Table of Contents
8.2 Altar Servers/Altar Boys
8.3 Blessed Sacrament Chapel
8.5 First Friday Adoration
8.6 First Saturday
8.7 Lectors and LEMs
8.8 Mass Schedule
8.9 Ushers and Greeters
Catholics believe that at the moment of Consecration, during the Mass, the gifts of bread and wine are transformed (transubstantiated) into the Actual Body and Blood of Christ. This is what is meant by Real Presence, the actual, physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The Catholic Church teaches that Christ instituted this Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist in order to remain with mankind until the end of time.
After each Mass, any consecrated host remaining is placed in the tabernacle (a gold box near the altar). During Adoration, the consecrated host (the Body of Christ) is taken from the tabernacle and placed in a monstrance (a gold case) on the main altar and the assembled parishioners are welcomed to spend time with the Lord in prayer.
In the early 1960s until at least 1966, Adoration took place all day on the First Friday of every month with three Masses and confessions before each Mass (223:09/29/63) (223:05/01/66). The public came and went on that day, many spending one hour (called a Holy Hour) praying in the church. First Friday Adoration and perpetual adoration are described in other articles.
On February 25-27, 1964, the parish held a "Forty Hours' Devotion" in which continuous prayer was made for forty hours before the Blessed Sacrament (that had been placed in a monstrance). The pastor asked that only men attend during the night. The devotion began with a Mass of Exposition and ended with a Mass of Reposition. After the Mass of Reposition finished at 5:00PM on February 27, the Blessed Sacrament was returned to the tabernacle accompanied by a procession of all the parish sodalities carrying their banners and wearing their insignia. The pastor asked that the parents prepare girls in white dresses for the procession (223:02/23/64). The parish held another "Forty Hours' Devotion" on February 21, 22 and 23, 1966. The pastor encouraged everyone to spend a Holy Hour of Adoration each day in the church (223:02/13/66).
The Mass on Holy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ. On the night of Holy Thursday after the Mass, the faithful remain in the presence of the Eucharist just as the Disciples kept a vigil with Christ. In 1964 and 1966, the pastor placed the Cursillistas in charge of Holy Thursday adoration from 9:00PM until 7:00AM (223:04/03/66). The next day, Good Friday, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration all day (223:03/22/64) (223:04/03/66).
Altar servers were called into service even before the first San José church at 715 W. Mary Street was finished. During the building of the church, the altar boys were expected to carry mortar for the masons who constructed the stone building. They also accompanied the missionary priest, Rev. Mendez, on his Sunday trips to the church at Garfield and the mission stations in Buda, Creedmoor, Manchaca and Montopolis. They helped at the 6:00AM Mass at San Jose and then piled into a car to assist at another Mass at 8:00AM at one of the missions. In 1939, the altar boys included Chris Sosa, Peter Castillo, Vicente Flores, Henry Bargas and Lula Alva (14).
Few records of events at San Jose parish exist, other than the parish registers, prior to December 1960 when the parish began to publish a Sunday Bulletin. During that twenty-year period, the parish grew from 65 to 500 families and from one to three Sunday Masses (223:12/18/60). Little is known about who served as altar boys and how they were organized during that period.
The first mention of altar boys in the Sunday Bulletin was a called meeting in January 1961 (223:01/15/61). A list of servers for Sunday masses was printed in the Sunday Bulletin for the first time in January 1968. The schedule was: 6:30PM Tommy Dávila and Charles Dávila; 8:00AM Amando Flores and Carlos Salmilpa; 10:00AM Henry Ramírez and Carlos Cardona; 12:00AM Joe Maldonado and Jesse Barba (223:01/14/68). The next week, the altar servers were: 6:30PM Tony Hipolito and Tommy Longoria; 8:00AM Carlos Samilpa and Rudy Longoria; 10:00AM James Valdez anbd Joe Maldonado; 12:00Noon Pete Alcoser and Fred Maldonado (223:01/21/68).
In July 1969, the assistant pastor, Rev. Bob Gilmour, mentioned to the parish council the idea of an altar boys' club (213) and, in January 1970, Raymond Canizales, C.S.C., a Holy Cross seminarian, wanted to find some way to organize the altar boys. He called a meeting on Saturday for this purpose (223:12/28/69). However, it was not until October 1974, that a way was found to organize the boys when Sister Carmen Leal and Mrs. Salazar started an Altar Boys Club that met at the school on Friday at 4:00PM (250:20/10/74). In 1974, the Boy Scout troop became inactive and an altar boys' club was formed to fill the need for an organization for that age group (250:20/10/74).
The Knights of the Sanctuary
The club was called "Knights of the Sanctuary". The January 19, 1975 edition of the Sunday Bulletin listed, under the heading "Knights of the Sanctuary, January 26, 1975", the names of Joey Peña, Rene Galvan, Martin Salazar, Alberto Contreras, Martin Estrada and Cruz Delgado next to the various Sunday Mass hours. These must have been altar servers assigned to those Masses (223:19/01/75).
In February, the list was Rene Galvan, Daniel Herrera, Joey Peña, David Herrera, Cruz Delgado, Alfonso Rubio, Alberto Contreras, Johnny Saenz, Carmelo Cortez and Martin Salazar (223:05/02/75). Martin Estrada was added later (223:16/02/75). The Mass Schedule for the Knights of the Sanctuary was published in the Sunday Bulletin (223:09/03/75). The names of the Mass servers for the weekend of May 18 were published in the Sunday Bulletin as: Alfonso Albert Rubio, Rene Galva, Johnny Saenz, Martin Estrada, David Herrera, Martin Salazar and Daniel Herrera. Elsewhere under an announcement for a reception of Knights of the Sanctuary on May 18 at 12:00AM was listed: Servers-Alfonso Rubio, Albert Rubio, David Herrera, Johnny Saenz, Martin Estrada; Squires-Rene Galvan, Joey Pena, Curz Delgado, Alberto Contreras (223:18/05/75).
