Table of Contents
10.1 Crusade for Vocations
10.2 Epiphany Groups
10.3 Home Visits
10.4 Lenten Mission
10.5 Parish Renewal
10.6 Rosary Ministry/Crusade
Crusade for Vocations
In Catholic theology, each baptized Catholic receives his or her "vocation", a call from God to be holy and to serve the community of which they are a part (Catholic Herald, 9 July 1965). This call can be addressed as a married or single lay person, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders as a priest or deacon or through a life of special consecration to God as a religious Brother or Sister. The Diocese has an office of Vocations whose purpose is to help Catholics discern their calling, specifically to the priesthood or religious life (Diocese of Austin website).
The Crusade for Vocations was a program of the Bishop. It was membership organization with annual dues of $6.00. The purpose of the group was to pray for and speak about vocations, specifically to encourage young people to consider life as a priest, brother or sister (223:03/21/65). A committee of the Crusade existed at San José Parish between 1963 and 1965.
In 1965, the committee consisted of Fernando Sanchez, Jeronimo Estrada, Santos Saucedo, Luís Calderón, Tomas Longoria, Roberto Bargas, Ben Arisméndez and José Maciel (223:03/07/65). In April, the pastor appealed for more men to join the Crusade. He wrote, "We are not interested in numbers alone, but in Blessings because such work pleases God" (223:04/04/65). As a result of this appeal, José Rocha and Refugio Herrera paid their dues and joined the crusade (223:05/16/65) (223:05/09/65).
All of the men on the Committee of Crusade for Vocations in 1965 were also members of the Sociedad del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús. Most of them were officers of the Sociedad. The pastor, Rev. Joseph Houser, C.S.C., probably asked them to join the Crusade at the Bishop's request and, in deference to their pastor, they did so. It is unclear if the Committee engaged in other activities.
Epiphany Groups and Prayer Groups
In Catholic tradition, epiphany refers to the bodily manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles and specifically to the arrival of the Magi at the birthplace of Jesus. The feast of the Epiphany on January 6 celebrates this. However, the word is also used to refer to any activity that seeks to create a close relationship between God and the faithful. Groups dedicated to this type of activity may be called Epiphany Groups. According to Rev. Underwood, C.S.C., "Epiphany occurs when Jesus becomes present and reveals himself (54).
On January 15, 1984, the Sunday Bulletin announced the formation of Epiphany Groups (Shared Scripture Groups) at San José Parish. Each group would consist of parishioners who lived in the same three to four block area. A Five Night Mission would take place in each area to establish the group. The purpose was to create small communities of Catholics that would meet weekly for Scripture Sharing. The hope was to make active Catholics more fervent in their faith (223:15/01/84). The pastor, Rev. Underwood, said that Epiphany Groups were one of the chief means of reaching inactive Catholics (55).
There were five such neighborhood groups in the parish in 1984. Sister Mary Cabrialez, MJMJ, was in charge of the Epiphany Groups as well as Home Visitations (55) (223:28/10/84) (223:03/02/1985).
In March 1985, Sister Mary Cabrialez left the employ of San José. Dora Ann Polanco replaced her as the coordinator of Home Visitation (223:10/03/1985). By December, Ms. Polanco no longer worked for San José (223: 22/12/1985). It appears the term Epiphany Group was no longer used after Sister Cabrialez' departure (223:07/04/1985). Epiphany Group may have been another name for the various prayer groups that were active in the parish during this time.
Beginning in 1968, the Catholic Church in Latin America began to popularize what were called "base communities". Base communities are groups of Catholics who join together to study the Bible and then to promote social justice. As late as 1988, the National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry encouraged the formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities. A Dominican Preaching Team was at San José in October 1988 to promote the program (223:16/10/1988). Epiphany Groups have been a variant on the idea of base communities that Fr. Underwood hoped would develop out of the existing prayer groups.
The prayer groups described in this article were local manifestations of Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Charismatic Renewal incorporated elements of the Charismatic movement as practiced in Protestant churches, such as speaking in tongues and meditation. Charismatic Renewal borrowed other elements from the Catholic Cursillo movement. The Charismatic movement emphasized the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
There were no prayer groups in San José in 1974. In November, the Sunday Bulletin printed a message from a priest identified only as Father Don, "There are two charismatic renewal group prayer meetings near San José which meet once a week. One is at Dolores Church every Wednesday at 7:30PM and the other is at St. Ed's every Wednesday at 7:30PM. I encourage everyone to go and see, at least once, both of these meetings" (250: 10/11/74). Dolores Church, where Fr. Fred Underwood was the pastor, had a particularly active charismatic group. The parish hosted a Citywide Charismatic Ecumenical Healing Seminar in February 1975 (223:23/02/75) and to a two-day Charismatic Retreat in June (223:22/06/75).
There is no evidence that the charismatic movement was much noticed at San José in 1975. In February 1976, the pastor, Rev. Lawrence Bauer, strongly criticized the majority of parents who do not fulfill their baptismal promises. He said that, "The need for a spiritual renewal in this parish is very great". He suggested three possible remedies: the Charismatic movement, Rosary before all masses or daily recitation of the Rosary (as per the Virgin of Fatima). He recognized and praised the Bazaar Committee and two girls who offered to babysit at the 10:00AM and 12:00AM Mass as examples of self-sacrificing parishioners (223:01/02/76).
However, it was not until October 1978 that a prayer group formed at San José. The group met at the school at 7:30PM. The prayer group announced a series of studies that formed an introduction to the Catholic Charismatic Movement. The teaching service began at 7:30PM and was followed by prayer at 8:00PM and then Mass that ended at 9:15PM (223:08/10/78). In June 1981, Frances Treviño was listed in the Sunday Bulletin as the contact person for the Prayer Group that met at 7:30PM on Thursdays in the church (223:07/06/1981). By then, the Thursday night prayer group was called the Charismatic Prayer Group (223:27/06/82).
Other prayer groups also formed. These prayer groups met in the homes of parishioners. In 1981, the Sunday Bulletin listed prayer groups at Manchaca, on Wadford Street and in the Meadowbrook neighborhood of South Austin (223:13/12/1981). During the summer of 1982, the Sunday Bulletin listed seven prayer groups. The groups met at different times and on different days. Some met in the morning and some in the afternoon. All met once a week. They were known by the names of the neighborhood where the group met (223:27/06/82).
In October 1982, prayer groups met in the following homes. The Sunday Prayer Group met at Irma Rubio's home at 3603 Marcae Court; the Manchaca Prayer Group met at Martinez' home; another met at 714 W. Johanna at Tomas and Mary Longoria's home on Wednesday afternoon; another met at 2310 Wilson Street at Cruz' home on Wednesday evening; another met at 3814 Wadford Street at the Moreno home; another met at the church (led by Frances Treviño); another met at 1105B Cumberland Street at Janie Pardo's home and another met at 2407 Sherwood Street at Joe and Anselma Riojas' apartment (223:17/10/82). Some prayer groups moved their meeting location frequently following a schedule (223:23/01/83) (223:17/017/1985). Others met in the same home for years (223:06/01/1985) (223:20/01/1985).
