previously used for the Youth Bureau was reworked for the Day Care Center (223:03/02/1985). Ray Cortéz donated two rugs and Tom Longoria donated linoleum for the temporary Day Care Center in the former Youth Bureau (223:20/01/1985).

The initial task was to demolish the damaged structure. The men of the church who volunteered to work on the damaged building included Sabino Cruz, Ray Castro, Juan Flores, Abel Hernandez, Tom Soto, Juan Salas, Carlos Samilpa, Vicent Granado, Jerry G. Hernandez, Victor Rodriquez, Maria Galvan, Juanita Rodriguez, Tiburcia Rodriguez and Becky Reyna (223:09/12/84). Other volunteers who worked on wrecking the Day Care Center were Lorenzo Rodriguez and Abel Hernandez. Al Rodriguez loaned his pickup truck to haul trash for the trash away (223:16/12/84). The next week Ray Castro, Lorenzo Rodriguez, Abel Hernandez, Jerry Hernandez and Domingo Rivas completed the work of demolishing the old Day Care Center (223:23/12/84).

Enrique Saenz helped clean up around the old Day Care Center (223:17/02/1985) and Jerry Hernandez donated a six-foot chain link fence for the New Day Care Center. Sabas Marcus donated six loads of sandy loam to complete the work (223:30/12/84).

The pastor urged local businesses to donate to the reconstruction of the San Jose Day Care Center, "since this Day Care Center serves children from low income families in South Austin..." (223:02/12/84). He reported that, "The Day Care Program is presently being held in two locations: the building in the rear of the Barracks that burned and the Community Center. The Barracks building that was previously used for the Youth Bureau has been prepared for temporary use for Day Care and additional classrooms for CCD on Sunday. We have added two new partition walls so that there are now four classrooms. This will enable the Day Care Program to move from the community center to this former Youth Bureau Building".

"We have a good price on a metal building 50 ft. x 100 ft. x 12 ft. high. We are presently getting plans drawn for the floor plan. We have planned a city-wide benefit dance to raise funds to pay for the metal building" (223:27/01/1985).

In early February, the Ladies of Charity donated $500.00 to kick off the fundraising campaign for the new Day Care Center (223: 24/02/1985). The fundraising dance was delayed until April when it was possible to assembly a line-up of big name bands to play for the benefit. On Saturday, April 13, Ruben and Alfonso Ramos and the Texas Revolution, Johnny Degoliado y Su Conjunto and El Grupo Recuerdo played at the San Jose Child, Inc. Day Care Benefit Dance at the Austin Opera House at 200 Academy Drive. The dance was from 8:00PM to 1:00AM (223: 24/03/1985) and tickets were $10 per person presale or $12 at the door (223: 07/04/1985).

The next month, the pastor called a parish meeting to discuss the need for an additional wing on the church and other things, such as where to locate the new Day Care Center and what to do with "Old Convent" (old barracks) (223: 12/05/1985).

Work continued on the building. In June, the pastor was seeking a frontend loader to removed trash from the old Day Care Center area (223: 02/06/1985). In response, Jack Salazar, Moe Sanchez Jr. and Jim Sanchez donated $125 to clean up the trash from the Day Care Center (223:23/06/1985). The portion of the building that did not burn was rebuilt as a storage building (223:03/02/1985).

In July 1985, the parish received a Special Permit from the Austin Planning Commission for the new Day Care Center building and applied for a Building Permit. Gwen Zucker and Lorel Hoffman worked as volunteers to get these permits (223:07/07/1985). However, funds never became available to rebuild the Day Care Center. In March 1986, Fr. Underwood announced that the grant he hoped to get to build the new Day Care Center was not forthcoming. The Foundation he applied to derived its income from oil and when the price of oil fell, the foundation's income decreased by 50%. He said, "The Church does not have now or in the future any funds to build a new Day Care Center due to the urgent needs of the Church for the New Wing, paying off the School Debt on July 1, need for more parking area, etc." (223:23/03/1986).

Child, Inc. found other quarters and moved from the San Jose campus soon afterward. In May 1986, the majority of parishioners voted to donate the barracks (the former Youth Center) that was being used by Child, Inc. so they can move it off church property and continue their daycare program. The building was located where the parking lot for the new church would be (223: 25/05/1986). Child, Inc. did not take up church's offer and found accommodations elsewhere. By the end of May, two of the three buildings had been sold (223: 27/07/1986) and a family in Round Mountain, Texas agreed to move all three barracks from the San Jose campus (223: 03/08/1986). Getting permits delayed moving the Barracks but they were all removed by August 1986 (223: 10/08/1986).

Child Inc. continues to offer Head Start programs to the parishioners of San Jose Parish and elsewhere. In 2018 the company operated Head Start programs in six locations in South Austin including in Dawson Elementary School and the South Austin Neighborhood Center on Durwood Street.

San Jose Nursery

The July 23, 1967 edition of the San José Church Sunday Bulletin announced that, beginning on Sunday July 30, members of the Catholic Youth Organization would begin a baby sitting service for parents of small children who attended the 10:00AM Mass (223:07/23/67). It is not known who long this service continued.

Ten years later, in January 1976, three young women (Linda Whaley, Molly Hernandez and Bebe Ruiz) opened a nursery to care for babies during the 10:00AM and 12:00 noon Masses (223:14/03/76). Rev. Lawrence Bauer praised the two girls who offered to babysit at 10:00AM and 12:00noon Mass as examples of self-sacrificing members of the church community (223:01/02/76). The nursery likely closed in May when the schoolyear ended. Two years later, in the fall of 1978, two teenage girls volunteered their services to babysit during one Sunday Mass. At the end of October, new volunteers were found and a Sunday morning babysitting service (nursery) was offered during the 10:00AM and 12:00AM Masses (223:22/10/78). The service was free (223:16/03/1986).

The nursery was in the school. In March 1979, Travis High School students who were trained in childcare took charge of the San José Nursery (223:04/03/79). Prior to March 1983, the nursery was open during the 9:00AM, 10:30AM and 12:00 noon Sunday Mass. The nursery was located in the southeast corner, downstairs, of the school. Pat Rodriguez and her helpers ran the babysitting program (223:27/02/83) (223:17/04/83).

In September 1983, the nursery was moved to Father Joe's Youth Center. Father Joe's was the name given to one of the old military barrack buildings. Father Joe's was also called the Old Convent. This barracks still exists and is located between the San Jose School and Herndon Lane. The entrance was through Oak Crest Street (223:18/09/83). The building has since been renamed la Casita de Esperanza. It is the only remaining barracks on the San José campus.

Pat Rodriguez and her friends continued to run the nursery (223:25/09/83). In 1984, the nursery was closed during June, July and August to allow the volunteers to do other projects (223:20/05/84). Beginning on June 13, 1985, babysitting at the Day Care Center was available for Thursday night Mass and Prayer Meeting (223:09/06/1985). The pastor pointed out that there were two cry rooms in the church that parents with children would use (223:06/10/1985) (223:16/03/1986). The nursery reopened in September during the 9:30AM, 11:00AM and 12:30PM Mass on Sunday (223:27/01/1985).

On May 17, 1987, the babysitting service for the 12:30PM Sunday Mass was discontinued for the summer. The babysitting service for the 9:30AM and 11:00AM Masses continued during the summer. The nursery was still located in Father Joe's House (223:17/05/1987). Rev. Underwood expanded the nursery's hours. In June 1987, the nursery was open while the Divorced/Single Parent Group met on Monday. Daycare was available for $0.50 per hour from 7:30PM until 9:00PM to accommodate the children of those attending the meeting (223:07/06/1987).

Underwood requested that all parishioners attend a Parish Renewal at least once. The Renewals met on Saturday from 7:45AM until 5:45PM. To accommodate the infants of those attending a Renewal, he arranged for the childcare service to be available during the Renewal from 7:45AM to 5:45PM at Fr. Joe's House (the Sunday Day Care Building). A donation of $2.00 per child was requested (223:12/07/1987). Babysitting was also available during the Lenten Missions (223:28/02/1988).

In 1988, the nursery was moved to the old church. Two ladies opened the nursery at 9:00AM and closed it at 1:30PM each Sunday (223:07/08/1988). The nursery was closed on Sunday, December 25 and Sunday, January 1 and resumed on Sunday, January 8 (223:18/12/1988) (223:01/01/1989).

Throughout 1989, the nursery was open 9:00AM to 1:30PM on Sunday (223:21/05/1989) and during the Thursday Prayer meeting. In 1990, it was open three times during the week and on Sundays. The service was free. The Sunday Bulletin urged parishioners to donate a crib, playpen, small tables and chairs, sleeping mats and toys (223:06/09/1987) (223:04/11/1990).

In 1992 and 1993, the nursery service opened at 9:00AM on Sunday in the old church and 7:00PM on Thursday (223:08/11/1992). Effective July 11, 1993, the nursery service was discontinued during the 12:30PM Mass because of low attendance but it would open at 7:30AM instead of at 9:00AM (223:04/07/1993) (223:14/11/1993). Nursery service was available for 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00AM Masses. Announcements for the nursery were printed in English and Spanish (223:19/07/1993).

Beginning in July 1993, the front cover of the Sunday Bulletin was changed to show that the, "Nursery, directed by Yolanda Serenil, providing a spiritual and developmental program for the children". It was open Sunday 7:30AM to 12:00noon and Thursday 7:00PM to 9:00PM (223:18/07/1993). Beginning on November, the Sunday hours were extended to 2:00PM (223:14/11/1993). This was a free service.


5.5

Counselors

Parish priests and deacons are trained in counseling but often do not have sufficient time to satisfy the demand. Laypeople in the church can be trained by groups such as Stephen Ministry and St. Vincent de Paul to help parishioners in distress but sometimes parishioners request help from a professional counselor. In Austin, Catholic Charities offers professional counseling service on a fee-paid basis.

Some churches offer their parishioners professional counseling services in house, usually through a counseling service whose counselors have some training in Catholic theology. The counselors may be contracted to provide counseling at several parishes. San José parish has never contracted out its counseling function and offers counseling through the Stephen Ministry at St. Ignatius Church and by the deacons.

1984

In January 1984, San José Parish hired Carlos Coronado as coordinator of Ministries (223:29/01/1984). Four years later, in January 1988, he was a Pastoral Assistant for counseling. Parishioners seeking counseling were advised to telephone for an appointment (223:03/01/1988).

1988

In August 1988, the parish offered counseling in both Spanish and English. Bud Garrett was available to counsel in English; Carlos Coronado was available to counsel in English and Spanish and Deacons Enrique Saenz and Alfredo Vasquez were available for counseling in Spanish (223:11/09/1988). In June 1989, the pastor, Fr. Underwood, suggested that people who are counseled by Bud Garrett pay $15 per hour for his time if they could afford it. "Bud's counseling is unique and very effective since he adds prayer for healing to his counseling" (223:25/06/1989).

Despite the fee, Bud Garrett's schedule was completely booked. As a result, the church hired Ray Vasquez to assist with its Counseling Service. Both Bud and Ray depended on the $15/hour gratuity as their primary source of income.