Names of Mass servers listed for the weekend of September 21, 1975 were: Alfonso Rubio, Alex Rubio, Daniel Herrera, Albert Rubio, Martin Salazar, Alberto Contreras and Martin Estrada. Elsewhere under an announcement for a reception of Knights of the Sanctuary on September 21 at 10:00AM was listed: Servers-Alex Rubio, Daniel Herrera, Johnny Saenz, Roy Garza; Squires-Cruz Delgado, Martin Estrada, David Herrera, Albert Rubio, Alfonso Rubio (223:14/09/75).
In September 1975, the Knights of the Sanctuary received a cassock and a surplice during an installation ceremony. At the presentation of the cassock, the priest said, "Receive this cassock with the greatest respect for it is part of the armor you will wear as a knight in the service of your Lord and Master". The server was then presented with the surplice with these words, "Receive this surplice and may its whiteness ever be a true symbol of the flaming purity of your soul". After this ceremony, the boy was known as a Server. After he has served faithfully for a couple of months, he was presented with a Certificate that "makes him a full member of the Organization of Knights" (223:21/09/75). Parents of altar boys were called to a meeting on September 23 because, the pastor said, "Kits have arrived" (223:21/09/75). The cassocks were evidently red because it is said that they "wore red and sat on the steps" around the altar area (223:06/06/76). In July 1976, the CYO donated $100 for the purchase of new cassocks (223:04/07/76).
The program of the 35th Anniversary Celebration in December 1975 said that, "The Altar Boys carry the title of Knights of the Sanctuary. They received high acclaim from Bishop Vincent Harris during the May 1975 Confirmations. They are fine boys who serve every Mass each Sunday. In addition, they are presently working to provide a new Processional Cross for our remodeled church. There are approximately 17 boys". The altar boys' club, The Knights of the Sanctuary, soon began its third year (209).
The Mass servers for October 4 and October 5, 1975 were Martin Salazar, David Herrera, Joey Pena, Daniel Herrera, Alberto Contreras, Alex Rubio, Alfonso Rubio and Roy Garza (223:05/10/75). The Altar Boys schedule for December 20-25 was Cruz Delgado, Rolando Carrillo, Joey Peña, Daniel Herrera, Johnny Saenz, Roy Garza, Martin Estrada, Ruben Molina, Jr., Martin Salazar, Rene Galvan, Alfonso Rubio and Albert Rubio (223:14/12/75).
The Altar Boys were aged 12 to 18
Prospective altar boys are encouraged to contact Sister Theresa Noel (223:05/10/75). The Altar Boys had to be at least in the 7th grade and were required to be under18 years of age (223:24/04/83). They also had to have made their First Holy Communion (223:08/07/84). The altar boys met monthly (223:08/02/76), usually on Saturday (223:04/03/79). Like all sodalities or religious societies, the altar boys needed to raise funds. They occasionally sponsored a cake sale after each Mass (223:22/06/75) (223:10/09/78). In 1976, the altar boys had a picnic at Landa Park in New Braunfels (223:06/06/76) and in December 1978 participated in the parish Christmas party (223:10/12/78).
In 1981, the contact for the Altar Boys was Albert Rubio (223:07/06/1981). Two Altar Boys served at each Mass. Their names continued to be listed in the Sunday Bulletin. The Altar Boys for the weekend of June 27-28 were Alex Rubio, Robert Martínez, John Peña, Victor Rubio, Jonathan Herrera, John Lee Herrera, Joey Herrera, Danny Herrera, John Herrera, Mark Herrera, Albert Contreras, Paul Moreno and Michael Morales (223:07/06/1981). Other Altar Boys were Victor Rubio, Alberto Contreras, Anthony Estrada, Michael Estrada, Michael Morales, Fabian Vela, Jacob Álvarez, Tito Rutt, A. J. Samilpa, Abraham Samilpa, Alfredo Reyna, Norman Salazar and Richard Tello (223:05/07/1981).
In July 1981, the Altar Boys and CYO sponsored a trip to Six Flags amusement park on Saturday July 25 (223:12/07/1981). The Altar Boys met in the school at 10:00AM on Saturday August 1 (223:26/07/1981). In June 1982, the pastor said, "The Church would like to thank Alfonso and Albert Rubio for their many years of service as altar boys. They will be leaving July 8, 1982, for the Navy" (223:27/06/82). At that time, Alberto Rubio was listed in the bulletin as the contact person for the altar boys, meaning that he was probably their scheduler (223:27/06/82).
The names of the Altar Boys as listed in Altar Boy Appointments for November 1981 was the same as in June 1981 (223: 22/11/1981). In June 1982, the Altar Boys listed in the bulletin were Daniel Herrera, Alex Rubio, Victor Rubio, Anthony Estrada, Mark Herrera, Ruben Loera, Norman Salazasr, Alfredo Reyna, John Pena, Fabian Vela, Michael Valdez, Eric Dominguez and Tito Rutt (223:20/06/82). The names of Eric Rivera, Richard Tello, Jacob Álvarez, Joey Herrera were added later (223:13/06/82). In July 1982, the Altar Boys listed in the bulletin were Michael Estrada, Daniel Herrera, John lee Herrera, Mark Herrera, Ruben Lorera, Paul Moreno, John Pena, Alfredo Reyna, Eric Rivera, Alex Rubio, Victor Rubio, Tito Rutt, Norman Salazar, A. J. Samilpa, Richard Tello, Michael Valádez and Fabian Vela (223:04/07/82).