Between 1982 and 1986, three to eight prayer groups meet in the parish each week. Sister María Navarro M.J.M.J. worked as Pastoral Assistant at San José and she coordinated the Prayer Groups (223:20/02/83). After Sister Navarro left San José in February 1983, Dora Polanco was the coordinator (223: 19/05/1985). Fr. Underwood was an enthusiastic supporter of the prayer groups. 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). Underwood encouraged parishioners to attend Charismatic events outside of the parish (223:04/07/82) (223:09/01/83) (223:30/09/84) and in October 1983, San José hosted the Spanish part of the Catholic Charismatic Conference. (St. Ignatius hosted the English language part of the conference) (223:02/10/83).
In the summer of 1985, the young people of San José formed several prayer groups. The Young Adults joined the Thursday prayer group for Mass in the church and then moved to the school building for a prayer meeting (223: 19/05/1985). Beginning in June, babysitting at the Day Care Center was available for Thursday night Mass and Prayer Meeting that followed (223: 09/06/1985). In August, a new group, Teens Prayer Group, formed and began meeting on Sunday at Father Joe's Youth Center (the Old Convent) (223: 11/08/1985) (223: 25/08/1985).
In 1983 and 1984, three prayer groups met, on Sunday, Thursday and Friday. By far the largest group was led by Frances Treviño and met on Thursday evening in the church (223:19/08/84). By August 1986, all the adult prayer groups had stopped meeting except for the Thursday prayer meeting in the church. This was the prayer and healing service led by Frances Treviño (223: 03/08/1986). Teens and young adults continued to meet each Sunday in 1987 at the church from 6:00 to 8:00PM for the Youth Prayer Meeting (223:12/04/1987).
In 1988, the Thursday Prayer Meeting added a choir (223:15/05/1988). In April 1989, the format was changed so that the prayer meeting began with a teaching portion at 7:00PM. The prayer meeting began at 7:20PM. Mass followed the prayer meeting at 8:00PM (instead of 7:00PM) and a healing service began at 8:30PM (223:16/04/1989). The Youth Prayer Meeting met at the same time on Thursday in one of the cry rooms in the main church (223:10/09/1989).
In December 1989, the pastor urged people to attend the Thursday night prayer meeting, "to prepare us for the praying for the Release of the Holy Spirit in our lives on December 21 at which time we will experience the Power of the Holy Spirit, to hear testimonies of miraculous healings and to experience the Presence of the Risen Christ and his Spirit" (223:03/12/1989). The Thursday Prayer Meeting began to take a collection. The amount varied from $150 to $314 per week and was included in the weekly report as parish income (223:07/01/1990) (223:21/01/1990).
By 1990, the adults and young people were meeting together for the Thursday night prayer meeting. The prayer meeting began at 7:00PM with Mass at 8:00PM and a healing service at 8:30PM. Babysitting was available (223:04/03/1990) (223:18/02/1990). Attendance increased and the collection increased to around $350 per week. In August 1990, Underwood began a series of nine sermons on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, beginning with, "Transformation into a Saint" (223:12/08/1990). The pastor urged parishioners to bring any interested persons to the Thursday night prayer meeting as the first step to conversion to the Catholic Church and receipt of the sacraments (223:14/04/1991).
The Thursday evening prayer meeting continued to meet during 1993 with singing, teaching, Mass and a healing service. Underwood continued to promote Charismatic prayers and urged his parishioners to attend meetings of the Central Texas Catholic Charismatic Conference (223:22/05/1988). San José was the host of the Diocesan Catholic Charismatic Conference that met in March 1990 (223:18/03/1990). The presenters at this conference were Rev. Jacinto Olguin and Rev. Alfred Gaytan (223:01/04/1990).
The prayer meeting was suspended during the Lenten Missions and on Holy Days of Obligation (223:11/08/1991). Underwood had a Healing Service after Thursday Mass even when the Prayer Meeting was suspended. He also had a healing service on some Sundays after the 7:00PM Mass (223:05/05/1991). He began a teaching series on healing at the Thursday Prayer meeting in June. Topics included, "Soaking Prayer", Degrees of Improvement", "Levels of Divine Activity", "Do you have the Gift of Healing", "God's Will and Healing" and "Suffering" (223:30/06/1991). The Thursday evening prayer meeting and healing service met throughout 1992 and 1993 (223:31/05/1992) (223:08/11/1992) (223:09/05/1993).
A Dominican Missionary Preaching Team arrived at San Jose in May 1992. They had worked with Underwood at Dolores Parish for three years. Their purpose was to establish Ecclesial Christian Communities (Communidad de Bases). The team members were Rev. Ralph Rogawski O.P., Sister Helen Raycraft OP, Brother Timothy OP and Sister Guadalupe O.P. Fr. Rogawski and Sister Helen worked elsewhere while Brother Timothy and Sister Guadalupe worked in San Jose Parish. They hoped to create 600 Ecclesial Communities in South Austin. They were also available for giving spiritual direction and prayer (223:23/02/1992).
In January 1993, Fr. Rogawski and Sister Helen wanted to meet with all existing Small Faith Communities (groups that meet in their homes and neighborhoods to pray) to prepare for the Campaign for Catholic Evangelization. They met separately with English and Spanish speakers on different nights in the parish hall (223:01/08/1993). The next week, they had a Parking Lot Revival on Thursday nights at 7:00PM on August 15 and 22 (223:15/08/1993). The revival was August 9-13 in Spanish and August 16-20 in English (223:08/08/1993).
Beginning in October 1992, a new Youth Prayer Meeting met on Saturday instead of Thursday. The Prayer Meeting met from 5:00PM to 7:00PM in the Old Church (223:04/10/1992). Only five youth regularly attended the Youth Prayer meetings. On October 31, the youth prayer meetings were cancelled and the youth invited to attend the Thursday Night Prayer meeting in the church at 7PM. That prayer meeting was for the entire family (223:01/11/1992).
In the spring of 1993, the prayer meeting and healing service began at 7:00PM with songs of praise followed by a 20-minute teaching, then testimonies and then Mass at 8:00PM. A wide variety of persons spoke during the teaching portion of the meeting. The presenters included Ginny Antaya from the Mercy of God Prayer Center (223:02/05/1993), Dr. Robert Fastiggi of St. Edward's University (223:09/05/1993), Sister Theresa of Cristo Rey (223:16/05/1993), Rev. Bruce Neili, Director of Evangelization for the Texas Catholic Conference, an abbot from California talked about "Dreams and the Inner Journey" (223:06/06/1993) and a priest from an Austin parish talked on "Sister Fatima and Divine Mercy" (223:13/06/1993).
The prayer meeting was suspended on Aug. 12 and 19 because Fr. Ralph Rogawski OP and Sister Helen Raycraft OP held a Parking Lot Revival in Spanish on one day and English on another. The classes resumed on August 26, were suspended August 29 and September 5, resumed until November when they were suspended for Thanksgiving and then resumed until December 23. When the prayer meeting resumed in January1994, Deacon Alfredo Vasquez was the speaker (223:28/11/1993).
Canon Law requires each parish to form a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD). Most CCD volunteers worked as teachers. Others, mostly men, worked as home visitors and drivers. The home visitors were known as fishers. They visited parishioner's homes to help enroll children in the religious education program. The drivers provided transportation to bring the children to and from the church. In 1962, the Cursillistas volunteered to work as fishers and drivers for CCD (223:09/16/62). In 1965, the roster of officers of CCD at San José Church included Doctor Nassour, who was Chairman of House Visits, and Pete Casarez, Chairman of Helpers (223:03/07/65). The helpers provided transportation for children who lived outside of the immediate neighborhood.