Deacons Alfredo Vásquez, Enrique Saenz and Fr. Frank Grogan offered marriage and regular counseling. They did not expect to be paid. The pastor explained that, "Deacon Vasquez has an air-conditioning & heating business, Deacon Saenz is retired and Fr. Frank Grogan is paid a stipend by the church" (223:09/07/1989).

1992

During the fall of 1992, Deacon George Joseph was available full-time for English counseling and Deacon Alfredo Vásquez was available for Spanish counseling. Fr. John Payne was available for confessions, sick calls, anointing of the sick, etc. (223:20/09/1992).

Brother Tim Wrinn, OP and Sister Guadalupe Soria, OP, members of a Dominican preaching team, arrived at San Jose on December 1, 1992 for four days. Their assignment was to pray with people and give spiritual advice. They were available during the morning and in the evening in the church office (223:06/09/1992). The arrival of Brother Tim was announced in Spanish, "El Hermano Dominico, Tim Wrinn, OP, ahora esta disposable por oracion privada y consejo espiritual. Llame la rectoria para poner una cita" (223:13/12/1992).

The Dominican Preaching Team (Brother Tim Wrinn and Sister Guadalupe Soria) remained at San José throughout 1993. In August, it was announced that Brother Tim Wrinn, O.P., was back from vacation and was accepting appointments for Spiritual Counseling (223:29/08/1993). He and Sister Guadalupe were also doing home visits. Parishioners were urged to call Sister Guadalupe with the names of shut-ins and sick parishioners needing confession or communion (223:07/11/1993).

 

5.6

Dance Committee or Dance Ministry

San Jose Mission sponsored dances as early as 1940. Dancing was an important part of the annual spring and fall bazaars and the Jamaicas held on the parish grounds. Dances were also held in the parish hall. Beginning in the late 1950s, the parish sponsored an annual Mardi Gras Dance in the City Coliseum (223:01/29/61).

After the San José Community Center opened in October 1969, it became the preferred venue for dances. During the first two years of its existence, the Community Center was the venue for a dance every six or eight-weeks. Thereafter, for the next seventeen years, there was a dance in San José Community Center at least once every two months.

Most dances were sponsored by a parish organization. Various San Jose sodalities, including the Catholic Youth Organization, the Sociedad del Sagrado Corazón, the Guadaluapanas, the Men's Club, the Catholic War Veterans and the CWV Ladies Auxiliary, sponsored dances at the Community Center. Other groups and individuals, such as San Jose Activities Club, Bazaar Queen candidates, church choirs, City Council candidates, church ushers and ad hoc groups also sponsored dances. All of these dances were billed as fundraisers.

The men who were hired to manage the San José Community Center may have organized dances on their own initiative. Ben Vega was hired to manage the Community Center in October 1969 (213). Over the next three years, Sam Guerra, Albert Mercado, Glen Rosendale, Raymond Castro and Byron Highfill managed the Community Center at different times (223:05/24/70) (223:06/06/71) (249: 18/11/73). In 1970 and 1971, a team of Socios of the Sociedad del Sagrado Corazón planned and promoted dances held at the Community Center (223:12/27/70). In June 1971, Vincent Ortiz, President of the CCD program, also organized dances on Saturday nights. The income from the dances sponsored by Vincent Ortiz was used to finance the CCD program (223:06/06/71). The income from the dances sponsored by the Socios was used to pay the parish debt.

1983

Beginning in January 1983, the pastor, Rev. Fred Underwood, realized the potential of dances as a source of funds for the parish building program. He organized a Dance Ministry that hosted dances specifically to raise money for the church's building program.

The term "parish dance" first appeared in the Sunday Bulletin on January 30, 1983 in connection with a pre-Lent dance in the San José Community Center (223:30/01/83). A "parish dance" was a fundraiser for the church, rather than a fundraiser for a parish organization (223:13/02/83). The income went directly into the general fund. The income from the first parish dance was $1,480.86 (223:20/02/83).

The next parish dance took place in the first week of April (223:27/03/83) and had a net income of $1,837.66 (223:24/04/83). The ticket price was $3 per person. The third parish dance was a month later (223:24/04/83). The third dance netted $1,124.50 (223:15/05/83). The pastor said he hoped the proceeds from the dances would help offset the expenses of the parish (223:15/05/83).

The parish dances were almost always on Saturday night and began at 9:00PM and ended at 1:00AM. Tickets usually cost $3 per person if purchased in advance and $5 at the door (223:29/05/83). Occasionally, tickets cost $4 presale or $6 at the door if, for example, there were two bands (223:29/01/84) or if the dance was a fundraiser for a specific purpose (223:05/05/1985).

The Dance Ministry sponsored ten dances a year for the next four years (223:07/08/83). Dances were held every month except January and March. The parish did not sponsor dances during Lent. The last dance before Lent was on Ash Wednesday (223:26/02/84).

The income from the first parish dances was exceptionally high. The income from subsequent dances varied from $280 (223:31/07/83) to $1,300 (223:20/11/83). The normal net income from a parish dance was over $1,000 (223:27/05/84). Net income from the parish dances for 1983 was $15,609 (223:12/02/84). The money was used to renovate the church (223:11/12/83). Dance net income for 1984 was $19,000.88 (Progress Report of San José Parish for the Year of 1984, Catholic Archives).

1984-1985

In 1984 and 1985, the Dance Ministry/Committee had thirteen volunteer dance supervisors (Progress Report of San José Parish for the Year 1985, Catholic Archives) (223:03/02/1985). The Dance Ministry was always seeking new volunteers and all parishioners were invited to join the Dance Committee. "We need more workers," said Fr. Underwood (223:08/01/84). The pastor often placed a note in the Sunday Bulletin thanking those who helped at a specific dance (223: 17/03/1985) (223: 10/11/1985).

The Dance Committee met infrequently. In 1985, the Dance Committee met in January (223:06/01/1985) and December (223: 08/12/1985). During 1984, 1985 and 1986, the Dance Ministry seemed to have a preference for Johnny Degollado y Su Conjunto, perhaps because using the same band made planning easier. Johnny Degollado and conjunto music was also extremely popular. Johnny Degollado y Su Conjunto played at the last parish dance of 1985, the New Year's Eve Gala and Dance. The dance made a profit of $2,739.85 (223: 12/01/1986).

1986

In January 1986, the Dance Committee met twice and made the following recommendations for changes to the program. There would be a parish dance every two months, instead of every month. The type of music would alternate between conjunto and orchestra. (Young people seemed to prefer the orchestras.) To maintain San Jose's reputation for family and Christian friendly dances (free of fights and trouble), the next dance would be for couples only and only 200 tickets would be printed.

In January 1986, the Dance Committee consisted of four chairpersons (Margarito and Andrea Rodriguez and Gilbert and Rosie Tello) and ten helpers. Victor Balderas and Manuel Navarro were in charge of the music schedule. Greg and Stella Trejo and Henry Saenz were in charge of beer sales. Sylvia Polanco was in charge of the Kitchen. The doorman was Paul Martinez. Jesse Ortiz was in charge of the beer license. Helpers included Raymond Castro and José Jiménez (223: 12/01/1986). The pastor noted that José Jiménez served for the past three years as Dance Committee Chairperson. During that time, he worked all the dances except for one when he was sick (223: 12/01/1986).

As promised, the next parish dance was limited to 200 couples. There was no radio or poster advertising. Ticket prices were raised to $12 or $16 at the door per couple (223: 12/01/1986). The profits from the dance were $2,093.00 (223: 16/02/1986). Encouraged by this outcome, the tickets prices for the remaining parish dances for 1986 were usually $12 per couple or $16 at the door (223:20/04/1986) (223:21/09/1986) (223:19/10/1986). The exception was when Johnny Degollado y Su Conjunto played. A dance in April with his band cost $4 per person or $6 at the door (223; 16/03/1986). Tickets for San Jose's New Year's Eve Parish Dance were $20 per couple with proceeds to the church building fund (223:14/12/1986). No liquor was sold but ticket holders could bring their own (223:28/12/1986). The proceeds from the New Year's Eve dance was $1,738.35 (223:11/01/1987).

1987

The Dance Committee met on January 12, 1987 in the school building (223:11/01/1987).

The first parish dance of the year was on Saturday, February 14. La Diferencia y Niebla Blanca provided music for a parish dance that began at 7:30PM. Tickets were $10 per couple presale or $14 at the door (223:08/02/1987). The dance netted $1,774.90 (223:01/03/1987).

For the remainder of 1987, ticket prices were $5 per person and $7 at the door (223: 18/10/1987). On December 9, a meeting of the dance committee was called for those who wanted to work at the dances, including those who could help in the kitchen. The greatest need was for a dance coordinator (223: 06/12/1987). Arthur Treviño was the contact person (223: 24/01/1988). The New Year's Eve dance featured a band called "Cest La Vie". Tickets were $10.00 per person presale and $12.00 per person at the door. The proceeds benefited the new church (223: 20/12/1987).

1988

The parish dance of April 23, 1988 featured the band of Jessie y Beto Duran y Los Aguilillas. Tickets could be purchased from the church office for $6.00 per person or, at the door, for $8.00 per person (223: 03/04/1988). A dance on Mother's Day featured Gilbert Alba and Super City Band. Tickets were $6.00 per person or $8.00 at the door (223: 01/05/1988).

Prior to May 1988, the dance committee scheduled separate dances for middle school and high school students. In April, a joint dance for the two age groups proved to be satisfactory and the pastor announced that beginning Friday, May 6, "our Youth Dances will be for our parish youth group members, ages 13-18 years and their invited friends. Maximum number admitted will be 400. Parents who wish to pick up their teenagers earlier than 11:30PM may do so". The Silver Express provided the music. The hours were 8:00 to 11:30PM with admission of $3.00 per person (223: 01/05/1988).

After this change, dances for young people were held on May 20, June 3, June 17, July 8, September 24, October 14, November 8 and December 17. Most of the dances were on Friday night and the remainder on Saturday night. Disc jockeys Rudy Duran, Jr. (Delightful Sounds), Paul Gonzales (Silver Express) and Déjà vu provided the music. Attendance was limited to 400 persons (the legal capacity was 450) and usually began at 8:00PM and ended at 11:30PM. Tickets usually cost $3 per person and the proceeds benefitted the Youth Program of San Jose (223:15/05/1988) (223:29/05/1988) (223:12/06/1988) (223:18/09/1988) (223:09/10/1988) (223:23/10/1988) (223:13/11/1988). The final dance of the year, on Saturday December 17, was a semi-formal dance for Youth Group members and their guests (223:11/12/1988).

The Youth Dance at the Jamaica on Saturday, September 24 raised $1,306.90 (223:02/10/1988). The San Jose Youth Group I.D. cards were distributed at a dance in October to San Jose Youth Group members and all non-parish high school students were asked for their school I.D. card (223:09/10/1988).