The 1980 Church Directory had a photo showing Joe Galvan, Jr. and the Altar Boys. The photo was made in 1979 and showed twelve young men and Joe Galvan who appeared to be about 20 years old (58). The Sunday Bulletin had not been updated and still listed Alberto Rubio was listed in the church bulletin as the contact for the Altar Boys in September 1982 (223:19/09/82) (223:02/01/1983). Maybe he did not enlist in the US Navy and was still in Austin.
There were thirty altar boys in 1983
In April 1983, Eddie Reyes (a Holy Cross seminarian who lived in the rectory) was in charge of altar boys (223:24/04/83). Afterward Victor Rubio was in charge of the altar boys for several years (223:17/07/83). He scheduled a training session in the School building for October (223:08/07/84). All of the thirty altar servers were expected to attend the training. The pastor warned, "Be sure to turn in your Waiver" (223:14/10/84) (223:03/02/1985). Training was scheduled about every six months with monthly meetings (223:22/09/1985) (223:19/01/1986) (223:26/10/1986) (223:01/03/1987) (223:26/04/1987) (223:06/09/1987) (223:10/01/1988) (223:22/01/1989).
In November 1986, the altar boys went to Bowl-a-Rama and Peter Pan Mini-Golf for an outing (223:09/11/1986). Benny Limón, Rudy Duran, Fred Chavez and Monica Hernandez were their chaperones (223:23/11/1986). To raise funds, they appealed to parishioners to leave newspapers and aluminum cans in the carport by the rectory (223:12/04/1987). They had a bake sale on Sunday, March 27, 1988 Sunday, in front of the church hall (223: 27/03/1988). On Mother's Day, May 8, 1988, the altar servers and their parents served breakfast for Mother's Day. The proceeds were for their trip to Six Flags. On May 8 they also began serving snow cones after the first three Sunday Masses (223:08/05/1988).
In October 1988, new altar boys were recruited. An altar servers training and recruitment meeting met at the school on a Saturday in October at 9:00AM (223:16/10/1988). Another training and recruitment meeting was on Saturday, December 10, at the school at 9:30AM. All eligible boys were invited to attend (223:27/11/1988). All altar boys and their parents met in the morning of Saturday, January 21, 1989 in the school.
In addition to attending frequent training sessions, all altar servers who were scheduled to participate in the Mass of the Last Supper in 1989 met with Rev. Leonard Paul, C.S.C. to practice (223:19/03/89). After 1990, meetings and training continued on a regular schedule (223:04/11/1990) (223:23/02/1992). The meetings were mandatory and sometime the boys were asked to bring a parent with them to the Saturday morning meetings (223:08/07/1990). The Mass schedules for ministers, Eucharistic ministers, lectors and altar servers were scheduled in blocks of two months and everyone served in rotation. This meant that the altar boys were assigned to assist at a different Mass on Saturday and Sunday, rather than one particular Mass. This often required that their parents change their Mass attendance as well.
Men replaced the Altar Boys in 1993
The altar boys continue to operate as a society. In July 1989, they washed cars after all Masses (223:16/07/1989) and made $141 for a trip to Six Flags (223:30/07/1989). In July 1993, the new Pastor, Fr. Kirby Garner, announced training for acolytes on Wednesday in the new church (223:25/07/1993). Shortly after becoming Pastor of San José Parish, Fr. Kirby reorganized the Altar Servers. Instead of 18 years of age being the upper limit, it became the lower limit. San José no longer accepted boys as altar servers and those who wished to serve in this capacity were asked to return when they were adults. The new system eliminated many of the problems associated with using children as altar servers. Even though the Church, after 1994, allowed parishes the option of using female altar servers, until 2018 all altar servers at San José Church are men. In November 2018 the Pastor recruited children to serve as Altar Servers. By February 2019 the Altar Servers were grown men and children, both boys and girls.
Blessed Sacrament Chapel including Perpetual Adoration/Holy Hour
The Sunday Bulletin of January 20, 1991, carried the following message from the pastor, Rev. Fred Underwood. "The Sacred Heart of Jesus has taken a special interest here at San Jose Parish by calling our attention to His bleeding Heart and the message He gave us (see insert). His heart that bled in the picture was just to call attention to his message. Like His and Our Mother, Mary, has been telling us: turn away from sin, turn your lives over to Jesus, pray the Rosary, etc."
"We have a Holy Hour at noon. In a few weeks we will enthrone homes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the weekend Masses. Shortly after that we will begin Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which means Jesus will be exposed on our altar 24 hours a day, seven days a week for someone to be present spending an hour with Jesus, praying, adoring, keeping him company, and loving Him. These are more ways we can allow Him to bathe us with His love and we love Him in return - which is Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
"Jesus gave a parishioner of San Jose Parish a message this past Tuesday, this message: "Tell Fr. Underwood, I want Perpetual Adoration at San Jose Parish and the church is to be open 24 hours a day".
This message came after I wrote the above announcement that we will soon have Perpetual Adoration. Jesus' message confirms San Jose Parish will have this" (223: 20/01/1991).
Three weeks later, on February 10, the pastor's message to the people of San José was, "Thanks for your generous response for Perpetual Adoration. A few hundred volunteered to spend an hour/week, many a few hours each week, in adoration. We are in the process of recording them in a computer and will have more information later as to the number who volunteered."
"Those of you who signed up will be notified in a few days before Perpetual Adoration begins, which will be when the chapel is finished. Your commitment to this hour(s) will continue until you notify our office that you can no longer keep this hour. There are forms in the foyer of the church that you can take with you for any friends of yours who may wish to volunteer" (223:10/02/1991).