By 1984, the parish had created a staff position for Home Visitations. Sister Mary Cabrialez, MJMJ, filled that position between January 1984 and March 1985 (223:29/01/1984). She was also in charge of the Epiphany Groups (prayer groups that met in private homes throughout the parish). She lived in the convent (223:11/03/84) and probably used a car that the parish purchased in 1972 to make her visits (223:07/11/71) (223: 13/02/72).
In March 1985, Sister Mary Cabrialez left the parish and Dora Ann Polanco replaced her as coordinator of Home Visitation (223: 10/03/1985). By December 1985, Ms. Polanco no longer worked for San José (223: 22/12/1985)
After Sister Cabrialez left, the pastor decided to create an organization of lay persons to make home visits. In September 1985, the pastor, Rev. Underwood, the Associate Pastor, Rev. Leonard Paul and Carlos Coronado, Coordinator of Ministries, announced an orientation and training session for all parishioners who were interested in ministering to the sick and elderly (223: 15/09/1985). The next month, Fr. Paul announced the formation of a ministry to visit members of the parish who cannot come to parish activities (223: 06/10/1985). The ministry was known as the Ministry to the Sick and Elderly (223: 24/01/1988).
For the next year, the Sunday Bulletin included a blank form that parishioners could use to report relatives or neighbors who are confined to their home (223: 27/10/1985). In 1986, a paragraph was added to the cover page of the Bulletin advising that, "For Communion for the sick, elderly and shut-ins, please call the parish (office) so we may add them to our regular Visitation List" (223:09/11/1986).
In February 1987, the Bulletin carried a notice that, "Beginning this week, the bulletin will include the names of parishioners who are ill or in the hospital, so they will be remembered in prayer." A blank form in the bulletin could be used to notify the church office or a person could call Cathy Salas (the Associate Coordinator of Stephen Ministries). In the first week, the bulletin listed four persons who were "in the hospital" (223:08/02/1987). The tradition of asking for prayer for those listed in the Sunday Bulletin as being ill continued until at least 2018. The list in the Sunday Bulletin is updated monthly.
The Ministers to the Sick and Elderly had to be recruited and trained. In June 1986, the pastor encouraged all parishioners interested in visiting the shut-ins to submit their names for this program (223: 01/06/1986). Eight parishioners (Joe and Alice Maldonado, Tom and Veronica Soto, Felix and Dora Garcia and Cyndy Sanchez) volunteered to attend a workshop in November 1986 to be trained for the Ministry (223:23/11/1986).
In the spring of 1987, the Ministry, headed by Cathy Salas, recruited a group of teenagers to visit the residents of Miller's Nursing Home from 1:00-3:00PM every Sunday (223:01/03/1987). On a Sunday in March, Rev. Bruce Nieli, C.S.C., presided over a Mass/Healing Service for the sick, elderly and handicapped at the church from 3:00PM until 4:00PM. The church provided transportation to and from the healing service (223:08/03/1987).
From June 7 until July 3, 1987, a team consisting of Rev. John Phelan, C.S.C. and two Holy Cross Seminarians worked in the parish visiting shut-ins, nursing homes and hospitals. They also visited homes. Rev. Phelan spoke Spanish (223:07/06/1987). The Seminarians were Jim Phalan and Jim Palmer (223:14/06/1987).
The Ministers to the Sick and Elderly meet in the school occasionally (223:24/01/1988), often to recruit and train new members (223:13/03/1988). In February 1988, the ministry sponsored another healing service (Sacrament of Anointing For the Sick and Elderly) in the church (223:28/02/1988). The Thursday Night Prayer Core Group led the singing for the healing service (223:06/03/1988).
In the spring of 1988, some of the youth group began visiting Barton Heights Nursing Home every Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours (223: 03/01/1988). These visits continued until March 27, 1988 (223: 27/03/1988).
A parish renewal was presented on July 19 that was aimed at youth in Adopt a Grandmother/Grandfather Program among others (223:19/07/1992). Volunteers in the Adopt a Grandmother/Grandfather Program visited elderly persons in a nursing home once a week. The program was explained at Community Service Nights on July 21, August 4 & 11 in the parish hall (223:02/08/1992). The visits to nursing homes took place on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month (223:16/08/1992). Confirmation students were encouraged to participate (223:15/11/1992).
A reminder appeared in the Sunday Bulletin in May 1993 asking people to "make a commitment in 1993 to share Christ with others" by visiting nursing homes on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month (223:02/05/1993) (223:16/05/1993). This counted as community service for confirmation candidates (223:12/09/1993).
The term, Lenten Mission, may refer to one of two events, either a series of five services held on weekdays to help prepare for Holy Week and Easter or an annual collection during the Easter Season launched by Msgr. Tom Frank in his parish in the 1980s. The collection originated by Rev. Frank became a diocesan project in 1991. Parishioners were encouraged to donate coins during Lent for use in missions in and outside the Diocese of Austin (Diocese of Austin).
The traditional Lenten Mission consisted of five sermons on weeknights prior to Easter. The theme of the Mission is highly variable and can range from mediations on death, judgement, heaven and hell (Catholicism Pure and Simple, February 9, 2016) to the Parables of Jesus. San José Parish has hosted a Lenten Mission since at least 1962.
In 1962, there were separate Missions for men and women. The first week of the Mission, from March 11 until March 18, was for married women and unmarried women of senior high school age. The mission consisted of Mass every morning at 6:00AM and a sermon every night at 7:30PM. Married men and young men made their mission from March 18 to 25. The Children's Mission took place at 4:00PM each weekday. On Saturday, March 17, there was a General Communion for all school children at 9:00AM and the closing of their mission. The missionary was Rev. Vicente Soriano, C.S.R. The pastor said that he expected two or four Socios to be present each night of the two-week mission, going about in pairs to keep order (223:03/04/62).
In 1963, the Mission for Women began Sunday, March 3 with Mass and meditation at 6:00AM in the morning and a sermon each night at 7:30PM. The Missions for children took place every afternoon of the same week at 4:00PM (223:03/03/63). 337 children attended the mission on a single day (223:03/17/63). The Mission for Men followed the same schedule but beginning a week later. "Father Montenegro is pointing out to you the Road to Heaven" (223:03/10/63).
In 1964, the Mission for Women began on February 16 at 7:30PM. The mission for children began at 4:00PM that same week. The children celebrated their General Communion on the Saturday following at 9:00AM (223:01/26/64). The Mission for men and young men was the next week (223:02/16/64).
In 1965, the schedule of the Mission was modified to eliminate the early morning Mass but otherwise the program remained the same until 1969 (223:03/07/65) (223:02/28/65) (223:02/06/66). In 1966, Fr. Houser said, "Let us hope that these also make the Mission-our expert fault-finders, too many who miss Sunday Mass, -those who do not help the Church and those who live only for the body" (223:01/023/66).
In 1969, the Lenten Missions for men and women were merged with the Mass and sermon (in Spanish) beginning at 7:00PM. The children's mission for students in San José School consisted of Mass with a sermon, beginning at 8:30AM. The mission for public school children began at 4:00PM (223:03/16/69).
In 1970, Padre Jose María Cima, C.P., preached the Mission in Spanish (223:01/25/70) (223: 02/01/70). The Mission schedule returned to the traditional times (6:00AM, 8:30AM and 7:00PM) (223: 02/08/70). Padre Jose María Cima returned to preach the Mission from Monday, February 21 to Sunday, February 27, 1971 (223:01/31/71) (223:02/14/71). Adult education class was cancelled during the mission (223:02/21/71). In 1972, Bishop Flores of San Antonio was scheduled to give the mission at San José (223:23/01/72) beginning on March 26, Sunday at 7:00PM (223: 20/02/72) and continuing on Monday to Thursday with the closing on Friday beginning at 7:00PM (223:26/03/72).