There were three other dances during 1988 for adults. In July, the Cursillistas raised $1,144.85 for the church at a benefit dance (223:21/08/1988). The dance committee sponsored a parish dance in October that earned $1,111.40 for the church (223:23/10/1988) (223:13/11/1988). The San Jose New Year's Eve Dance was at the parish hall from 9PM to 1AM on Saturday, December 31. Tickets were $10 per person at the door and $12 at the door. "Ce-La-Vi" provided the music (223:11/12/1988).

1989

The dance program for the youth continued during 1989 under the same rules and management as the year before. The main difference was that the roster of disc jockeys expanded to include Abraham Galvan and Martin "Hitman" as well as Rudy Duran, Jr. and Paul Gonzalez. Dances were held on Friday on January 20, February 10, March 10, April 28, July 16, August 5, August 25, September 8, September 22, October 13, November 18 and December 22. The profits ranged from $723 to $1,419 with the exception of the last dance of the year, on December 22, that had a profit of only $135 (223:31/12/1989). All of the proceeds from the youth dances were for the benefit of the youth programs.

All the youth dances were well supervised by adult chaperones and security (223:29/01/89). Space was limited to 400 people, so the pastor advised the youth to "be there early" (223:12/11/1989). The dance on August 25 was advertised as a battle of the DJs Teen dance and a dance contest (223:20/08/1989) (223:03/09/1989) (223:22/01/1989) (223:19/02/1989) (223:05/03/1989) (223:19/05/1989) (223:23/04/1989) (223:30/04/1989) (223:16/07/1989) (223:30/07/1989) (223:30/07/1989) (223:03/09/1989) (223:17/09/1989) (223:01/10/1989) (223:08/10/1989) (223:22/10/1989) (223:12/11/1989) (223:17/12/1989) (223:31/12/1989).

There were, in addition to the teen dances, seven dances for adults during the year. Five were sponsored by the dance committee and two others were sponsored by parish organizations. The first was the Ladies Auxiliary CWV 24th Anniversary Dance on Saturday, January 21. The profits from the beer and kitchen concession ($600) were donated $600 to the church (223:05/02/89). The Ushers sponsored a Pre-Mother's Day Dance in May (223:03/04/89). The profits from this dance were $1,018.65 (223:28/05/89). A third dance was for adult Jamaica volunteers with free beer and snacks from 9-1AM on November 11 (223:05/11/1989). The remaining dances were San Jose Parish Benefit Dance to raise money for the new church (223:19/03/89) (223:09/04/1989) (223:05/11/1989) (223:17/12/1989). The last dance of the year, a Christmas Dance, had an income of only $146 (223:31/12/1989).

1990

During 1990, the parish had two dance committees, one to manage the youth dances and another to coordinate the parish dances and dances sponsored by sodalities. The rules and management of the youth dances was similar to previous years except that the committee briefly considered moving the youth dances from Friday nights to Sunday afternoons. After one poor attended dance in April, the Dance Committee moved the next youth dance to Sunday afternoons from 4:00PM to 8:00PM (223:15/04/1990). Apparently, this dance too was very poorly attended (223:22/04/1990) and the youth dances returned to Friday evenings.

During 1990, the Youth Dance Committee was headed by Leticia Casarez and Cindy Martinez. The income from the dances was counted under parish income. Music was provided by disc jockeys including Martin "The Hit Man", David Turner, Turntable Records (Freddie Gonzales), "Iceman" (Isaac Saenz) and Lil' Louis B. The last two DJs were also known as Mobile Fantasy Disco. Dances were held on Fridays on January 26, February 9, February 23, March 23, May 18, June 1, June 22, August 24, September 15, September 28 and December 14. Ticket price remained at $3 and the income averaged $940, ranging from $653 to $1,149. Once again the least profitable dance was the final dance of the year on December 21.

The dance on June 1 was preceded by a Fashion Show. The clothes were provided by "The Go Round" shop (223:27/05/1990) (223:03/06/1990). The dance on September 15 was jointly sponsored by San José and St. Ignatius and was a benefit for the Homeless. The dance was held at St. Ignatius Hall. The donation of one can of food reduced the entry price by $1 (223:09/09/1990). The income from the dance of $970 and the income from the kitchen of $92.65 was income for the parish (223:23/09/1990) (223:21/01/1990) (223:04/02/1990) (223:18/02/1990) (223:18/02/1990) (223:04/03/1990) (223:18/03/1990) (223:27/05/1990) (223:03/06/1990) (223:05/08/1990) (223:19/08/1990) (223:12/08/1990) (223:19/08/1990) (223:07/10/1990) (223:09/12/1990) (223:23/12/1990) (223:23/12/1990).

On Sunday, July 8, the Suave Youth group sponsored a Mini Truck Show in the parking lot in front of the Parish Hall from 3:00PM to 7:00PM followed by a dance with Martin, "The Hitman", D. J. Dominique and Brown Boy James from 8:00PM to midnight. Tickets were $10 per person (223:24/06/1990). The pastor thanked the following people for making the event a success: Felix and Randa Maldonado, Joe and Alice Maldonado, Benny Martinez, Luis Vasquez, John and Sylvia Galvez, Pat Aleman, Trini Cortex, Debbie Bermudez, KOC, Leticia Cazares, Ester Terrazas, Peter and Connie Guerrero, Pete and Alma Garcia, Robert and Mel Maldonado, Tom and Veronica Soto, Deacon George Joseph, Sherry Joseph, Gloria and Louis Davis, Joe and Queta Alcala, Max and Connie Cavazos, Peter Sepeda and Barney Sauceda (223:15/07/1990). The income from the event was $1,323.56 (223:15/07/1990).

During 1990, nine adult dances were held at the San Jose Community Center. The Knights of Columbus sponsored four, the ushers sponsored two and three were sponsored by the adult dance committee. The dances sponsored by the Knights of Columbus were fundraisers for the Society (except the final event on New Year's Eve) (223:07/01/1990) (223:18/02/1990) (223:03/06/1990) (223:21/10/1990) (223: 23/12/1990) (223:13/01/1991). The income from the adult dances was much lower than that of the youth dances, ranging from $83 to $844 (223:28/01/1990) (223:08/04/1990) (223:22/07/1990) (223:12/08/1990) (223:26/08/1990) (223:09/09/1990) (223:30/09/1990). In addition to the nine adult dances, the youth dance committee invited people over 60 to a Valentine Party in the Parish Hall from 2:00PM to 4:00PM with games, music and food. The youth did the work (223:18/02/1990).

1991

In December 1990, Moses Saldana took a poll to measure interest in a Mexican-American Dance Club for people over 50 years of age (223: 16/12/1990) and, in February, he organized an Adult Dance Club that met on Wednesday at 7:30PM in the Parish Hall (223:03/02/1991) for people 40 years of age and over (223:17/02/1991).

During 1991, the Sunday Bulletin had announcements for only four youth dances. The first dance on the year, on Friday February 15, seemed to be a talent show. Formal attire was required with no tennis shoes, no tee-shirts and no caps and the best dressed couple received prizes. Music was by Fantasy Mobile Discotheque, Eric & Joseph (Masters in Motion), Kash & Money, Martin & Veronica, Johnny Cantu, Sandra and S.U.A.V.E (223: 27/01/1991). The proceeds were $1,056.44 for the youth ministry (223:24/02/1991).

There were youth dances on April 5 and May 3 and December 20. Income was not usually recorded and was counted as parish income (223:14/04/1991) (223:28/04/1991) (223:15/12/1991).

The Knights of Columbus sponsored four adult dances during the year, on Saturday February 16, May 11 (for Mother's Day), June 15 (for Father's Day) and December 24 for New Year's Eve. The dance in February was a fundraiser for the youth ministry and earned $1,470.03 (223:24/02/1991) (223:03/02/1991) (223:10/02/1991) (223:05/05/1991) (223:09/06/1991) (223:22/12/1991).

The dance committee sponsored four dances during the year including a dance at the Jamaica that had a profit of $214.96 (223:28/07/1991) (223:31/03/1991) (223:21/04/1991) (223:30/06/1991). In August, the San José Dance Committee sponsored a parish dance at the Flamingo Ballroom to welcome home Desert Storm Troops. Tickets were $6 presale and $8 at the door and were to benefit the youth programs (223:04/08/1991). Also in August, the City of Austin adopted the slogan; "Live Music Capital of the World" after it was discovered that Austin had more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the US. Max Nofziger and Mayor Bruce Todd sponsored the resolution.

1992

The youth dance program collapsed after 1990 from eleven dances during 1990 to four during 1991 and three in 1992. Both youth dances were during the summer school vacation. The first dance was sponsored by the Explorers of San Jose. They sponsored a youth dance in June for ages 14 to 19 on Friday from 8PM to 11:30PM with music by Turntable Records. Cost was $4 at the door or $3 with the flyer. They wanted to attend a retreat in Wimberley that cost $20 per person and needed to raise the money to pay the cost of the trip (223:14/06/1992). The second dance was a normal youth dance in the parish hall from 8PM to 12AM on a Friday in July (223:12/07/1992) (223:19/07/1992) and the third was the Halloween Dance for Youth Ages 14-18 with D. J. Gabe Mojica's Latin Express in the parish hall on October 30. "Costume Contest- no devils or witches allowed" (223:25/10/1992).

During 1992, the Knights of Columbus sponsored two dances at the San Jose Community Center. The first was for Mother's Day and the second was for Father's Day. The May Pre-Mother's Day Dance was from 9:00PM to 1:00AM in the parish hall with Los Commandos de Monterrey. The tickets cost $5 and were available in the church office (223:03/05/1992). The following people helped: Joe Gutierrez, Luís Martinez, Pete Sepeda, José Alcala, Chico Govea, Manuel Garcia, Martin Fernandez, Lix Fernandez, Augustin Lara, Josie Lara, Joe Ramos, José Jiménez, Ray Martinez, Henrietta Alcala and Terri Sepeda (223:17/05/1992). The second dance was on Saturday June 20 and was billed as a pre-Father's Day Dance from 9:00PM to 1:00AM in the Parish Hall with music by Los Hermanos Cruz. Price per couple was $10 pre-sale or $12 at the door from the church office or Joe Ramos (223:14/06/1992).

In August 1992, the pastor announced that, "Since we are no longer going to have adult dances (at which beer is sold), we renovated the room where beer used to be sold at dances" (223:23/08/1992). The only other dance during 1992 took place in December when CWV Post 1805 sponsored a New Year's Eve Dance on Thursday at the San Jose Community Center. Elvira Sanchez Y La Suerte provided the music. The price of $25 per couple included party favors and breakfast after the dance. Tickets were sold in the church foyer and at the parish hall. Persons who purchased a table (10 tickets) received a free bottle of champagne (223:20/12/1992).

1993

No youth dances were held at the San Jose Community Center in 1993. The parish dance committee had apparently disbanded. All of the dances were sponsored by either the ushers, the Knights of Columbus or the Catholic War Veterans.

The Catholic War Veterans sponsored two dances in the San José Community Center, in April (223:04/04/1993) (223:11/04/1993) and in August (223:15/08/1993). The second dance was a fundraiser for the parish. The Knights of Columbus sponsored two dances, one for Mother's Day and the other for Father's Day (223:25/04/1993) (223:13/06/1993). This dance may have been a benefit dance for the San José Tutoring Program (223:06/06/1993). On Sunday, August 29, the CWV Ladies Auxiliary sponsored a dinner and dance from noon to 6:00PM but the venue was their Home Post at 4913 South Congress Avenue (223:22/08/1993).