Perpetual Adoration began in 1991
On March 24, the pastor wrote that the new chapel was being finished. Padded pews were on order and would arrive in six weeks. He announced that Perpetual Adoration would begin April 1 at noon, the Monday after Easter. Volunteers received a schedule in the mail (223:24/03/1991). Volunteers were told to enter by way of the side door on the north side of the church. The parking lot lights were lit all night although the church was locked after the evening Mass and opened at 7:00AM (223:31/03/1991).
The pastor said that, "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).
He reported on April 7 that, "The first week of adoration went well. However, not every hour was covered. Many hours had more than one person. As you enter, sign in on the clipboard the hour you will be spending with Our Lord. Be quiet and silent in the Chapel at all times. Last Tuesday, April 2nd, during the noon Hour of Adoration, Jesus gave one of our parishioners this message: "This Chapel is the Lord's House! Treat it with reverence and respect. Be quiet. Be still." Please, no praying out loud. Please do not bring babies or small children into the Chapel or anyone who will distract or disturb others by their crying, talking or running around" (223: 07/04/1991).
On April 21, a report appeared in the Sunday Bulletin, "Perpetual Adoration, during the second week of Perpetual Adoration, April 9-15, 1991, the following prayers were answered: Favors Granted and Blessings Received, 44 persons left comments; Healings, 21 persons left comments and one person reported being lifted up (223:21/04/1991).
On April 28, the pastor reported that two parishioners had volunteered to pay the cost to build the new Chapel, $22,518.33 (223:28/04/1991). Every week for the next six months, Fr. Underwood printed a report every week or two listing the comments received from persons who prayed in the new chapel.
Favors Granted and Blessing Received
May 5, 1991 During the fourth week of Perpetual Adoration, April 23-29, 1991, the following prayers were answered: Favors Granted and Blessings Received, 19 persons comments; Healings, ten persons comments; six other persons reported a spiritual experience, vision or a message (223:05/05/1991).
May 19, 1991 A report titled, "Perpetual Adoration, May 7-13, 1991", Favors Granted and Blessings Received, 26 persons commented; Healings, 6 persons healed; Message, one person reported a message (223:19/05/1991).
June 2, 1991 A report titled, "Perpetual Adoration, May 21-27, 1991", Favors Granted, 2 persons commented; Healings, 2 persons healed; Message, two persons reported receiving a message (223:02/06/1991).
June 16, 1991 A report titled, "Perpetual Adoration, June 4-10, 1991", Favors Granted, 7 persons commented; Healings, 1 person healed; Message, four persons reported receiving a message (223:16/06/1991).
June 23, 1991 A report titled, "Perpetual Adoration, June 11-17, 1991", Favors Granted,35 persons reported; Healings, 1 person healed; Message, one person reported receiving a message (223:23/06/1991).
June 30, 1991 A report titled, "Perpetual Adoration, June 18-24, 1991", Favors Granted, 6 persons commented; 11 persons reported visions; Message, one person reported receiving a message (223:30/06/1991).
July 7, 1991 A report titled Perpetual Adoration, June 25- July 1, 1991 listed under "Favors granted" 18 people left comments; "Healings" two people left comments (223:07/07/1991).
July 14, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, July 1- July 8, 1991 listed under "Favors granted" 15 people left comments (223: 14/07/1991). "In order to have a constant vigil of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament we are in need of volunteers for the following times". The Bulletin then listed thirteen one-hour time slots that needed to be filled. The most common empty slot was 2-3AM and 11-12PM. Volunteers were urged to contact Cecilia or José (223:14/07/1991).
July 21, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, July 8- July 15, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 8 people reported; "Message", one persons reported; "Healing", one person reported; "Spiritual Experience", one person reported speaking in tongues (223:21/07/1991).
July 28, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, July 16- July 22, 1991 listed under "Favors granted" 6 people left comments; "Healing", one person reported relief from pain (223: 28/07/1991).
August 4, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, July 23- July 29, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 11 people left comments; two persons reported healings (223:04/08/1991).
August 11, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, July 30- August 5, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 8 people left comments; two persons reported visions and one reported a message from Jesus. Under a box titled, "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 Feast Day (223: 04/08/1991).
August 18, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, August 6-12, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 54 people left comments; four persons reported healings (223:18/08/1991).
August 25, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, August 13-19, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 40 people left comments; two persons reported healings; one reported a vision (223:25/08/1991).
September 1, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, August 20-26, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 43 people left comments including three visions (223: 01/09/1991).
The pastor reported that, Bishop McCarthy wrote "a beautiful letter" congratulating San Jose parishioners for their participation in Perpetual Adoration (223:01/09/1991).
September 8, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, August 27- September 2, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 37 people left comments; four persons reported visions and three reported messages. On this day, it was announced that the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus could be viewed in the metal building opposite the Parish Hall (223:08/09/1991).
September 15, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, September 3-8, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 17 people left comments and one reported a message (223:15/09/1991).
September 22, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, September 9-16, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 24 people left comments, three reported messages and five reported being healed (223:22/09/1991).
September 29, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, September 17-23, 1991 listed under "Favors granted," 4 people left comments and several reported visions. On this day another report titled, "While Viewing The Picture of the Sacred Heart" appeared in the Sunday Bulletin. It format was similar to the Adoration Chapel report (223:29/09/1991).
October 6, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, September 24-30, 1991, "As usual, there were numerous favors granted and blessings received, but instead of simply giving numbers, we will mention a few specifics." The Pastor then described several healings (223: 06/10/1991).