Padre Hilario Hernandez preached the mission in 1973 (223:08/04/73) and Rev. Michael A. Simone, a Maryknoll Missioner, was the preacher at the Spanish Mission on 1976. The Mission in 1976 was announced in the Sunday Bulletin in Spanish and English (223:28/03/76) but the Mission was entirely in Spanish.
Beginning in 1979, an English-language Mission was introduced. It followed the Spanish Mission. In 1979, the Spanish-language mission was on April 5, 6, and 7 and the preacher was Rev. Pete Cortéz of the University of St. Edward's (223:01/04/79). The English language mission was on April 23-27 (223:22/04/79) and was led by Rev. Jack Shirley, O.S.A. (223:15/04/79). Two years later, in November 1981, Rev.Shirley returned to present a second mission (223: 15/11/1981). The 1981 mission began on November 30 (223: 22/11/1981). During the Mission, Msgr. Lonnie Reyes celebrated Mass for the four Religious Sisters who were killed in El Salvador on Dec. 2, 1980 (223: 29/11/1981).
In March 1985, Rev. Edwardo Canals led a week-long Spanish Mission at San José (223: 24/02/1985). The mission began after the 7:00PM daily Mass (223:03/03/1985). In 1986, Rev. James Burke, O.P. and Rev. George DePrizio, C.S.C. gave both the Spanish and English-language Missions (223: 19/01/1986). The Spanish Mission was scheduled from February 10-14 and the English Mission was scheduled for February 17-21 (223: 02/02/1986).
In 1987, Rev. Bruce Nieli, C.S.P., the Director of Evangelization for the Diocese, led both the Spanish and the English Missions (223:08/02/1987). The Spanish Mission took place from March 9 to March 12 and the English Mission was scheduled for Monday-Thursday, March 16 to 19 (223:01/03/1987) (223:15/03/1987). The church was almost full during the Spanish Mission and Father Nieli agreed to return in 1988. He said, "You are a very loving and prayerful parish family" (223:22/03/1987). As he had promised, Father Nieli returned to lead the Spanish and English Missions from February 22-25 and February 29- March 3, 1988 (223:14/02/1988).
In 1989, the pastor, Rev. Underwood, took three Sundays off for a retreat in February (223:19/02/89) and Rev. James Burke, O.P. preached at all Sunday Masses and then led the Lenten Mission beginning at 7:00PM Monday through Friday in Spanish and then the following week in English (223:26/02/89).
Rev. Victor Goertz led the Spanish Mission of 1990 on March 5 to 8 and Rev. George DePrizio led the English Mission on March 12 to 15 (223:07/01/1990) (223:11/03/1990). Both missions were in the evenings, Monday to Thursday.
The pastor explained that everyone over 14 years old was expected to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and All Fridays. Everyone aged 18 to 59 was expected to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (223:25/02/1990). Twenty years previously, in 1970, Rev. John Haley and Rev. Mike Mikan had announced in the Sunday Bulletin that the emphasis had changed from the sadness of the death of Jesus to joy at his resurrection. Of the fast days and days of abstinence only Ash Wednesday and Good Friday remained. Easter Sunday was now a day to rejoice (223:08/03/70). These changes reflected changes in Catholic teaching and were in keeping with Rev. Underwood's emphasis on Spiritual renewal.
In March 1991, Rev. Jacinto Olquin gave the Spanish Mission at 7:00PM, Monday to Friday from March 4 to March 8 (223:24/02/1991). Rev. Christopher Scadron led the English Mission on March 11-15 at 7:00PM. Rev. Underwood presented a Spiritual Renewal on March 23 as a follow-up to the Lenten Missions (223:03/03/1991).
The Spanish Mission for 1992 began at 7:00PM March 16 and lasted until Friday, March 20. The English Mission was from March 23 to March 26 Monday through Thursday. Rev. Ralph Rogawski, O.P. and Rev. Gene Heerdink, Dominican Missionaries led both missions (223:23/02/1992).
The Spanish Mission was preached by Sr. Tony Zuniga from Philiadelphia on Monday to Friday, March 1 to 5. Details of the Mission were on a poster in the foyer (223:21/02/1993). The English mission (with the same themes) was March 8-12 (223:28/02/1993). Journey in Faith classes were cancelled due to the Missions (223:14/03/1993). Father Underwood said, "There were many deeper conversions and healings" during the mission (223:14/03/1993).
This article deals only with parish renewals. Prayer groups and the charismatic movement are dealt with in the article on Epiphany Groups.
The Parish Renewal Weekend originated in the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, in response to Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Evangelii Nuntiandi". Rev. Charles Gallagher, S.J., developed the program whose goal was the transformation of existing parish organizations into a faith community. It aimed to create a sense of belonging in parishioners which would deepen the religious life of the parish. Hopefully parishioners would become aware that the parish was not a "we" and "they arrangement" but a call to be family. Parish Renewal, unlike Cursillo, is not an end in itself. It is a step in the direction of establishing basic Christian communities in the parish (PREX website).
Rev. Underwood must have been among the hundreds of priests trained in the parish renewal experience. In October 1983, he stated that his greatest priority as pastor of San José was a total parish renewal. Prior to October 1983, he presented four Renewal Weekends for the Youth. The first Adult Renewal Weekend took place in October (in Spanish) and November (in English) (223:16/09/83). Underwood made attendance at a renewal weekend mandatory for parents with children in the CCD program. He announced that, "If your child is to receive the sacraments, the parents must attend a renewal weekend" (223:06/11/83).
Parish Renewal Teams
Underwood quickly created three teams of 25 parishioners each to help with the renewal experience (54). In November 1983, twenty-five young people from the San José Y.E.S. group, along with Sister Eva Welch and Sister Mary Cabrialez, directed a Weekend Renewal for the Youth at Guadalupe Church. "Over fifty youth from Guadalupe Parish committed their lives to Jesus last Saturday night," Underwood said (223:13/11/83).
In 1984, forty-five parishioners participated in the Adult Renewal Teams and thirty young people participated in the Youth Renewal Teams (54). The teams presided over parish renewals at San José Church, other churches in Austin (223:13/11/83) and in churches as far afield as Eagle Pass, San Saba (223:18/03/84) and Corpus Christi (223:25/11/84). Sister Eva Welch (Youth Director) and Carlos Coronado (Ministries Coordinator) were the team leaders (223:23/09/84) (223; 23/03/1986).
Parish Renewal, 1983-1990
Between 1983 and 1990, between six and nine parish renewal conferences were held at San José Church each year. From 1983 until November 1986, the program began at 8:00AM on Saturday morning and ended at 9:30 or 10:00PM on Saturday night (223:15/01/84). After November 1986, the program was shortened and began at 8:00AM and ended at 5:30PM on Saturday (223:26/10/1986).
A morning snack and two meals (lunch and supper) were provided. The morning snack consisted of coffee or juice and sweet rolls. Henry Serna of Baird's Thrift Shop often donated the sweet rolls (223:24/02/1985) (223:13/10/1985) (223:23/03/1986). Until September 1984, meals consisted of sandwiches (223:23/09/84) but after that date, volunteers were recruited to prepare hot meals using the kitchen of the parish hall (223:17/11/1985) (223:22/11/1987) (223:06/11/1988). After November 1986, when the program ended at 5:30PM, only the morning snack and lunch was provided. The retreat, including the meals, was provided at no cost to the participants.