5.7

El Hogar Del Pueblo

During 1981, the Pastors of Guadalupe, Dolores, San José, San Francisco, Cristo Rey and Sta. Julia Catholic Churches met each month, often at Steiner Ranch, to discuss the Hispanic ministry in Austin (223:June,1981). The pastors who attended these meetings included Rev. Msgr. Lonnie C. Reyes, pastor of Cristo Rey; Rev. Jerome Burnet, O.M.I., pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Rev. John Korcsmar, C.S.C., pastor of San José (223:19/07/1981).

They created El Hogar Del Pueblo to coordinate the various programs and activities for the six Mexican-American parishes. El Hogar Del Pueblo was located at 3010 Lyons Road in the school building behind St. Julia Church (223: 15/11/1981).

The first program, the formation of lay baptismal teams, began on June 16, 1981. Fifty persons attended the six-session program of training, many from San José Parish (223:26/07/1981). The goal of the lay teams was to involve parents of young children in the Catholic Church. Fr. Korcsmar commented that, "Last year we had about 150 baptisms" as a result of the program (223:19/07/1981). On Nov. 17 and Nov. 24, 1981, a two part workshop for anyone involved in music ministry was held at El Hogar Del Pueblo (223:15/11/1981).

The training center was apparently used until at least 1985. The first Lay Ministers were trained there between 1983 and 1985. In June 1985, twelve persons completed a two-year study program at El Hogar to be trained as Lay Ministers. Lay Ministers are laypersons who are commissioned to assist with the distribution of the Sacraments as needed. Bishop Harris commissioned the new ministers at St. Mary's Cathedral with a Mass and a reception. Six of the twelve persons were from San José Parish: Victor Balderas, Emilio Cavazos, Josie Cavazos, Margaret Gomez, Enrique Saenz, Stella Trejo (223:23/06/1985). This class probably marked the beginning of the Lay Ministry in the Diocese.

Later in 1985, a course called Introduction to Spirituality was taught at El Hogar del Pueblo. Five classes met on Monday evenings beginning October 7. Evey Chapa was the coordinator of the course (223: 06/10/1985). After 1985, there is no further mention of El Hogar Del Pueblo in the San José Sunday Bulletin.

In 1987, when Spanish-language training for Comunidades Cristianas y Evangelizacion were announced, classes were held at El Centro de la Evangelizacion de la Casa Guadalupe at 78 San Marcos Street, a building once leased by LULAC (223:08/02/1987).


5.8

Marriage Encounter

In 1952, Rev. Gabriel Calvo of Spain developed a series of conferences for married couples. The conferences developed into the Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME). The mission of WWME is to proclaim the value of the sacraments of matrimony and Holy Orders (Catholic Spirit, June 2018).

In 1967, Marriage Encounter was introduced in the US. It became a Ministry of the Diocese of Austin in 1974. Marriage Encounter Weekends begin Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon and includes one-on-one sessions in which couples work through the material with each other in private. Couples typically sleep at the retreat location (Catholic Spirit, June 2018).

Marriage Encounter at offered about three times a year in the Diocese of Austin. "The emphasis of Marriage Encounter is on improving communication between husband and wife. They spend a weekend together away from distractions and the tensions of everyday life and concentrate on each other" (Marriage Encounter, austindiocese.org).

The June 23, 1974 issue of the Samaritan bulletin of San José Parish announced a new program called Marriage Encounter. Mrs. Carmen Amaya was the contact for San José Parish (249:23/06/74). The Samaritan announced the date and place of at least twenty-four marriage encounters weekends in 1974, all in San Antonio. The contacts for San José were Joe and Alice Maldonado, Tom and Mary Longoria, Carmelo and Dora Cortez and Jerry and Carmen Amaya (249:14/07/74).

In October 1974, Marriage Encounters in English and Spanish in Austin were announced in the Sunday Bulletin (223:29/09/74) (250:01/12/74). Marriage Encounters were described as weekend events lasting three days (223:11/11/78). In 1978, the events were oversubscribed and two additional weekends were scheduled for 1978 (223:26/11/78). In July 1985, the Marriage Encounter Weekend took place at the Ramada Inn North in Austin (223:30/06/1985). During 1985, Marriage Encounters were scheduled once an month (223:01/09/1985).

Rev. Underwood was a strong supporter of the Marriage Encounter weekends. In 1984, he identified the key movements in the Catholic Church as marriage encounter, R.C.I.A., Cursillo, Parish Renewal and the Charismatic Movement (223:04/11/84). He wrote that, "Marriage Encounter cordially invites you to a weekend of romance and excitement" (223:07/09/1968) and described the Marriage Encounter as, "a romance-restoring weekend" (223:07/04/1991). It was, he said, "The most indescribably, wonderful, life-giving, marriage renewing, romance restoring weekend!" (223:15/09/1991).

The Marriage Encounter mini-course was offered periodically in the Sunday Bulletin. These events were on a weekend and, in 1989, were directed by Andrew and Janie Cortez (223:28/04/89). In 1990, they were directed by either Frank and Shiela Yorke or Andrew and Janie Cortez (223:04/02/1990) (223:29/04/1990) (223:07/04/1991) (223:23/06/1991) (223:15/09/1991). In 1993, Marriage Encounters were held at Cedar Brake Retreat Center and directed by Steve and Peggy Gornik (223:24/10/1993).

In 1987, San José Parish held its first Open House for single and divorced parents (223:29/03/1987). The group elected officers at the next meeting on April 13 in the Religious Education Center (the school building) (223:12/04/1987). In December 1993, the Diocese offered a weekend retreat at Cedarbrake for hurting couples. This was a new program called Retrouvaille (Rediscovery). The purpose was to teach couples how to communicate (223:12/12/1993). The Diocese continues to sponsor Retrouvaille Weekends in addition to Marriage Encounters Weekends.

Whereas Marriage Encounters are designed to enrich a marriage, Retrouvaille Weekends are designed to save a failing marriage. "This program offers struggling couples the chance to rediscover themselves as individuals, as well as rediscover their spouse and a loving relationship in their marriage. It is a ministry meant for couples trying to save their marriage" (Retrouvaille Weekend, austindiocese.org).


5.9

Medical Clinic

In 1956, Rev. Joseph Houser, the pastor of San José Church, received a letter from the Federal Government offering to sell the church surplus barracks from Bergstrom Air Force Base for $45 each (211) (223:07/28/63). The parish purchased four of the buildings. Three were arranged in a U-shape in the space where the third San José Church was erected in 1988. The three buildings were partitioned into classrooms for a school the parish planned to open (12) (193). The fourth building was placed were the San José Community Center now stands and was used as the parish hall.

In September 1959, three Sacred Heart Sisters from San Antonio arrived to take charge of the school (86) (211). The barracks used as the parish hall was converted into a convent to house the three Sisters. Another surplus military building was acquired for use as a parish hall and placed next to the convent (12). A new brick school building replaced the wooden school buildings in September 1966.

In 1968, the Parish Council decided to build a new parish hall on the site of the wooden building then in use. Sometime after the January 24, 1969, ground breaking ceremony for the new community center, the convent was moved to the southwest corner of the church property at 800 Herndon Lane. The old parish hall was also moved and became the Youth Center.

The Religious Sisters who taught in the school continued to live in one of the old barracks, called the San José Convent (213), until the San José School closed in June 1973. In September 1973, after the Sisters had left the building, a naming competition was held to choose a new name for the building and the old convent building was renamed Casa Amistad.

In 1974, the barracks used for the Youth Center was rented to the City. Three or four nurses occupied the old barracks that had been the parish hall before it was rechristened the Youth Center. The main function of the school nurses was to visit school clinics and homes in South Austin (249: 03/02/74). In November, a free clinic opened at the Youth Center on Monday nights from 7:00PM to 9:00PM with Dr. Ben White attending to children and Dr. Van Weisse attending adults (249: 04/11/73).

The clinic opened in 1973

According to Brother Dunn's history of the parish, Dr. Will Van Weisse and his wife (Celilia Ruíz Van Weisse, who was a surgeon) opened a clinic in Casa Amistad for women and children in 1973 (12) (250:03/11/74). The Medical Clinic consisted of two doctors and three nurses with a pharmacy. The clinic was open on Monday and Thursday evenings from 7:00PM to 9:00PM (249:07/04/74). During summer months, the clinic was opened an hour earlier and closed at 8:00PM (249:28/07/74).

The clinic run by Dr. Weisse was open on Monday and Thursday evening until 1979 although the clinic hours were adjusted periodically (223:05/01/75) (223:05/02/75). In July 1975, the clinic added a nurse for pregnancy consultations (223:27/07/75) and in August the name changed to South Austin Community Clinic (223:03/08/75).

In October 1975, the Meadowbrook Well Child Clinic moved to the South Austin Community Clinic building on the San Jose campus. This clinic operated from 10:00AM to 12:00AM (223:19/10/75). In March 1976, the evening clinic, which had previously been offered without charge, began asking for a nominal donation of $1 per person (223:14/03/76).

In May 1976, the San José Church Sunday Bulletin announced a, "New 5-Day Clinic Schedule". On Monday and Thursday the clinic opened at 6:00PM for "Medical Help" with a $1.00 donation required. On Tuesday and Friday the clinic opened at 8:00AM. The Tuesday clinic was for well children. The clinic opened on Wednesday at noon and offered a free check-up for Senior Citizens (223:23/05/76).

The City Council ordered Brackenridge Hospital, at that time a City hospital, to reduce its outpatient load by placing most its patient in clinics in their neighborhoods. As part of this policy, in 1978, the City of Austin decided to build a community clinic, now called South Austin Community Care, at 2529 S. First Street where Herndon Lane intersects South First Street. In July 1978, the City of Austin announced that it wanted to rent the San José Community Center for use as a clinic for a period of 12-18 months while the new multi-purpose center was being built on South First Street (223: 07/16/78). For this reason, Brackenridge Hospital leased most of the San José Community Center for an outpatient clinic during 1979 (12).

The clinic closed in 1978

During this period, Dr. Weisse closed his clinic. After the clinic moved out of the old convent building in 1978, the building was renovated once again and was used as a classroom by the Sunday CCD program. The building was unoccupied during the week and neighborhood children broke into and vandalized the old building. In July 1983, the building was repaired (223:03/07/83) and was renamed "Father Joe's Youth Center" in honor of Father Joseph Houser.

Eddie Reyes, a Holy Cross Seminarian, moved into the building to stop the vandalism that was occurring in that building and the School Building. He also used the building as his office. At that time, the building had two guest bedrooms and two meeting rooms that could be used for CCD or youth groups (223:10/07/83). Enrique Saenz coordinated a team of carpenters, electricians and plumbers to repair the building (223:10/07/83). The building continued to use as an occasional residence and as CCD classrooms for the next two years.