October 13, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, October 1-7, 1991, "As usual, there were numerous favors granted and blessings received, but instead of simply giving numbers, we will mention a few specifics." The Pastor then described two good outcomes for students (223: 13/10/1991).
October 20, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, October 8-14, 1991, "People are still continuing to receive visions, favors and blessings" (223: 20/10/1991).
October 27, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, October 15-21, 1991, "People are still continuing to receive visions, favors and blessings." The Pastor then described two healings (223: 20/10/1991).
November 3, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, October 22-28, 1991, "People are still continuing to receive visions, favors and blessings" The Pastor then described two healings (223: 03/11/1991).
November 10, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, October- Nov. 4, 1991, "People are still continuing to receive visions, favors and blessings" (223: 10/11/1991).
November 17, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, Nov. 5-11, 1991, "The Lord blessed three people with new jobs this week. One also had not been working for 3 years" (223:17/11/1991).
November 24, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, Nov. 12-18, 1991, "There were numerous favors and blessings received". The Pastor then described one healing and one message (223:24/11/1991).
December 1, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, Nov. 19-26, 1991, "There were numerous favors and blessings received". The Pastor described one healing (223:01/12/1991).
December 8, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, Nov. 26- Dec. 2, 1991, "There were numerous favors and blessings received, e.g. forgiveness of self and others, new job, financial improvements. There have been numerous messages and visions that have been occurring, see the announcement regarding the rosary three times a day.". The Pastor described one blessing (223:08/12/1991).
December15, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, Dec. 3-9, 1991, "Reported Message from Jesus: He wants everyone to repent. Say your rosary. Come back to church. Time is running out. Our purification is near. Be ready." The Pastor also reported a healing (223:15/12/1991).
December 22, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, Dec. 10-16, 1991, "There have been several reported messages, healings and visions and one reconciliation with self and family" (223: 22/12/1991).
December 29, 1991 A report titled Adoration Chapel, Dec. 17-23, 1991, "There have been several reported messages, healings and visions. In the future, outstanding blessings and healings will be published" (223: 29/12/1991).
January 19, 1992 Adoration Chapel, Jan. 7-13, 1992, The Pastor transcribed a reported message from Jesus (223:19/01/1992).
January 26, 1992 Adoration Chapel, Jan. 7-13, 1992, "People are still reporting numerous blessings, favors, healings and conversions" (223:19/01/1992).
A Security Guard was hired
The hope was that at least one person would be praying in the chapel at all times. It proved difficult to find people to fill the schedule. During February 1992, the Sunday Bulletin stated, "Presently we do not have anyone committed to adoring these hours" followed by a list of nine one-hour time slots. The most common available slot is 2-3AM and 3-4AM. Volunteers were asked to contact Cecilia or Jose if they could fill the time slots listed (223:09/02/1992). Part of the problem was that women did not feel safe coming and going to the chapel during the night and at least one woman reported later that she had been assaulted while returning to her car.
In May 1992, the parish hired an armed guard to protect the women. "We now have security seven nights a week from 9PM to 4AM. We hope that all of you take these hours which at the present time often no one is there to accompany Our Lord 223:31/05/1992). This armed Guard will escort persons from their car to the chapel and the chapel to their cars. This guard will also be on the parking lot to protect vehicles" (223:07/06/1992). The armed guard was on site from 9:00PM to 4:00AM and cost $1,655 per month (223:02/05/1993) (223:20/06/1993).
Even with the armed guard on the premises, not enough volunteers came forward to fill the empty slots. In early June, the Sunday Bulletin listed sixteen one-hour time slots needed to be filled in order to have a constant vigil of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament (07/06/1992). In late June, there were still ten empty slots in the schedule, all between 1:00AM and 4:00AM (223:21/06/1992).
In October, the pastor complained that, "Jesus is alone in our Adoration Chapel on Monday mornings from midnight until 4AM. We also have other hours available during the day and evenings (223:27/09/1992) (223:04/10/1992). In January 1993, an insert in the bulletin about Perpetual Adoration said that adorers were needed from midnight to 7:00AM (223:31/01/1993).
Since the chapel opened in April 1991, Fr. Underwood had kept a supply of paper and pencils in a box by the door and people were encouraged log in when they entered and left the chapel and to record their comments after each visit. This system worked well and was the basis for Fr. Underwood's frequent reports on healings and visions by the adorers. By June 1993, the pastor said that it was impossible to keep paper and pencils at the two boxes for prayer intentions that were placed at the main entrance to the church so the box was moved to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the church. "These petitions are remembered in the Prayers of the Faithful at every week-end Mass" (223:27/06/1993). The pastor asked that parishioners not put money in the box because youngsters "fish out the money" from the box and damage them (223:11/07/1993).
In 2018, the members of Society of the Blessed Sacrament "watched and prayed with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament" chapel.
Worshippers at San José Parish probably did not sing hymns prior to 1964. German-speaking congregations sang hymns at Mass and some US parishes retained the custom. However, it was not the general practice in either North American or Mexican Catholic churches. Instead, most Catholic churches had a choir. The Director of Choir and Recitative Mass in 1961 was Sr. José R. Juarez (223:09/24/61).
The 8:00AM Sunday Mass had a choir in 1963. Sr. José Juarez directed the 24-person choir. There were nine men and fifteen women in the choir (223). At the start of the 1963-1964 school year in September 1963, Sister Lucille Agnes and Sister Maurice María organized a children's choir that sang at different Mass times (235).
After the Second Vatican Council, Catholic congregations began to learn how to sing. The priest and the choir sang the Mass if it were a High (or sung Mass) but, after the Second Vatican Council, the Low Mass with music added became the model for Mass. The music was in the vernacular, either Spanish or English. Few Catholic hymns existed so the process of finding and learning hymns and training the congregation to sing took some time.