Large numbers of parishioners and visitors attended the renewal programs. After 1984, the pastor did not keep records of attendance but would occasionally note that an event attracted 93, 95, 100 or 122 new participants (223:03/08/1986) (223:23/03/1986) (223:13/11/1988) (223:21/10/1968). In 1984, 797 persons attended renewals at San José and, in 1985, 770 persons (56). In 1984, 510 attended renewals given by a team from San José in other parishes (55). Most of the parishes to which San José sent teams were outside of Austin (223:03/02/1985), in places such as San Saba (223:18/03/84), Corpus Christi (223:25/11/84), Killeen and Odessa (223: 03/03/1985). Sometimes groups of adults and/or young people from other parishes were invited to San José to attend a renewal (223:23/12/84) (223:17/11/1985).
The events were tailored to specific groups. Most targeted adults who spoke English. Others targeted adults who spoke Spanish, junior high school students, high school students or teenagers in general (referred to as "youth").
In a few circumstances attendance at a parish renewal weekend was mandatory. All CCD students were required to attend at least one renewal per year (223:21/01/1990). In August 1983, the CCD school year began with a mandatory Saturday renewal for all students (223:14/08/83) and, in October 1989, the pastor required all middle school and high school students that were attending Religious Education classes to attend a specific renewal in October 1989 (223:08/10/1989) (223:15/10/1989). The parents of girls expecting to have a Quinceañera were required to attend an Adult Renewal at San José and the girl was required to attend a Youth Renewal at San José (223:22/07/84).
The pastor encouraged parents whose children would be making First Communion and Confirmation to attend (223:27/01/1985) and he recommended attendance at a renewal weekend to persons who wanted to attend the RICA program, who were planning to marry, who were parents of recently baptized children or parents of children studying for First Communion or Confirmation, CCD teachers and perspective Catholics (223:18/09/1988).
Underwood said that the renewals provided help with life's problems, gave a person the will to live, ended discouragement, loneliness and rejection, helped overcome drug addiction and made participants happy (223:01/11/1987). In January 1986, the Sunday Bulletin listed a number of test questions "to see if we need a deeper conversation". Those who answered No to most questions were urged to attend a renewal (223:19/01/1986). He said that, "Not only are individuals being transformed, but also marriages and families and also our parish" (223:05/02/84).
Underwood told a reporter that, "A renewal leads the person to a personal encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ. We find that everyone is searching for happiness and, once they meet Christ, they find this happiness" (23 May 1985, Austin-American Statesman). One measure of the success of the renewals was the number of adults participating in a Religious Education program. The number increased from 297 in 1982 to 900 in 1983 (54).
Family Spiritual Renewal, 1990-1993
In October 1990, Underwood announced that he had developed a "completely new and different Renewal" called Family Spiritual Renewal. He explained that San José Church was not a Charismatic Church although the Thursday night prayer meeting was a Charismatic Prayer Meeting at which healings took place. He said he was a Catholic Evangelist who "discovered the power of the Holy Spirit in his own life and how the Holy Spirit and His Power can be appropriated in the lives of others without them being involved in the Charismatic Movement. ...people experience a release of the Holy Spirit in their lives in our Spiritual Renewals."
Underwood had taken aspects of the Charismatic Movement, the Cursillo, and Marriage Encounter and, "put them all together in a Day of Spiritual Renewal, which is a day of conversion, evangelization, transformation into new persons and spiritual, emotional and physical healing. This Spiritual Renewal has been responsible for not only the transformation of many of our parishioners, but also our parish through LOVE, the Holy Spirit" (223:11/11/1990).
He said that the renewal team from San José gave the new renewal to CCD teachers, Lectors and LEM's and their spouses in the Northern Deanery with great success. He announced that the new renewal would be presented at San José on November 3, 1990 (223:07/10/1990) (223:14/10/1990). Couples preparing for marriage, parents of children to receive confirmation, etc. and youth making their Quinceañeras were all required to attend the Family Spiritual Renewal on November 3 (223:28/10/1990). The new format was well received and a second Family Spiritual Renewal for adults and youth over 14 years of age was announced for December (223:09/12/1990).
Holy Spirit Seminar
In 1984, 1985 and 1986, a similar event called the Holy Spirit Seminar took place twice a year. Both the Holy Spirit Seminar and the parish renewals took place in the Community Center on Saturday with a free lunch provided. The format and structure of the Holy Spirit Seminar was similar to that of the renewals. The seminar began at 8:00AM on Saturday and lasted until 5:30PM (223:28/10/84). It is not clear how this seminar and the parish renewals differed (223: 27/10/1985). Often a renewal was scheduled a few weeks before or after the Holy Spirit Seminar.
According to Underwood, "The Holy Spirit should be the most important person in our life today because it is through Him that: we are made holy and become Saints; we are introduced to Jesus; we are transformed to be Christlike; we receive His fruits (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control); and we receive His power to help us to love God with our whole mind and heart and our neighbor as ourself and the power to overcome sin and bad habits" (223:17/03/1985).
Rev. Charles Van Winkle, C.S.C., who was an Associate Pastor at San José and Underwood"s cousin presented the Holy Spirit Seminars (223:02/11/1986). In October 1986, Van Winkle conducted a Spiritual Growth Day for Adults who have already made a Spiritual Renewal or a Life in the Spirit Seminar. The program ran from 8:30AM to 5:00PM on Saturday and included Mass on Sunday (223:28/09/1986).
Parish Renewal, 1984
Eight parish renewal weekends were presented at San José Church during 1984. Visitors from Eagle Pass (223:05/02/84), Killeen and Odessa (223:23/12/84) traveled to Austin to attend the events and the Adult and Youth Renewal Teams traveled to Eagle Pass, San Saba and Corpus Christi to present renewals there (223:18/03/84) (223:25/11/84). The Youth Renewal Team consisted of Underwood, Sister Eva Walsh and 25 young people (223:23/09/84). Forty-five parishioners participated in the Adult Renewal Team (223:03/02/1985).
The retreats received good reviews from participants. "They have heard from those who have attended one that it is a great retreat. In fact, most say it was the greatest day in their life. Others are anxious to attend a Renewal because they have observed the beautiful transformation in the youth and adults who have made one" (223:04/03/84).
In June, San José held a reunion for all youth who have already made one renewal, The reunion provided free food and dancing from 6:00PM to midnight on Friday (223:17/06/84). Ralph and Stella Rivera, Becky Reyna, Tom and Mary Longoria, Toney and Lupe Moreno cooked and served the Friday meal for the Youth Reunion. Steve Amos provided the music (223:01/07/84).
The pastor reported that 797 persons attended renewals at San Jose Parish and 510 attended renewals in other parishes, most of which were outside of Austin (223:03/02/1985).
Parish Renewal, 1985
At least four parish renewals and two Holy Spirit Seminars were held at San Jose Church in 1985. The Youth Renewal Team traveled to Killeen and Odessa (223: 03/03/1985). The pastor commented that, "The good News is that we don't have to wait until we get to heaven to be happy. Jesus wants us to be happy right now" (223: 22/09/1985). The weekend experiences were attended by as many as 250 persons at a time.
Parish Renewal, 1986
During 1986, seven parish renewals and two Holy Spirit Seminars took place at San José Church. The events continued to attract new participants, usually from 90 to 120 "new" participants each weekend. In the absence of Underwood, Sister Eva Walsh and Carlos Coronado directed the events (223:23/03/1986).