In May1985, the pastor called a meeting of the parish to discuss the need for an additional wing on the church and other things, such as what to do with the, "Old Convent" (223: 12/05/1985). No major changes were made to the old convent building but it was renamed, "Casa Esperanza". It continued to be used as a CCD classroom and a meeting place for the San José chapter of the Knights of Columbus. In 2017 there was once again talk of demolishing the old structure but the building still serves a useful purpose and stands today as it was in 1983 with a few modest addition and improvements.

 

5.10

Reina Committee

Traditionally, annual events such as the San José Bazaar in the spring and the San José Jamaica in the fall of the year included a contest for Queen (and often King) of the festival. The Queen (and King) earned the honor by raising the most money for the parish and reigned for one year or until the next festival.

The tradition probably originated in San Antonio, the Hispanic heart of Texas. In 1909, an Anglo businessmen's club called The Order of the Alamo began staging a spectacular event that became a central feature of Fiesta San Antonio. At this event, various Duchesses make an appearance followed by the presentation of and coronation of the Queen and her Court. All wear elaborate attire. After the court is seated musicians and others entertain the royalty and the audience. This event is staged every year in April in connection with the spring celebration in honor of the Battle of San Jacinto and was widely copied (and mocked).

Many of the elements of the San José Reina tradition mirror those of the San Antonio Fiesta Queen. The Queen's Court was huge. In San Antonio, it consisted of 24 unmarried boys and girls. At the San José event, there were sixteen boys and girls in the Queen's Court, eleven in that of the Princess, seven each in the Courts of the Duchess and Marquis and eight Pages. Even the naming conventions of the San José event were borrowed from those of the San Antonio Fiesta Queen. The event may be modeled after the San Antonio Fiesta Queen or it may have been a parody of it. Documentary evidence of at least two such events from the 1950s survives (33) (34).

Fiesta Patria

The first event was called a "Fiesta Patria". It was sponsored by San José Church and took place at 5:00PM on September 18. The year is unknown. The Camilo Cantu Band provided the music. Food, tamales, game booths and Bingo were available from 5:00PM until 9:00PM. At 9:00PM, the program began with a presentation of the flags of US and Mexico accompanied by National Hymns. After the hymns, the Queen's Honor Guard (Boy Scout Troop 94) paraded in, followed by the entrance of the Queen and Her Court. Mrs. Emma Long crowned the Queen.

After the Coronation, the Mexican Declaration of Independence was read followed by speeches and traditional Mexican dances. The five candidates for Queen were Misses Isabel Saldivar, Alice Ramírez, Estela Moreno, Nora Saucedo and María García (33).

Regio Festival

The second event took place on February 19, 1955 in the City Coliseum and was described as the Annual Coronation of San José Queen. San José and Santa Cruz churches combined to hold a "Regio Festival" at the City Auditorium. The focus of the event was the crowning of the Parish Queen. Over 90 participants were listed in the printed program. The formal title of the event as printed on the program was, "Royal Festival of the Crowning of Her Majesty the Queen Frances the First of the Royal House of Gallardo of the Missions of San Jose and Santa Cruz, City Auditorium, 19 February 1955, Austin, Texas".

Part one of the program began with an overture by the Nash Hernandez Orchestra, entrance of Flower Bearer Novie Teneyuque and eight Pages of the Honored Guests (Jo Ann Treviño, Lucill Ibarbo, Sandra, Guardiola, Margaret Ramos, Jesusita Sánchez, Isabel García, Mary Louise Alvarez and Mary Jo Resas). The Pages were followed by Marquis Nora Rodriguez and her Court (seven youth by name: Ester Martínez, Joe Sandoval, Beatrice Mojica, Joe Calvo, Olga Leal, Angie Sandoval and Ignacio Rodríguez Jr.); Duchess Janie Rodriguez and her Court (seven youth by name: Elida Martínez, Francisco Acosta, Elizabeth Rocha, Tony García, Juanita Reyna, Melinda Martínez and Peter Sandoval).

After the Duchess and her Court had paraded in, Princess Rosie Bargas and her Court entered. The Princess' Court included eleven young people (Alec Hernández, Robert Bargas, Annie Flores, Richard Alvarez, Filomena García, Johnny Pérez, Patsie Domínguez, Lupe Acosta, Virginia Ramos, Irene Bargas and Nick Rocha). The three persons who were involved in passing the scepter from the 1954 Queen to the 1955 Queen paraded in. (The party included the previous Queen, Margarita Alvarez; the incoming Queen, Frances Gallardo and her Prime Minister, Albert Rangel). As the 1954 Queen waited, the new Queen and her Court then made a triumphant entry. Her Majesty Queen Frances Gallardo's Court consisted of sixteen persons: Pete Cásarez Jr., Ramiro López, Mary Helen de León, Baldemar Reyes, Mary Estrada, Cosme Estrada, Stella Treviño, David Villasana, Linda Camarillo, Jessie Aguero, Yolanda Tijerina, Magdalena Ríos, María Consuelo Ledesma, Johnnie Reyna, Eliosa Cruz and Rosa Rodríguez.

Part Two of the ceremony was the Coronation of the Queen by Louis J. Reicher, Bishop of Austin. After the coronation ceremony, ten persons under the direction of Mrs. Nellie Garcia presented typical songs and dances of Mexico and Spain. The performers were Carmen Guerrero, Nancy González, Elida Rentería, Gabriel Gutiérrez, Alicia Almazán, Nancy González, Abraham Cuevas, Carmen Guerrero, Amelia Nevárez, Mary Helen Nevárez and Ema Gene Nevárez.

The Directors of the 1955 Regio Festival were Mr. Pedro Rivera, Director General; Mrs. Antonia Herrera, Sponsor of Female Candidates from San José; Mr. Manuel Castillo, Sponsor of Male Candidates from San José; Mrs. Blasa Mendoza, Sponsor of Female Candidates from Santa Cruz; Mr. Alfredo Ybarbo, Sponsor of Male Candidates from Santa Cruz; Mr. Pedro Tamayo, Raffle; Mr. José Rocha, Music and Dance; Mrs. Nellie García, Program; Mrs. Eloisa Cruz, San José Court; Mrs. Rosa Rodríguez, Santa Cruz Court; Mrs. Rufina Bargas, Stage and Flowers and Mrs. Beatríz Calderón, Supper. The entry fee was 25 cents for adults, 10 cents for children and $1.50 to attend the dance that followed the program. The festival was accompanied by an Arts Exhibition (34).

Festival Queens, 1961

The tradition of a festival Queen continued into the 1960s. In May 1961, the Queen was Jo Ann Trevino, the Princess Carol Ann McLaughlin and the Duchess Linda Kay Houston (223:05/28/61). In 1962, the San Jose School PTA sponsored a Jamaica and a contest for King and Queen as a benefit for the school library. The Coronation and Program will be held the same night as the annual Diocesan Spanish Convention on April 29 (223:01/14/62). The winner of the King contest was Frank López. Jesusa Sanchez was the Queen with Prince Ronald Dillard, Princess Marie Lawler, Duchess Dolores Diaz and Marquesa Virginia Soliz (223:04/01/62). (223:04/29/62).

Festival Queens, 1965

In May 1965, the Queen was Yolanda Carrillo. Her Court was Maria Lydia Cantu, Elaena Moreno, Janie Maldonado, Marie Diaz, Imelda Garza and Mary Lou Bermúdez. Sister Dominic Savio was Director. The Queen crowned the image of the Blessed Mother during the Annual Fiesta. The Queen Contest was part of an all-day celebration that started at 8:00AM with Mass for all the faculty and PTAA. The coronation took place between 4:00PM and 5:00PM and the carnival ended at 9:30PM (62).

Festival Queens, 1966

In 1966, May 29 Carnival Fiesta included a Concurso or Queen Contest. Four Socios sponsored candidates. The four Socios and their candidate were: Refugio Herrera sponsored Mary Ann Moreno, Frank Castruita sponsored Linda Soliz, Gonzalo Reyna sponsored Jo Ann Treviño, Luís Calderón sponsored Juanita Flores (223:04/24/66). The following Sunday Tomas Longoria was listed as sponsor of Ema DeLeon (223:05/01/66).

The candidates of their sponsors worked hard to raise the most money and win the title. They sponsored games and sold drinks, tacos, cakes, snow cones and menudo (223:05/08/66). One candidate sold dinner of chicken mole for 75 cents a plate. The fiesta itself, called the Carnival of San José, was a huge event with many booths selling food and crafts (223:05/15/66) including a Bingo game (223:05/15/66).

The net income from the Concurso (Queen Contest) was as follows: Jo Ann Treviño $351.15; Mary Ann Moreno $189.75; Linda Soliz $162.96; Ema De Leon $126.95; Juanita Flores $104.45. The net total was $935.16. Fr. Houser wrote, "That was a surprise to all. Thank you Senoritas, Padres and Sponsors" (223:05/29/66). Fr. Houser wrote, "Isn't that remarkable for what you began as a simple little Consurso, Coronation and Fiesta? Our debt on all buildings and grounds is now paid off, except the new one for the new school" (223:06/12/66).

In the fall of 1966, the Socios sponsored another Jamaica on September 16. Two young girls represented Mexico and Spain (Sritas Irene Rocha and Linda Soliz). The candidates for the Court were Sritas Abigail Pacheco, Ema De Leon, Lupe Perez and Anita Escobedo (223:07/10/66).

When Fr. Houser left San Jose is July 1967 after 19 years as Pastor, he delivered his farewell speech after the coronation of the Queen and before the start of Bingo (223:07/02/67).

Festival Queens, 1968

In March 1968, four candidates from the Catholic Youth Organization ran for Bazaar Sweetheart. They and their sponsors were: Miss Rachel Tello, Mr. & Mrs. Reyes Cortez and Mr. & Mrs. Tom Longoria; Miss Anna Marie Herrera, Mr. & Mrs. Julio Segura and Mr. & Mrs. Guadalupe LaFuente; Miss Virginia Martinez, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Alvarado and Mr. & Mrs. Walter Garcia; Miss Virginia Ramos, Mr. & Mrs. Lorenzo Salas and Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Cantu (223:03/10/68).

The Sunday Bulletin described in great detail the girl's fund raising efforts. They sold menudo (223:03/17/68), barbecue (223:04/07/68), cakes (223:04/07/68) (223:04/21/68). Two sponsored dances at either the Municipal Auditorium or the San Jose Community Center. Another sponsored bingo at the home of her sponsor (223:04/21/68). The income from the May 5, 1968 bazaar was $9,134.28 with expenses of $1,606.73 for a profit of $7,527.55. Of that, the Sweetheart candidates raised $3,966.73 and sold $2,312 in raffle tickets (223:05/12/68).

Festival Queens, 1969

In May 1969, there were four queen candidates for the parish bazaar in the City Auditorium. There were four queen candidates. The four sweetheart candidates and their sponsors for the May 4 bazaar were: Miss Linda Casarez (Mr. and Mrs. Julio Segura and Mr. and Mrs. Hilario Garcia); Miss Carey Reyna (Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Longoria and Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Castillo); Miss Virginia Soliz (Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Cantu and Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Navarro); Miss Angie Tello (Mr. and Mrs. Bernardo Arisméndez and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Castruita) (223:04/27/69).