In February 1964, the pastor explained his plan for introducing hymns into the Mass. Each Sunday Mass would approach the problem differently. The 6:30PM Vigil Mass would be a Recitative Mass when desired. The 8:00AM Sunday Mass would sing Spanish-language hymns led by the Cursillistas. On the 1st and 3rd Sundays, children would sit together in the front benches and lead the singing at the 10:00AM Mass. The 12:00 noon Mass would form a choir to sing the hymns (223:02/16/64). The changes to the Mass were not introduced until November so each group had eight months to prepare.
The pastor explained that there would be the need for singing at Mass when the changes begin on November 29 (for the English language Masses). Therefore, he said, "We will need the help of those who can play the organ. Among those we remember are the Sisters, Srita. Carmen Sanchez, Sr. José Juarez and Sra. Isabel Reyes" (223:11/01/64). The Sisters were the schoolteachers, Sister Louise Marguerite, Sister Claude-Etienne, Sister Lucille Agnes and Sister Dominic Savio (223:08/30/64). In September 1964, Sister Lucille and Sister Claude organized a children's choir again (235).
In December 1964, the pastor reminded the congregation that, "In the new Solemn Mass everyone is supposed to sing. With the help of choirs, you will learn. Melody and words are simple. We will take our time, learning and doing it right." The members of the Youth Choir were encouraged to sit with the congregation and help them learn the songs. Each Mass now also had organists. The first organists were the Sisters, Miss Carmen Sanchez and Sra. Isabel Reyes (223:12/13/64).
The process did not go smoothly. The church had an organ but it was inadequate. The Guadalupanas sold tamales and raised enough money to purchase an organ for the church (223:12/06/64) (223:12/20/64) (223:12/27/64). The new organ was blessed on January 10, 1965 (223:01/10/65). In October 1965, the Pastor said, "All should learn the hymns and sing. In the responses, all should join in the prayers. Mass will be celebrated that way all over the world from now on". The organist at the 6:30 Vigil and 8:00AM Mass was Srita. Carmen Sanchez. Sra. Barbara Gonzalez was the organist for the 10:00AM Mass and Sra. Isabel Reyes played the organ for the 12:00 noon Mass. Srita. Ann Guerra was the assistant (223:10/31/65). The pastor advised that, "Children and youth should not be over by the organ unless you are part of a choir" (223:11/14/65).
During this time, many Catholic churches introduced guitars as an appropriate musical instrument to accompany the new hymns and in July 1967, the Associate Pastor, Rev. Mike Mikan, asked through the Sunday Bulletin, "Does anyone know how to play a guitar?" (223:07/16/67). Unlike many Catholic congregations, there was no shortage of men at San José parish who could play a guitar and, for the next fifty years, guitars were the instrument of choice for San José choirs.
Catholics had few English-language hymns of their own so Protestant hymns were used. The Sunday Bulletin of January 11, 18 and 25, 1970 had the words of two new songs in English, "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" and "Let's Make Peace" (223:01/11/70) (223:01/18/70). In February, the Sunday Bulletin printed the words for two songs in English, "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" and "Till All My People are One" (223:02/08/70). These were new Catholic hymns written after 1964 and no one had heard the words before. Prior to 1975, the parish purchased a songbook with English hymns and the page numbers where music could be found was printed in the Sunday bulletin (223:12/01/75).
It is unknown when the two Spanish-language Masses began learning hymns. The Mass was not said in Spanish until August 1965 (223:08/22/65). The Cursillo movement encouraged hymn singing and even had an official hymn called "De Colores". The Cursillistas knew how to sing. In 1970, the Cursillistas sponsored Spanish singing practice for Masses after the Ultreya at 8:30PM on Thursday (223:01/04/70) for parishioners who wanted to learn Spanish-language hymns.
From the beginning of the parish in 1939, a Mass had been said at about 8:00AM on Sunday morning. The 8:00AM Mass was the birthplace of the first San Jose choirs. When Victor Balderas arrived at San José in 1972, Ray Cortéz was the choir director for the 8:00AM Mass and Mrs. Isabel Reyes accompanied the choir on the organ. The daughter of Mrs. Reyes directed the 9:30AM English Mass choir. A short time later, Mrs. Reyes transferred to the 9:30AM Choir and, in 1976, Mr. Cortéz took over the choir for the noon Mass. This left Victor as the Director of the 8:00AM Mass choir. He started accompanying the choir on the guitar out of necessity when the organ accompanist moved to another choir. Victor Balderas directed the 8:00AM choir for the next 42 years. Ray Cortéz directed the choir for the 12:00 noon Mass from 1976 until 1998 and Mrs. Isabel Reyes directed the Children's Choir at 9:30AM or 10:00AM for at least 10 years (223:07/06/1981) (223:27/06/82) (223:02/01/1983).
Each choir will be described separately, beginning with the 8:00AM Sunday choir and ending with the Saturday Vigil choir.
8:00AM Sunday Mass Choir
Over the years, this choir has song at Mass scheduled to begin at 7:30AM, 8:00AM and 8:30AM. This choir sings in Spanish. The 8:00AM Mass has been on the Mass schedule since 1939. In 1964, the pastor commented that, "The 8:00AM Mass is Communion for Sodalities. We always had that Mass".