In April, Underwood began a series of seven homilies on the Holy Spirit to prepare for Pentecost (223:06/04/1986). He invited everyone to San José on Pentecost Sunday from 3:00PM to 4:30PM for a citywide celebration of the Power of the Spirit led by Rev. Charles Van Winkle, C.S.C. The service featured three-minute testimonies about action of the Holy Spirit in Prayer Groups (223:18/05/1986). Six hundred persons stayed after the Sunday evening Mass for prayer (223: 25/05/1986).
Underwood was encouraged by the parish's response to the Holy Spirit Seminars and the parish renewals. After a Renewal for Adults in English in September, he said that, "The closing ceremony was one of the most beautiful ones yet. The Presence of Jesus was so strong that He just embraced everyone with His love, joy and peace" (223:21/10/1968). The program was shortened in November so that the program ended at 5:30PM, instead of the previous ending time of 9:30PM (223:26/10/1986).
Parish Renewal, 1987
Eight renewals were held at San José Church in 1987. In January, the Diocese sponsored a retreat to explain "a process of parish spiritual development and evangelization". The retreat for English-speakers was at Sacred Heart Parish and the retreat for Spanish-speakers was at San Francisco church (223:04/01/1987) (223:25/01/1987).
After a Parish Renewal in English in March (223:15/03/1987) (223:22/03/1987) that was attended by 165 persons, the pastor said, "the main reason for the success of this Renewal (was) a) the participants were very open to the work of the Holy Spirit... and b) the work of the spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, Who transforms people's lives into the happy, joyful, loving people we are meant to become and to be" (223:05/04/1987).
In September, simultaneous Renewals for adults in the Community Center and young adults in the school (223:06/09/1987) proved successful (223:20/09/1987). In October, separate renewals were held for middle school and high school students (223:27/09/1987). Participants were asked to sign Commitment Cards (223:18/10/1987).
Parish Renewal, 1988
During 1988, eight renewals took place at San José and the Adult Renewal Team went to Richmond, Texas on June 4 to give a renewal (223:22/05/1988). A high school renewal was scheduled for Saturday, October 8 for high school students and those making their Confirmation (223:02/10/1988). The pastor urged that those who wanted to attend the RICA program and all perspective Catholics attend a renewal (223:18/09/1988). He invited any person who had never attended a renewal to attend the last renewal held in December (223:27/11/1988).
Parish Renewal, 1989
In 1989, at least eight renewals were held at San José. The pastor began speaking of "spiritual renewals" instead of "parish renewals". These were offered "para adultos en Español", for youth and for adults (223:01/01/1989) (223:12/01/1989) (223:05/02/89). Prior to Pentecost Sunday, the pastor stayed after Mass to pray for the "Release of the Holy Spirit" on Pentecost Sunday (which was also Mother's Day) and the following Sunday. He wanted the parishioners to have the same experience as did the early Apostles and Disciples (223:21/05/89). He commented that, after a parish renewal for adults, "The usual comment is, "This has been the happiest day of my life!"" (223:11/06/1989).
Parish Renewal, 1990
At least six renewals were held at San José in 1990. Two renewals scheduled for January and February were cancelled (223:07/01/1990) (223:28/01/1990), probably because Underwood was out-of-town. The renewals continued to receive good reviews. The pastor commented that a Spiritual Renewal for Adults in April was, "One of the most beautiful Renewals we have experienced" (223:11/03/1990) (223:15/04/1990).
As usual, Pentecost Sunday was important to the renewal process. Two hundred persons attended the New Pentecost Conference. "Everyone experienced Passive Contemplation, a high form of prayer in which a person is so closely united with Jesus that God's Holy Spirit just leads the person to an experience of God- overwhelming love, peace and joy (223:03/06/1990).
In September, Underwood and a Renewal Team presented a renewal in West, Texas for 150 persons. He said its success was attributed to the fact that the team was very tired and weak from lack of sleep so Jesus and his Spirit took over the entire day of renewal (223:02/09/1990). The same program was repeated on September 15 at San José by the same renewal team that included Deacon Joseph (223:09/09/1990).
In October, the pastor announced that he had developed a "completely new and different Renewal" called Family Spiritual Renewal. This was first presented at San José on November 3 (223:07/10/1990) (223:14/10/1990). In November, the pastor answered critics of his leadership of the charismatic movement at San José. He explained that while San José Church was not a Charismatic Church, the Thursday night prayer meeting was a Charismatic Prayer Meeting at which healings took place. He explained his program by explaining that, he was "a Catholic Evangelist who "discovered the power of the Holy Spirit in his own life and how the Holy Spirit and His Power can be appropriated in the lives of others without them being involved in the Charismatic Movement. ...people experience a release of the Holy Spirit in their lives in our Spiritual Renewals (223:11/11/1990). He continued to schedule Family Spiritual Renewals to, he said, "prepare for any eventuality" (223: 09/12/1990).
Spiritual Renewal 1991
During 1991, the pastor scheduled a Spiritual Renewal every three months. The first was presented in March as a follow-up to the annual Lenten Missions (223:24/02/1991) (223:03/03/1991). The second was in June and was for youth older than 14 and adults (223:09/06/1991). The pastor suggested that couples and families attend together. He said it was, "a beautiful experience" (223:16/06/1991). The third renewal in September again targeted adults and youth older than 14. "People who have made a Renewal have remarked, "This has been the happiest and most meaningful day of my life". This renewal was repeated at the end of the month in Spanish (223:15/09/1991). The final and fifth renewal of 1991 was in early December and was for English-speaking adults (223:24/11/1991).
During 1992, fourteen renewals and retreats were scheduled at San José. The retreats were very similar to the renewals. Both took place from 9:00AM to 4:00PM on Saturday. However, the retreats were more likely to be bilingual (223:24/05/1992) (223:20/06/1992) and each retreat had a theme. The themes were "You will be My Witnesses" (223:20/06/1992), "You are another Christ" (223:21/06/1992), "Called to be a great lover" (223:05/07/1992), "You are called to be a Mystic" (223:12/07/1992), "You are called to Evangelize (to share Christ with others)" (223:19/07/1992), "Share Christ with Others" (223:16/08/1992), "Christian Marriage and Family" (223:23/08/1992), "You are called to be a Saint" (223:25/10/1992), "What happens when we die" (223:08/11/1992) and "We must become childlike" (223:13/12/1992).
The pastor promised that, "To the extent you are open, you will experience the happiness you have been seeking" (223:16/02/1992) and the Power "to overcome any sin, meet any challenge, be transformed into a saint and love each other" (223:08/03/1992).
Bilingual retreats took place almost every month during the spring, always in the parish hall (05/04/1992) (223:24/05/1992) (223:07/06/1992) (223:20/06/1992) (223:21/06/1992). The renewals were often directed at a specific audience. The renewal in July, "Called to be a great lover", was aimed at married couples, those dating and singles (223:05/07/1992). Another renewal, "You are called to Evangelize (to share Christ with others)" was aimed at CCD teachers, Census volunteers and youth in the Adopt a Grandmother/Grandfather Program and people involved in ministry (223:19/07/1992). The pastor said a group of Cursillistas from out of town had beautiful experiences at that renewal (223:02/08/1992).