Festival Queens, 1970

What was described as the third annual bazaar was scheduled for May 3, 1970 at the City Auditorium (213) (223: 02/01/70). Rev. Mike Mikan, the Associate Pastor, was assigned the task for finding a celebrity to crown the queen. The sweetheart candidates were Sylvia Samaniego (sponsored by Cortez and Castruita families), Linda Hernández (sponsored by the Navarro and Anguiano families) (233:02/15/70), Vivian Botello (223:03/15/70) and Amelia LaFuente (223:03/01/70). The candidates sold tamales and cakes (223:03/15/70), sponsored three dances and a rummage sale in the hall (223:03/29/70) (223:04/12/70). They also sold ads for the program book and raffle tickets (213) (223:04/19/70) (223:05/17/70). The income from the 1970 annual bazaar was $7,294.75 (223:01/31/71).

Festival Queens, 1971

In 1971, the candidates for Sweetheart were: Miss Carmen Castillo, daughter of Pete Castillo; Miss Sylvia Luna, daughter of Valentino Luna and Miss Beatrice Mendez, daughter of Willie Mendez (223:02/14/71). Again the candidates and their sponsors and families sold cakes (223:02/21/71) (223:03/07/71) (223:03/14/71), a barbecue chicken plate (223:03/21/71) and menudo (223:04/11/71). They sponsored a Bingo and a total of eight dances (223:03/07/71) (223:03/14/71) (223:03/21/71) (223:03/28/71) (223:04/04/71) (223:04/25/71). They also sold advertisements for the program book and raffle prizes (213). State Senator Yarborough was the guest speaker and crowned the sweetheart (223:04/25/71).

Festival Queens, 1972

In 1972, the Coronation Ball was on May 13 at the Community Center with Bishop Harris and former pastor Rev. Joseph Houser C.S.C. as special guests. The Bazaar was on May 14th at the Municipal Auditorium (223:26/03/72). The event was called San José's 1972 "Springtime Coronation Ball" and followed the familiar pattern of the San José Coronation Balls. After the guests were introduced, the Coronation Ball was opened with the presentation of the 1971 Sweetheart- Miss Sylvia Luna, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Valentino Luna. Fr. John Haley introduced the Queen Candidates (Cindy Ortiz, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Jesse Ortiz; Maggie Trejo, daughter of Mrs. Anzelma Trejo; Sylvia Segura, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Julius Segura and Gloria Vargas, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ascension Vargas).

After the Queen Candidates were seated, Fr. Haley introduced Rev. Joseph Houser, who was then resident in Wachula, Florida. Fr. Houser introduced the Marqueza and the Duchess and their Courts. The 1971 Sweetheart made a final appearance and then the Princess was presented. The Princess was followed by the 1972-1973 Queen. Bishop Vincent M. Harris crowned the Queen and then gave a talk. After the Bishop's talk, the band was introduced and the ball began. Tim Torres and his orchestra provided the music. The program noted that the Queen's Train was provided by Las Novedades N. Rosita Coahuila, Mexico and the flowers by Flowers, Izcalli in Piedras Niegas, Mexico (238). Tickets were sold only in advance for $8 per adult couple and $5 for teen couples (223:07/05/72).

In 1972, the candidates for Queen and their sponsors worked to raise money for the church as was customary. Miss Cindy Ortiz was sponsored by the PTA. They sold plate dinner and tamales beginning at 1PM in the community center followed by a dance from 6-8PM. The next Sunday they sold tamales and coffee in the community center after the 8AM and 10AM Masses (223: 05/03/72). The Guadalupanas sponsored Miss Sylvia Segura; the Socios sponsored Miss Lolly Vargas; the PTA sponsored Miss Cindy Ortiz and the CYO sponsored Miss Maggie Trejo (223: 12/003/72). Among the fundraisers were a "Lockhart Sausage Dinner", a Baile Ranchero, two teen dances (223:09/04/72), bingo games at the homes of three separate sponsors, a Mexican dinner, two breakfasts and two dinners (223:16/04/72), a bake sale and barbecue (223:23/04/72) and another dance featuring an all-girl band called Liberated (223:30/04/72).

The 1972 San José Church Bazaar was on the day after the Coronation Ball. This was full-scale Jamaica at the Municipal Auditorium that lasted all day Sunday, May 14. The total income from the bazaar including the sweetheart contest was $19,313.30 with expenses $4,101.09 for net income of $15, 212.21. The sweetheart candidates raised $16,095.15 with expenses of $4,600 for net profit of $11,527.58 (223:28/05/72) (223:25/03/73).

Festival Queens, 1973

In 1973, the sweetheart candidates were Gloria Tapia, Margaret Sendejas, Sylvia Segura and Dolores Ramos. The Annual Bazaar was scheduled for Sunday June 24 at the Municipal Auditorium (223:08/04/73). The sweetheart candidates once again raised a large proportion of the money raised by the Jamaica by selling barbecue (223: 25/03/73), sponsoring bingo games (223:25/03/73) and dances (223:22/04/73). They also accounted for a large proportion of the raffle ticket sales (223:01/07/73). In 1973, the candidates occasionally worked together on their fundraising events. Profits were modest by today's standards but substantial at the time. Annual bazaar income in 1973 was $3,938.19 net profit of sweethearts, $339.97 net profit on bazaar day and $2,954.25 net profit of the raffle for a total net profit of $7,232.41 (223:01/07/73).

In 1974, the Queen Benefit Dance was preceded by a talent show. The queen contest closed the day after the dance (249:21/04/74). The dance was part of the Cinco de Mayo Queen contest (249:28/04/74). The Queen was Mary Bargas who reigned at the Coronation Ball on Sunday (249:12/05/74) (249:19/05/74).

Festival Queens, 1979

In 1979, the bazaar was on Sunday April 22 at the Municipal Auditorium (223:15/04/79). All organizations were asked to help at the bazaar (223:16/04/79) and the CCD baked cakes, the Guadalupanas sold potholders, the Senior Citizen sold plants, the Socios served food, CYO ran a jail and the CAO ran games. Each candidate for Queen raised money by selling tickets. There were no other fund raising events for the Queens. Each ticket turned in counted as one vote. Each sponsor was given tickets check out for a specific candidate and only those tickets counted as votes for that candidate (223:11/03/79). The Guadalupana and Socios sponsored Sandra Polanco. CYO and CCD sponsored Berna Ortiz (223:01/04/79). Sister Gloria and Sam Guerra were in charge (223:15/04/79).

Festival Queens, 1980

The 1980 bazaar was held on May 11 (Mother's Day) at the Municipal Auditorium beginning at 11:30AM. The crowning of the 1980 San Jose Sweetheart began at 6:30PM. Each candidate was sponsored by two church organizations. The sponsor with the most successful fundraising determined the winner. Rev. John Korcsmar C.S.C. was Bazaar Chairman with Sam Guerra and Henry (Hank) Guerrero as co-chairmen. The sponsoring organizations included the Catholic War Veterans, Post 1805, the Ladies Auxiliary; Catholic Young Organization (CYO); CCD; Mission Youth; Catholic Adult Organization (C.A.O.); the Socios and the Guadalupanas (91).

Festival Queens, 1982

In 1982, the spring bazaar was on Sunday, May 9 (Mother's Day). Sweetheart candidates were Lisa Acuna, daughter of Raymond and Teresa Acuña (sponsored by CCD) and Audrey Ortiz, daughter of Jesse and Dora Ortiz (sponsored by the Mission group) (223:04/18/82). The bazaar was at the Palmer Auditorium at the corner of Barton springs Road and First Street (223:25/04/82).

Once again, the sponsor with the most successful fundraising determined the winner.. Individuals purchased tickets that were marked as votes for candidates. Mrs. Frances Treviño was in charge of the sweetheart contest (223:18/04/82). On Saturday, May 1 there was a dance at the Community Center for the sweetheart candidates. Supporters purchased tickets for $10 per couple and $12 at the door from their favorite sweetheart candidate (223:18/04/82). The Bazaar Sweetheart announced at the dance (223:25/04/82). The sweetheart dance raised $615 and the sweetheart candidates raised $4,903 for a grand total of $9,081. Expenses were $2,582 for total profit of $6,499 (223:30/05/82). The 1982 bazaar was at Municipal Auditorium from 11:00AM to 7:00PM on May 9, Mother's Day.

In October 1982 Fall Fiesta included a King and Queen Contest. The contestants were Christopher Tello, Stephanie Santa Ana, Audrey Nicole Navarro, Bernadette Garcia and Daniel Medrano (223:17/10/82). They raised $2,734 for the church (223:31/10/82).

Festival Queens, 1983

In February 1983, the bazaar committee decided to discontinue to bazaars at the City Auditorium in May. The reason was that the rental for the Auditorium almost doubled from last year and the City had imposed a 25% tax on the one meal they allowed to be served. The May Bazaar would be replaced by Monthly Dances and dinners. The tradition of festival queens and kings was suspended.

1997

In May, 1997, the Reina Committee was seeking girls 12-18 years old to help raise funds for the San José church festival (San José File #5, Catholic Archives of Texas).


5.11

Boy Scouts

Sometime after 1941 and before 1945, San José Church sponsored Boy Scout Troop 94. Ralph Calderon was the Scoutmaster and Pete Castillo, Robert Flores, Henry Bargas and Vicente Flores Jr. were among the Scouts (193).

1953-1963

In 1953 or 1954, Fr. Houser asked Pete Castillo and Vicente Flores to reactivate the troop. Both men had just returned to Austin after serving in the US Army. Vicente Flores Jr. (who lived on Jewell St.) became the Scoutmaster and Pete Castillo became the Assistant Scoutmaster. However, Vicente Flores enlisted in the Army Reserves and the Scout meetings on Tuesday night conflicted with his Army Reserve meetings. As a result, Vincent resigned as Scoutmaster and Walter Garcia took his place. There were fifteen Scouts in the troop, including Enrique Saenz Jr. Pete Castillo continued as Assistant Scoutmaster until 1961 when he got married (193).

Until 1957, Troop 94 met in a barrack at the corner of S. 2nd and W. Annie Streets that was the property of San José Church. The barracks was used as the San José parish hall (193). In 1957, when San José Church moved to its current location, the barrack building was picked up and moved to the new San José campus. There it was used as the church hall and for Bingo games and Scout meetings (193).

Enrique Saenz Jr. was the Scoutmaster of Troop 94 in 1961. In March, he and the Assistant Pastor of San José Church, Rev. Harold Hughes, invited the people of the parish to meet with the Boy Scouts for a photo session on a Wednesday evening after Rosary (223:03/19/61). The Scouts participated in processions and parish events along with the Catholic War Veterans and the other sodalities (223:03/19/61).

In the fall of 1961, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) agreed to sponsor a Cub Scout Troop at San Jose Church. During the 1961-1962 schoolyear, the Cub Scoutmaster was Frank Gonzalez (223:10/15/61). He was assisted by women who agreed to serve as den mothers (223:02/11/62). Enrique Saenz continued as the Scoutmaster of the Boy Scout Troop (58). In February 1963, six Scouts received their Tenderfoot badges (223:02/24/63) and, in December, the six Patrol Leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders received leadership awards (223:12/08/63). There were twelve scouts in the troop in 1963 (223:08/18/63).