A choir was probably organized as early as 1939 but no documentation exists to verify that. The earliest documentation dates to 1961 (223:12/31/61). In August 1963, the choir of the 8:00AM Sunday Mass was directed by Sr. José Juarez and had fifteen women and nine men singers. The men were Luis Calderon, Ray Cortéz, Gonzalo Reyna, Lorenzo Hernandez, Lee Murillo, Fidencio Aguilar, Enrique Acosta, Jose Maciel and Serafin Peña. The women were Esperanza Acosta, Eulogia Maciel, Maria Flores, Benigna Sosa, Alejandra Salazar, Consuelo Rayna, Natalia Reyna, Elvira Reyna, Antonia Herrera, Paula Sanchez, Andrea Rocha, Mamie Rocha, Nettie Rocha, Macrina Tijerina and Jesusa Acosta (223).
Apparently, this Mass was celebrated in Latin until August 1965 when it switched to the vernacular (223:08/22/65). Spanish was the original language of this Mass and it may have taken the priest a while to get a copy of an approved Spanish-language Mass. The choir did not disband when Spanish-language hymns were introduced but there is no existing documentation about how the transition took place or what hymns were first sung (223:11/22/70). The Cursillistas led the singing at first and they probably used hymns that they already knew (223:02/16/64).
Between 1972 and 1976, Ray Cortéz was the choir director. On Easter Sunday 1976, he resigned as director of the Adult Spanish Choir (the 8:00AM Choir) and began directing the 12:00AM choir (223:Easter Sunday).
In 1973, the Spanish Choir for the 8:30AM Sunday Mass met on Tuesday at 7:30PM in the church for practice (223: 07/01/73) (249:16/09/73). By 1978, the practice schedule was changed to Wednesday from 7:00PM 9:00PM in the church (223:22/10/78). This choir continues to practice on Wednesday nights. In 1980, the choir had twenty, mostly adult, members (58).
The 8:00AM Mass was rescheduled to begin at 7:30AM in January 1983. Rev. Underwood rearranged the Mass schedule to allow 1 ½ hours between Sunday Masses instead of 2 hours as before. He did this so he could add a Youth Mass at 10:30AM (223:30/01/83) (223:10/07/83). In August 1983, the Mass schedule was changed again and the Spanish Mass was rescheduled from 7:30AM to 8:00AM. All four Sunday Masses were moved forward by 30 minutes so that, for example, the 12:00 noon Mass started at 12:30PM after the Mass schedule was changed (223:10/07/83) (223:21/05/1989).
In 1985, a total of 83 persons were involved in the choirs (223:03/02/1985) and the choirs engaged in other activities other than singing. As early as 1978, there were enough volunteers for the choirs to have a booth at the Fall Fiesta selling tacos (223:19/11/78). In 1985, the Socios and the 8:00AM Choir sponsored a dance with music by Isidro "Lefty" Lopez from 8:00PM to 1:00AM on a Saturday night (223:28/07/1985). This dance may have been a fundraiser for the choir.
In 1987, the 8:00AM Choir sponsored a garage sale on the church grounds all day Saturday and after Mass on Sunday (223:16/08/1987) to raise money for the new church (223:23/08/1987). The sale raised over $1,500 (223:30/08/1987). Four months later, the
8:00AM Choir and the Cursillistas working together had a garage sale and tamale sale in the Parish Hall (223: 29/11/1987). This too was a fundraiser for the church.
The 8:00AM choir led the singing for the annual Mañanitas celebration on December 12 in collaboration with the Guadalupanas. In 1993, the 8:00AM choir, directed by Manuel Gonzalez and narrated by Victor Balderas, also staged a presentation of the apparition of the Virgin Mary with six actors (227).
The singers and musicians who played in the choirs changed from time to time. In 2000, singers in the 7:30AM choir included Liz La Fuente, Lupita Garcia, Robert and Connie Martínez, María De La Carmen Velarde, Carlos Valle, Helen Soriano, Diana Clemente, Catherine Ramos and Rose Mary Martínez. Robert and Connie Martínez and Cathy Ramos were still singing with this choir in 2016. In 2018, the pastor hired a pianist to lead the choir and Victor Balderas stepped down as the choir's director after 42 years of service.
10:00AM Sunday Mass Choir
In 1939, there were two Sunday morning Masses, at 6:00AM and 8:00AM (193). Later a second Sunday morning Mass was added and, in 1960, the Sunday Mass schedule was 6:30PM Saturday, 8:00AM Sunday and 10:00AM Sunday (223:12/18/60). The 10:00AM Mass was in English (223:23/03/75). Later this Mass was scheduled to begin at 9:00AM (223:30/01/83) and, still later, at 9:30AM (223:10/07/83).
Prior to 1970, the 10:00AM Mass did not have a choir (223:12/31/61). A choir was first mentioned in 1970 (223:11/22/70) (223:23/03/75). In September 1971, Rev. John Haley and Rev. Mike Mikan asked, through the Sunday bulletin, for grammar school children to form a choir for the Sunday 10:00AM Mass. Sister Angelina, the school principal, would be the Choir Director (223: 12/09/71). Choir practice was at 7:30PM Wednesday (223:03/10/71). The Sunday Bulletin encouraged adults to join the choir (223:10/10/71). The congregation was still learning hymns and the children needed help. The parish had no songbooks. The words of the Offertory Song and Communion Song response were printed in the Sunday Bulletin to encourage the congregation to sing (223:24/10/71). Several Sunday Bulletins of this period printed the words for the chorus and five stanzas of song called, "Bread You Have Given Us".
The practice schedule conflicted with that of the 8:00AM Choir and the practice was soon changed from Wednesday to Tuesday at 7:30PM. Men and boys were encouraged to join. (223:07/11/71) and, in August 1972, the Sunday Bulletin appealed for volunteers to help the choir (223:12/08/73).