After August, Underwood no longer called the events renewals. He now said they were retreats or conferences. The retreats had a Mass, a healing service, coffee & orange drink in the morning and a carne guisada dinner at noon. There was no cost but a love offering was taken at the end of the day. To answer critics who distrusted the Charismatic movement, he said, "None of these retreats are Charismatic. They are Evangelistic: days of conversion and encountering Jesus, the Risen Christ and growing in a deeper personal relationship with Jesus. These Retreats are based upon Scripture, documents of the Church, Catholic Theology and twenty years of experience giving these Retreats in parishes, colleges, universities, military bases, teaching staffs, etc." (223:16/08/1992).
The Pre-Halloween Retreat focused on Halloween as the big feast for Satanists. "In the United States, demonic activity is very common..." he said (223:11/10/1992). In September, the theme was "Angels, their role in your life, and the life of the Church" (223:06/09/1992). The last themed retreat was scheduled for December 19 (223:23/08/1992) (223:20/09/1992) (223:25/10/1992). Tapes of talks by Deacon George Joseph and Underwood could be ordered in the foyer of the church at the table where candles are sold (223:08/11/1992).
A retreat in November 1992 had a different format. The retreat, "United We Stand" was a bilingual parent/teen retreat. Teens met in the old church and parents in the new church. All confirmation students and parents were required to attend (223:01/11/1992). Three hundrd and twenty-five persons attended the two retreats including ninety-one people (two busloads) from Houston. Joe Ramos prepared the Carne Guisada dinner and Chico Govea set up and cleaned up after each retreat (223:15/11/1992). Joe Ramos worked in the church office as a bookkeeper.
During 1993, eleven renewals and retreats were held at San José. The Dominican Preaching Team (Fr. Ralph Rogawski, O.P., and Sister Helen Raycraft, O.P.) led two retreats, one in English and one in Spanish, on January 16 and 23 that lasted from 9:00AM until 6:00PM. The theme was "Inner Healing" (223:03/01/1993).
For six consecutive Saturdays from 1:00PM to 6:00PM on February 13 to March 20, the two Dominicans, Fr. Ralph Rogawski OP and Sister Helen Raycraft OP, led an Evangelization Course in Spanish and English (223:31/01/1993).
Prior to his departure from San Jose Parish in April, Underwood gave three renewals. The first, a bi-lingual Saturday Parish Renewal on "Living an Exciting Christian Life" was in January (223:10/01/1993). The second, "Experience Your Pentecost," was held on Saturday, February 20 in the new church. The Thursday Journey in Faith class did not meet and everyone attended the renewal instead (223:14/02/1993). The third renewal was, "Encountering Christ in the Sacraments" on Saturday, March 27 in the new church (223:21/03/1993).
Underwood was invited back
to San Jose to give a final renewal on Saturday, October 16 (223:03/10/1993).
On December 5, the Dominican Preaching Team (Fr. Raul OP and Sister Elena OP)
presented a retreat for Spanish speakers in the parish hall (223:05/12/1993).
Catholics have been praying the fifteen (now twenty) decades of the Rosary since at least the 16th Century. It is not known when parishioners began to gather at San José Church on a regular basis to pray the Rosary. Apparently, the Rosary was prayed at San José Church every Wednesday evening in the early 1960s (223:03/19/61). In 1971, the Rosary was prayed each night during the month of May as part of a tradition of consecrating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin (223:05/16/71).
In January through March 1972, a weekly Rosary has said on Tuesday at private houses and later at the Church after 7:00PM Mass (223:20/02/72). The location and time of the Rosaries were announced in the Sunday Bulletin (223:05/03/72). It is unknown if this practice continued beyond March 1972.
Austin Rosary Crusade
The Diocese encouraged the practice of praying the Rosary after the Austin Rosary Crusade was founded by Ignacio Moreno in January 1975. The focus of the ministry is to promote daily prayer of the Rosary to fulfill the request made by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 (website of St. Mary's Cathedral). The Austin Rosary Crusade promoted their ministry by the loan a statue of Our Lady of Fatima to parishes in the Diocese. In February 1976, the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was taken to San José Church on a Thursday and Friday. A Rosary was said on Thursday and a Mass on Friday (223:18/01/76). As a follow-up to this visit, the Austin Rosary Crusade directed the praying of the Rosary every First Friday in San José Church at 7:30PM followed by Mass. The first Rosary under this program was prayed on February 6, 1976 (223:01/02/76).
Thereafter, a Rosary was prayed in the church on Friday at 6:30PM until September 1978 (223:17/10/78). The next month, the Austin Rosary Crusade sponsored the Rosary at 7:00PM at San José (223:08/10/78). The Austin Rosary Crusade sponsored Rosaries at different churches every month (223:11/11/78).
In January 1984, the Rosary Crusade celebrated its 9th Anniversary at San José with the Bishop in attendance (223:05/02/84). In May 1984, a Rosary ministry was commissioned at San José Church during the 8:00AM Sunday Mass. The Directors were Enrique L. Saenz and Anna Maria Saldana. The founding members were María Galvan, Margarita J. Vasquez, José Jiménez, Mary Lara, Ruth Martinez, José N. and Anita Rocha (Honorary Members), Enrique L. Saenz, Anna Maria Saldana, Lilly Hernandez, Margaret Leora, Janie Pardo, Felipa Ramírez, Rosa Uriegas, Marcelina Vasquez, Stella Trejo, Greg Trejo and Linda Govea (223:20/05/84). This must have been one of the Rosary groups organized by the Austin Rosary Crusade. The San Jose Rosary Ministry was also called the Rosary Crusade (223:27/05/84).
The purpose of the Rosary Ministry was to promote daily praying of the rosary and the use of the Rosary as a tool to promote evangelization. The third purpose of the Rosary Ministry was to visit homes and pray the Rosary there (website of St. Mary's Cathedral). The Austin Rosary Crusade had been involved in First Friday Adoration in San José Parish since at least 1976 (223:01/02/76) and the San José Rosary Crusade quickly became involved in the monthly event. In May 1984, the Rosary Crusade and the Cursillistas were scheduled to lead the First Friday Adoration for one hour (223:27/05/84). The Rosary Crusade and the Cursillistas continued to lead First Friday Adorations until March 30, 1986 when the pastor reformatted the First Friday service (223:30/03/1986). In 1985, twenty persons were involved in the Rosary Ministry (223:03/02/1985).
During the month of October 1986 and 1987, a group met in the Church at noon every day except Sunday to recite the Rosary (223:19/10/1986) (223:04/10/1987). October and May were traditionally the two months during which praying the Rosary was emphasized. Volunteers also said the Rosary at funeral homes and in the homes of the bereaved parishioners who requested the service. Enrique Saenz was the head of the Rosary Ministry in 1987 (223:22/02/1987). The leader in 1989 was Anna Maria Saldana (223:29/01/89).
In January 1988, when Rev. Underwood and Rev. Charlie Van Winkle, were the pastor and Assistant Pastor, the decision was made to form a Youth Rosary Ministry. Perhaps, taking advantage of the fact that Rev. Hermie Reith, C.S.C., a professor at Notre Dame, was staying at San José in February (223: 31/01/1988), training for the ministry was scheduled during January to March. The first Youth Rosary Ministry Training Session was on January 14 from 7-8:30PM in the school (223:10/01/1988). Others were on January 21 and 28 (223:24/01/1988) and the last was on March 8 (223:06/03/1988). No further mention of the Youth Rosary Ministry is found in the church archives.