1964-1967

Like other sodalities at San José, the Boy Scouts took Communion at a corporate Mass once a month. Their Communion Sunday was the second Sunday of the month at the 10:00AM Mass. The troop's sponsors (the San José Catholic War Veterans) and the Scoutmaster (Enrique Saenz) also attended the Mass (223:02/09/64) (223:05/10/64).

Like practically all organizations at San José Church, the Scouts held fundraisers. In 1964, they sold dinners at the homes of Enrique Saenz and Eli Gonzalez (who lived at the intersection of Herndon Lane and S. 4th Street) after Mass on a Sunday (223:02/16/64).

There was considerable overlap between the altar boys and the Boy Scouts. In 1964, four Boy Scouts received an award from the church recognizing their faithfulness as Mass Servers (223:02/16/64). When the Boy Scout troop became inactive, an Altar Boys Club was formed to fill the need for an organization for that age group (250:20/10/74).

In 1965, San José Boy Scout Troop 94 had thirteen Scouts, two Assistant Scoutmasters, two Senior Patrol Leaders; six patrol leaders or assistant patrol leaders, a scribe, a sergeant at arms and a quartermaster. The Scoutmaster was Enrique Saenz. The sponsor was the Scout Committee of the San José Catholic War Veterans with Sam Guerra acting as the Institutional Representative (223: February 1965). The troop had an active outdoor program of hiking and camping (223:07/25/65).

In September 1967, a Cub Scout Pack also existed in the parish (223:09/10/67). The Cub master, Manuel Castillo, was seeking new members and den mothers (223:10/29/67). The Cub Scouts sold breakfast in the parish hall as their fundraiser, charging 75 cents for adults and 40 cents for children (223:11/12/67).

1969-1971

In July 1969, the Assistant Pastor, Rev. Bob Gilmore, told the Parish Council that there were plans to organize a new scout program at San José and that he was looking for a scoutmaster. Fr. Gilmore was the adviser for the Catholic Youth Organization (213). The Parish Council appointed a Troop 94 Committee consisted of Enrique Saenz, Joe Sanchez Jr., Joseph Uriegas, Ben Vega, Thomas Longoria, James (Jim) Briones, Porferio Rios and Virgil Almogabar. Fr. Gilmore said that the scouting programs would be self-funding. He had arranged for the Scouts to fold newspapers for the Herald and the La Fuerza newspapers and to receive $40 per week for the work (213).

Fr. Gilmore told the Parish Council that nine young men were ready to enroll in the Explorer Scout Post (213). Later in the month, Enrique Saenz announced the formation of the Explorer Scout Post (223:08/03/69) and, in August, the new Boy Scout Troop 94 had their first meeting. Franklin Mendez was the Scoutmaster with Fr. Gilmore as Assistant Scoutmaster (223:08/10/69).

The Sunday Bulletin advised that Scouting failed twice before at San Jose because of lack of interest on the part of parents and adult sponsors (223:08/17/69). However, with the strong support of the Assistant Pastor, the new Scouting program got underway.

The Boy Scout program was the most active of the San José Scouting groups. In September, the Boy Scouts camped for three days at Camp Tom Wooten on Bull Creek Road and hiked across country from City Park to Camp Tom Wooten, a distance of about five miles (223:09/07/69). Two weeks later, they planned a week-end camp-out at the LCRA Lost Pines Scout Reservation in Bastrop. The Boy Scouts were also given approval to purchase a utility shed from their own funds and place it on church grounds to store their equipment. The sponsors of the Boy Scout Troop were Henry and Joe Sanchez (213).

In mid-September, parents and their daughters met on Wednesday night to discuss a possible Girl Scout program for San José (223:09/14/69). There were already plans to begin a Cub Pack in October. In early October, the Girl Scouts met at 3:15PM at San Jose school. The Girl Scouts sold cakes after Mass on October 5 to raise money for uniforms and other expenses (223:10/05/69). The mothers of Cub Scouts were expected to help with the Girl Scout and Brownie programs (223:10/19/69).

The Brownies first met at Molly Dawson Elementary School on Wednesdays. Later the Brownies moved their meeting to the renovated Youth Center (213). When the San José Community Center was built in 1969 (223:10/05/69), the old parish hall was renovated and became the Youth Recreation Center or, as it was called, the Youth Center (223:07/06/69). In 1974, the Brownies returned to the elementary school for their meetings (250:24/11/74).

In late October 1969, the Commander of the Catholic War Veterans Post 1085, Roger Ibarra, told parish council that the CWV Post would sponsor Troop 94. The CWV Post paid half of the cost of new uniforms for the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts continued to work every week on Wednesday at 5:00PM to fold the Herald and La Fuerza newspapers. The boys worked a two-hour shift (213). Not only did the two newspapers pay the scouts for doing the work, they paid $30 per month to rent the Youth Center where the boys worked (213).

The Scout Troop Committee of the Parish Council supervised the scout program. The committee met in the school after the noon Mass (223:11/02/69). In August 1970, the Sunday Bulletin announced that help was urgently needed with the San Jose Scout Troop. The contact for the scouts was Ray Gonzales. All boys 8-10 years of age were urged to join the scouts (223:08/16/70). The Cub Scouts needed both a Cubmaster and a sponsor. Another problem was that the men running the troop were not the men on the sponsoring document (213).

February 7, 1971 was Scout Sunday. The 10:00AM Mass was the official Scout Mass at San Jose and all scouts attended. After Mass, the Scouts sold cakes to raise money for the equipment they needed (223:02/07/71). Later that month, a child was killed while crossing the street to attend CCD classes on Saturday morning. After the child's death, the Boy Scouts begin a street crossing patrol on Saturdays for the children attending CCD (213). Henry Calderon Jr. organized the Saturday morning patrols for children going to and from CCD classes (223:02/21/71).

Boy Scout Troop 94 met on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM (223:02/28/71) (223:03/28/71) and the Cub Scout Pack met at 3:30PM on Mondays (223:03/07/71). In August 1971, Ray Gonzales resigned as Cubmaster of the Cub Scout Pack and transferred to the Boy Scout troop (223: 08/01/71). In July 1971, Fr. Robert Gilmore, C.S.C., who was the driving force behind the Scout program, was transferred to St. Ignatius (223:07/11/71). After Fr. Gilmore's departure, the scout program went into decline.

1973-1974

In October 1973, the parish rented the Youth Center to the City for use by nurses who did home visits (249: 04/11/73) (249: 03/02/74). The various youth groups that met in the Youth Center, including the Catholic Youth Organization and the scout groups, found other meeting places. The CYO met in the school (223:05/02/75) and held their events in the Community Center (223:13/06/76). In November 1974, when Robert Michalewicz was the Cubmaster, Cub Scout Pack 94 and the Brownies moved their meeting places from the Youth Center to Molly Dawson School (250: 24/11/74).

In February 1974, Mr. Gonzalez announced in the Samaritan newsletter that Cub Scout Pack 94 needed a cub master and den mothers (249: 17/02/74). Robert Michalewicz volunteered to lead the Cub Scout Pack. He continued as the Cubmaster throughout 1974 (250:24/11/74). After 1974, there is no mention of the scouting program in the San Jose Sunday Bulletins until 1983.

1983

In May 29, 1983, the Sunday Bulletin announced that Eddie Reyes had reestablished a Boy Scout Troop at San Jose (223:29/05/83). The troop had their first meeting in July in the San José School building (223:03/07/83). This was the third attempt to establish a Scouting program at San José and it too failed.

1990-1992

At the beginning of the 1990-1991 schoolyear, Rachael Degollado set up an information table in the school for those interested in Troop 33/Pack 33 Boys and Cub Scouts (223:09/09/1990). An Explorer Scout Troop was formed. To raise funds for uniforms and equipment, the San Jose Explorer Post held a dance in the San José Community Center on a Friday in January from 8:00PM to 11:30PM. DJs Lil Louis B, Ice-Man and Freddie Gonzales provided the music. The club met on Sunday in the parish hall (223:19/01/1991). The troop was recognized at the 11AM Mass on February 3, 1991 for their Loyality and Faithfulness to God and our Country (223: 27/01/1991).

Apparently, the Troop ceased to meet sometime after February 1991 and an organizational meeting in the parish hall reorganized the Explorer Scout Troop in December 1991 (223:01/12/1991). The Explorers met on the first Wednesday at 6:00PM in the parish hall (223:29/03/1992) (23:28/06/1992). They held a membership drive in January 1992 (223:12/01/1992). Membership was open to all youth 14-21 years of age (223:16/02/1992).

In March, the Explorers met on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month and were seeking adult volunteers (223:22/03/1992). The Explorers sold a barbecue chicken plate on Sunday March 8 in the parish hall from noon to 3:00PM. The proceeds benefitted the youth program (223:01/03/1992). An article, "Time, Brown and Proud" was printed in an insert to the Sunday Bulletin. It was written by a college student who was a member of the Explorers, the Youth Retreat Team and a member of the Adult Retreat Team (223:05/04/1992).

The Explorers of San José sponsored a youth dance on June 19 for teens aged 14 to 19 on Friday from 8PM to 11:30PM with music by Turntable Records. Cost was $4 at the door or $3 with the flyer. The Explorers want to make a retreat in Wimberley and needed to raise the $20 per person cost of the retreat (223:14/06/1992). The Explorers Adult Committee met on Wednesday in the school. They were looking for new members (223:21/06/1992). The Post had a guest speaker at its Wednesday, July 1, meeting in the parish hall (223:28/06/1992).

On Sunday, July 12, the Explorers sold a sausage plate for $3 from 10:30AM to 2:00PM as a fundraiser. They sold tickets in advance (223:05/07/1992) and Serrano's Mexican Restaurant donated the food. The Explorers were looking for someone with a commercial driver's license for their outings and a professional photographer to take pictures of Explorer outings (223:19/07/1992). In August they wanted a Post Advisor to work with the Pastor and the Boy Scouts of America on the Explorer program (223:09/08/1992) to replace Lee Rodriguez who had served as Post Advisor since December 1991 (223:09/08/1992).

The Explorers met in the school from 7PM to 9PM on September 2 1992, with guest speakers Police Officers Robert Martinez Sr. and Mark Gil. The Explorers also sponsored a trip to the UT Engineering Open House on September 26. All parish youth 14-19 were invited to attend. The contact was Greg Berry (223:30/08/1992). Greg Berry worked in the Religious Education office and was in charge of room assignments (223:06/09/1992).

During 1992, the Explorers met on Wednesday evening in the school building. They sponsored a trip to Wolf Mountain near Llano for youth aged 14-21 (223:13/09/1992).


5.12

Senior Citizens

A senior citizen is an elderly person, especially one who is retired and living on a pension. The term is synonymous with retired person. Senior citizen is an American phrase that was coined in the 1930s as a euphemism for "old person". It replaced the previous term "old-age pensioner". However, the term is also used to refer to people who are more than sixty or sixty-five years of age, whether or not they have a pension. People over 65 years of age do not object to the term so it is widely used.

A senior citizens group was mentioned a number of times in the San José Sunday Bulletin during 1974. The group, called The Senior Citizens of San José, met weekly in the San José community Center. Like all San José sodalities, the group had to raise money to finance its activities. On December 22, 1974, The Senior Citizens Club of San José had a doll and cake sale after the 8, 10 and 12 o'clock Sunday Mass (250: 22/12/74).

In January 1975, a Senior Citizens Program met Monday through Friday, 10:00AM to 1:00PM, in the Community Center. It was open to anyone over 60 years of age. The program consisted of Bingo, arts and crafts and a hot meal (223:05/01/75). It is not clear if there was a connection between the Senior Citizens Program and the San José Senior Citizens club. The San José Senior Citizens met every Thursday at the meeting room in the school building for handicraft activities (223:80/06/75).

It is likely that the Senior Citizens Program was funded by the City of Austin and was located at the San José Community Center only because there were no other suitable facilities nearby. The South Austin Senior Activity Center on Manchaca Road was not built until 1992. The South Austin Recreation Center operated by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, opened in September 1974 at 1100 Cumberland Road, just a few blocks from San José Church.

The San José Senior Citizens had a bake sale in February 1975 after 8:00AM, 10:00AM and 12:00PM Mass to benefit the San José Bazaar (223:09/02/75). The Senior Citizens club planned to sell plants and manage a garage sale at the church bazaar in May and asked for donations of plants and items for the garage sale (223:16/02/75). The next year, the senior citizens asked parishioners to plant seeds and grow plants that would be sold at the Senior Citizen's booth at the church bazaar (223:07/03/76).

By 1990, the San José Senior Citizens club had disappeared. Their activities were replaced by events sponsored by other parishioners whose intentions were to help the elderly. To celebrate Valentine's Day in 1990, the youth group invited people over 60 years of age to a Valentine Party in the parish hall from 2:00PM to 4:00PM for games, music and food (223:18/02/1990). Beginning on November 18, 1990, the Confirmation students hosted a Senior Citizens Day on the third Sunday of each month from 2:00Pm to 5:00PM in the parish hall (223:11/11/1990) (223: 13/01/1991). The event consisted in large part of a Sunday afternoon Bingo game (223:10/03/1991) (223:14/04/1991). A Christmas Party for senior citizens was scheduled for December 16 (223:09/12/1990) (223:23/12/1990).

During December 1990, Moses Saldana took a poll to measure interest in a Mexican-American Dance Club for people over 50 years of age (223:16/12/1990). In early 1991, he organized an Adult Dance Club that met on Wednesday at 7:30PM in the Community Center (223:03/02/1991). The club was for people 40 years of age and over (223:17/02/1991).

             

5.13

Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministries or Stephen Ministries St. Louis is an independent, not-for-profit Christian educational organization. Its main activity is the training of Stephen Leaders who then train others in their parish to be a Stephen Minister. Stephen Ministers are trained to accompany those who are facing some crisis in their life. The program is non-denominational and has trained ministers in some 12,000 congregations located all over the world.

The Stephen Ministry is a system of training and then organizing lay people to provide one-on-one Christ-centered care to parishioners who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. The service is free, confidential and on-going. Stephen Ministers attend a one-week training conference in St. Louis, Missouri. The program began in 1975 and has trained 600,000 persons to serve as Stephen Ministers. San Jose initiated a Stephen Ministry in 1986 but no longer has an active Stephen Ministry.

In June 1986, the pastor of San José Parish described the Stephen Ministry as a system of dividing up the parish into small geographic groups of about 10 families each. Each group would have a leader that would be trained to minister to these 10+ families. The parish sent six parishioners to St. Louis, Missouri to attend a 12-day workshop to be trained for the Stephen Ministry. The six who attended the training were Archie Gress, Cathy Salas, Step Mireles, Issac Cisneros, Victor Balderas and Dan Villegas (223:08/06/1986) (223: 29/06/1986). Rev. Underwood also attended a training program prior to launching the Stephen Ministry at San José Church (223: 13/07/1986).

In November 1986, the Sunday Bulletin listed a staff position for Associate Coordinator of Stephen Ministries. Cathy Salas filled the position (223:02/11/1986). Six Stephen Ministry trainers were commissioned on January 4 during the 11:00AM Mass (223:28/12/1986). In May 1987, the pastor announced that, "The work that will be done by the Stephen Ministers will be for registered parishioners here at San Jose only" (223:24/05/1987).

The ministry proved to be a valuable tool for people in a crisis situation and in November 1987, the pastor encouraged anyone interested in becoming a Stephen Minister to sign-up outside the door after Mass and attend an information session in the school building (223: 29/11/1987). In January 1988, 13 parishioners began training for the Stephen Ministry. The parish already had 25 Stephen Ministers enrolled in the program. Cathy Salas was the coordinator (223:03/01/1988) (223:12/06/1988).

In June 1988, ten parishioners were commissioned as Stephen Ministers and, in July, the Stephen Ministers began meeting weekly on Wednesday evening in the school. The meetings continued until December 11 (223:24/07/1988). Stephen Ministers were described as friends, as someone to pray with, share with and someone to lean on in stressful times (223:12/06/1988).

In October and November1989, the San José Parish Stephen Ministers sponsored a series of Life Skills Workshops in the old Church from 9:00AM to11:00AM. The purpose of these presentations was to help parishioners increase their ability to deal with the feelings of others (223:22/10/1989). On January 13 & 14, 1990, the class title was, "The Art of Listening" (223:07/01/1990). The classes proved to be popular and were repeated beginning in August 1990 (223:19/08/1990). There were twenty-six life skills including presented on different nights. The series included Feelings (223:02/09/1990) (223:09/09/1990), Listening (223:07/10/1990), Ministering to those experiencing divorce (223:14/10/1990), Ministering to depressed persons (223:21/10/1990) and ministering to the dying (223:28/10/1990).

Issac Cisneros was the leader of the Stephen Ministers in 1990. The ministers were called "caregivers" because they served the emotional needs of parishioners (223:28/10/1990). In August 1990, Isaac Cisneros called for volunteers to be trained as Stephen Ministers. Stephen Ministers served the emotional needs of the parishioners and were called "caregivers". Training in the twenty-six Life Skills began on Saturday, August 19 in the school building and continued until the end of October (223:19/08/1990). (223:28/10/1990). Topics included Feelings (223:02/09/1990) (223:09/09/1990), Listening (223:07/10/1990), Ministering to those experiencing divorce (223:14/10/1990), Ministering to depressed persons (223:21/10/1990) and Ministering to the dying (223:28/10/1990).

In 2018, St. Ignatius Martyr is the only Catholic Church in Austin that was a member of the Texas Stephen Ministry Networking Group. The Stephen leaders there were Mary McIntyre and Roberta Murray (Stephen Ministry Network). The Stephen Ministry at San José Church partnered with the Stephen Ministry at St. Ignatius Martyr Church, meaning that parishioners of San José relied on Stephen Ministers at St. Ignatius for comfort and advice. In 2018, the Stephen Ministry existed at San José Catholic Church, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, St. Thomas More Catholic Church and St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Churches.

                                  

5.14

Thanksgiving Food Baskets

In November 1967, the Sunday Bulletin noted that the Ladies Auxiliary of the Catholic War Veterans San José Post 1085 was collecting food to prepare Thanksgiving baskets for San José families (223:11/12/67). In 1970, the Ladies Auxiliary again volunteered to make and distribute food baskets for the poor for Thanksgiving. Parishioners were asked to bring something that would be offered as part of the Mass (223:11/08/70). Each family gave the food items they wished to donate to the priest during the offertory and the donations were used to fill the Thanksgiving baskets (223:11/15/70). The response was "tremendous" (223:11/29/70).

In 1972 and 1974, the Ladies Auxiliary again asked for donations of food for Thanksgiving baskets for needy parishioners (223: 12/11/72). In 1974, the Ladies Auxiliary prepared ten Thanksgiving baskets for needy folks. The welfare officer of the CWV Post and the person in charge of the Thanksgiving food drive was Mary Rosales (250: 27/10/74). The food drives were repeated every year until at least 1978 when the CWV appealed to parishioners for canned goods for the Thanksgiving baskets. The donations were left at the church on Sunday or at the Father's House. Cash donations (for meat) were placed in the Sunday collection, marked "food baskets". The CWV distributed the baskets (223:19/11/78).

In December 1981, the Sunday Bulletin urged parishioners to donate canned goods to be distributed in Christmas baskets distributed by the Catholic War Veterans (223: 06/12/1981). It appears that for several years after 1981, food baskets were distributed at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It appears that the CCD program managed the Christmas food drive and the Catholic War Veterans the Thanksgiving food drive. In November 1985, the pastor placed large red containers in the church where parishioners could leave canned goods for needy families for Thanksgiving (223: 17/11/1985). CCD sponsored the food drive (223: 24/11/1985). The food was delivered to needy families in early December (223: 01/12/1985).

The next year (1986), parishioners were urged to bring canned goods and packaged food to the church on November 23 and place the items into baskets placed in the front of the church as they entered. The food was for needy families (223:16/11/1986). The program was repeated in November 1987. The food would be given to needy parishioners. No mention was made of who was in charge of the program (223: 15/11/1987). Thanksgiving was on Thursday November 26 and Joe Uriegas was in charge of delivering the baskets. The baskets were also delivered on Wednesday, December 23 at 1:00PM (223: 20/12/1987). Joe Uriegas was active with several parish sodalities including the Socios and the Veterans.

After 1987, the food drive became an annual event managed by the CCD or the Confirmation candidates. In December 1988, CCD children were reminded to bring a canned good to CCD class on December 18 to help sponsor a needy family (223:11/12/1988). Non-perishable food was collected in large containers in the church lobby to be delivered to needy families of the parish in November 1989 (223:19/11/1989).

In November 1990, the parish asked for canned food and turkeys to deliver seven food baskets to needy families. Collection boxes were set up in the Church Foyer (223:11/11/1990). In November 1991, the church continued its Annual Canned Food Drive by placing a container in the church foyer and asking parishioners to submit names of needy families (223:03/11/1991). In 1990, food baskets were delivered to eight needy families (223:17/11/1991). Confirmation students and their parents organized the food drive and distributed the baskets to fifteen families on a Sunday in December 1991 (223:08/12/1991). On November 8, 1992, each family attending Mass were given a plastic bag and urged to fill it with non-perishable food and leave it in food bins located in the foyer of the church. This was for the annual Thanksgiving food drive (223:08/11/1992).

In 1993, First Communion students sponsored the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive in November. The students brought canned goods on two weekends and placed them in collection bins in the church foyer. The secretary for Religious Education gathered the names of needy families (223:07/11/1993). On three Sundays in December, First Year Confirmation students also collected canned goods for the Christmas baskets (223:28/11/1993). The 1st Year Confirmation students delivered the baskets to needy families on December 19 (223:12/12/1993).