In August 1988, the pastor announced that, "The Rosary will be recited every Wednesday after the 7:00PM Mass. Mary has asked that we pray the Rosary. This is a response to her request" (223:28/08/1988). The Rosary schedule was changed in September to place the Rosary after the Friday Mass because some people wanted to attend the Journey in Faith (RCIA) classes on Wednesday (223:18/09/1988). The bulletin announced Rosary to Our Virgin Mary on Friday at 7:30PM until July 30, 1989. The next week the bulletin announced, "No Rosary" (223:06/08/1989).
The Rosary recited before each Mass
The pastor wrote, "The Rosary will no longer be said on Friday nights. We want to thank those who so faithfully organized and led the Rosary. Beginning this week, the Rosary will be recited 15 minutes before each Daily and Sunday Mass in order to encourage the daily recitation of the Rosary. We need someone to lead the Rosary everyday so we have a signup sheet in the front of the church. The leader will start promptly 15 minutes before the Mass and recite the Rosary reverently but at a pace to finish with 15 minutes and simply announced the Mystery before each decade. The leader will use a microphone. We are asking a second person to volunteer for each Mass so that they can either alternate weeks or simply replace the first volunteer when that person can't attend" (223:06/08/1989). This marked the beginning of the practice of reciting the Rosary prior to each Sunday Mass. In December 1993, Rev. Kirby Garner, who replaced Underwood as the parish priest, expressed his appreciation for those who led the Rosary before Mass. The Rosary continued to be recited 20 minutes before each Mass for several years (223:05/12/1993). During the next thirty years, the practice stopped at all but the first Sunday Mass (at 7:30AM or 8:00AM). In 2018, volunteers continued to lead the congregation in the recitation of the Rosary prior to the 7:30AM Sunday Mass.
Beginning on October 18, 1988, an announcement for a Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows appeared in the list of weekly events. The Novena was on Tuesday from 5:30PM to 6:00PM. The announcement continued through 1988 until November 21, 1989 (Advent) when it finally disappeared from the Sunday Bulletin. The Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows is a series of nine prayers. It is also called the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. The Our Father and seven Hail Marys precedes the Rosary. Each of the nine Swords of Sorrow is introduced by a reading. The First Sword of Sorrow is "Simeon announces the suffering destiny of Jesus". The novena ends with a Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows (written by Pope Pius VII), the Apostles Creed and Hail Mary.
Until at least the end of 1993, the Sunday Bulletin carried a notice that, "Rosary is recited 20 minutes before each Mass" (223:23/09/1990) (223:24/02/1991) (223:25/08/1991). During Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, Stations of the Cross replaced the Rosary before each Mass (223:25/02/1990). After Ash Wednesday, the announced was changed to "The Way of the Cross is recited 20 minutes before each mass" (223:24/02/1991). After Easter, often in March, the announcement reverted to, "Rosary is recited 20 minutes before each Mass" (223:22/04/1990) (223:31/03/1991) (223:26/12/1993).
Holy Hour and Rosary
A daily "Holy Hour and Rosary" from noon to 1:00PM in the new church (except on Saturday) began on December 10, 1990 "in response to our Blessed Mother's Urgent requests to turn completely away from sin" (223:09/12/1990). After Ash Wednesday, the schedule was changed to, "Holy Hour, Rosary and Stations of the Cross" (223: 24/02/1991). The noon time Holy Hour was suspended in March because, the pastor explained, "Since we will be having Perpetual Adoration, we will discontinue the noon Holy Hour. We will not have the noon Holy Hour this week to encourage you to attend as many of the Holy Week Services as possible. We want to thank those of you who have been attending these Holy Hours" (223:24/03/1991).
Danielle Gonzales began Wednesday evening classes in July 1991 on how to make rosaries (223:07/07/1991). The group was called The Queen of Mercy Rosary Making Group. It met at the home of Bernice Jaimes that was right behind the parish hall (223:21/07/1991). Later the group met in the Old Rectory on Tuesdays (223:04/08/1991) (223:10/11/1991) (223:12/01/1992). The group made rosaries that were distributed worldwide (223:28/06/1992).
The Sunday Bulletin of August 15, 1991, printed the following announcement from the pastor. "Message from Our Blessed Mother- Our Blessed Mother Mary gave one of our parishioners a message that She wants as many of us as possible to come to the Church to pray the rosary from 1:00PM to 3:00PM this Thursday on Her Feastday (Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven) (223:11/08/1991). The pastor later announced that, "All fifteen decades of the Rosary will be recited this Sunday afternoon in the church from 4:00PM to 5:00PM in response to Our Blessed Mother's request for nine days of prayer and renunciation (223:15/09/1991).
Fifteen Decades as in Medjugorje
In December the pastor said that, "numerous messages and visions that have been occurring" in the Adoration Chapel. His was headlined, "Fifteen Decades of Rosary Requested by Our Blessed Mother. Our Blessed Mother in one of her recent messages has requested we pray three Rosaries at a time like they do in Medjugorje. She said she would appear within the 15 decades. This is what happens in Medjugorje."
"We will begin praying all three Rosaries daily this Sunday and daily after that. The schedule for praying the three Rosaries are as follows: The First Rosary, the Joyful Mysteries, will be recited 20 minutes before Mass like we are doing now. We will pray all three Rosaries daily only at the evening Mass. Rosary schedule for daily evening Masses as follows: Sat. and Sunday, 6:40PM and after Mass at 8:00PM (two Rosaries); Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri., 6:40PM and after Mass 7:30PM; Thurs., 6:40PM and after Mass 9:00PM (two Rosaries)" (223:08/12/1991).
On December 29, the schedule was modified slightly. The Thursday schedule was changed to 6:00PM-7:00PM and all three Rosaries were prayed (223:29/12/1991). This schedule was reprinted each Sunday for the next two weeks (223:12/01/1992). During Lent, Stations of the Cross at 7:30PM replaced the two Rosaries after daily Mass on every Friday (223:01/03/1992) (223:21/02/1993).
Praying the three Rosaries from Sunday to Friday at the 7:00PM daily Mass continued until at least the end of 1993. One Rosary was prayer before Mass beginning at 6:35PM and two Rosaries were prayed after Mass. The pastor noted that attendance had fallen off (223:20/09/1992). The Sunday Bulletin of May 3, 1992 reprinted the Promises of Our Lady to Those Praying the Rosary (223:03/05/1992).
The annual May crowning of Our Blessed Mother took place from 6:00PM to 7:00PM, May 11-15, 1992, Monday to Friday. The adults recited the Rosary and sing hymns of praise as the children bring flowers to the altar for Mother Mary (223:10/05/1992). This event coincided with the week of Mother's Day. In 1993, the May Coronation took place during the First Communion Ceremony on May 9 at 3:00PM. Flower offering were also made to the Blessed Mother during the daily Rosary at 6:15PM from Monday May 10 to Friday May 14 (223:02/05/1993). The Rosary proceeded the Friday daily Mass at 7:00PM.
Underwood held a Special Celebration for Assumption outside in front of the Grotto in August 1992. The service began at 9:00AM and ended at 1:00PM and included a Mass and recitation of Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries. Attendees were encouraged to bring one flower to place at the Grotto (223:09/08/1992).
The Rosary Ministry continues to promote praying the Rosary at San José Church and in private homes. In 2018, the contact person for the San Jose Rosary Ministry/Velorios was Mary Arana. The function of the Rosary Ministry in 2018 was to pray and lead the Rosary for the souls of deceased members of San José Church (San Jose Church website).