In February 1974, Carmelo Cortéz was directing the children's choir. He worked at IRS and as a computer operator at Austin National Bank (249:31/03/74). Later, Mrs. Manchuca directed this choir. In 1975, Mrs. Isabel Reyes was transferred from the 8:00AM choir, where she played the organ, to direct the children's choir (223:06/04/75). Mrs. Manchuca and Carmelo Cortéz continue to help with the choir (223:30/05/76). The Men's Club and Mrs. Marcelina Vasques also helped by providing choir robes (223:07/09/75)
An effort was made to recruit children and choir practice was moved to begin at 10:00AM and end on 11:00AM on Saturday in the church beginning in October 1975. All children ages 6 to 15 were welcome to join. Practice for the 12:00AM Mass choir also moved to Saturday morning (223:05/10/75). Perhaps as a joke, in December 1975 the Sunday Bulletin announced that a reward was being offered by Mrs. Reyes for the return of a special 4-foot long round stick that had black tape around the bottom (223:14/12/75).
The children's choir needed funds and, with the help of Mr. Carmelo Cortéz, sponsored a dance in the Community Center in June 1976 (223:30/05/76). The next month, the Catholic Youth Organization and the staff of the San José Community Center each donated $50 to the children's choir (223:04/07/76) (223:18/07/76). The choir, consisting of children aged 6 to junior high age, continued to practice on Saturdays and sing at the 10:00AM Sunday Mass under the direction of Mrs. Isabel Reyes and her daughter, Mrs. Lucy Manchuca (223:30/10/78) (58) (223:07/06/1981). A photo taken in 1979 shows this 18-person choir in their matching white robes. It was the only choir at San José to have robes (58).
In November 1981, the 10:00 Choir operated the White Elephant booth at the Fall Fiesta on November 1 (223: 01/11/1981). Peter Nañez became the first adult to join the choir when he joined in June 1982. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Arroyo became parent sponsors (223:18/07/82).
In January 1983, when Fr. Underwood changed the Mass schedule to add a Youth Mass, the 10:00AM Mass was moved to 9:00AM (223:30/01/83). In August 1983, the schedule was rearranged again and the choir moved to 9:30AM. Children in grades 1 through 6 attended this Mass as part of their CCD schedule (223:10/07/83) and the choir was called the Children's Choir. In May, Mrs. Reyes appealed for more children to join the choir (223:22/05/83).
By 1988, the children who sang in the Children's Choir in 1979 had moved on and the director appealed for singers and musicians, especially a guitar player. The contact was Terri Coronado (223:18/09/1988). Practice was on Tuesday evenings at 7:30PM in the school building (223:24/07/1988). Apparently the choir disbanded and, in May 1989, the Sunday Bulletin announced that a new youth choir is being formed for the 9:30AM Sunday Mass. The rehearsal was in the school. The contact was Kirk Overbey (223:21/05/89).
In June 1991, the contact for the 9:30AM Choir was Barbara Payan. In 1993, Zeke Valdez was the choir director. The Choir practiced at 8:00AM Sundays in the Parish Hall (223:30/06/1991). In 1992, Santos Martinez was in charge of the Children's Choir for the Christmas Pageant (223:06/12/1992).
10:30AM Youth Mass, English
In December 1982, when Fr. Underwood reorganized the Mass schedule to accommodate a Youth Mass, he directed Sister Mary (Sister Mary Navarro MJMJ or Sister Mary Cabieles MJMJ) to organize a youth choir (223:05/12/82). Sister Mary called for youth over 14 years old to join the new choir (223:16/01/83). (223:30/01/83). The Youth Choir practiced from 7:30PM to 9:00PM every Tuesday (223:30/01/83).
The Youth Mass was originally scheduled for 10:30AM (223:30/01/83). In August 1983, the Youth Mass was moved to 11:00AM (223:10/07/83). The practice schedule also changed and, by December, the Youth Choir was practicing on Mondays from 6:30PM to 8:30PM in the school (223:18/12/83) (223:15/04/84). In August 1984, the Youth Choir practice was changed to Tuesday at 6:00PM (223:19/08/84).
The choir had no robes but Mrs. Dolores Calderon made scarfs or stoles for the choir to wear (223:04/01/1987). Probably to raise money for the stoles, the choir sponsored a fajita sale after the 9:30AM, 11:00AM and 12:30PM Masses in April 1987 (223:19/04/1987). In January 1988, practice was moved to Saturday mornings at 10:30AM in the school building. The director was seeking students who were currently playing an instrument in a school band or orchestra (223:10/01/1988). In 1988, Mrs. Dolores Calderon made robes for use by the 11:00AM choir (223:17/04/1988). The Youth Mass was at 11:00AM on Sunday until at least November 1992 (223:21/05/1989).
Like all the choirs, keeping singers and musicians required constant recruiting of new members. In February 1990, the director of the youth choir said she needed bass guitar and keyboard players. The choir practiced in the white house next to the school building (the Youth Center) on Tuesday at 7:30PM (223:11/02/1990) or in the old church (223:12/08/1990) (223:28/10/1990). Any young person in the 3rd grade and over was invited to join (223:09/09/1990).
The 9:30 and 11:00AM choirs practiced on Tuesday at 7:00PM in the school in 1992 (223:12/07/1992). Youth were invited to attend this practice with the intention of forming a Youth Choir (223:19/07/1992).
The youth choir had other activities besides singing at Mass. In December 1992 and 1993, the 11:00AM Choir and the Adopt a Grandmother/Grandfather Program went caroling in the afternoon on the Saturday before Christmas. They practiced on two Tuesday in early December prior to going caroling (223:06/12/1992) (223:05/12/1993).
12:00 Noon Mass Choir, English
A Mass at 12:00 noon was added on January 1, 1962 (223:12/31/61) for, as the pastor said, "late sleepers". At first, the Mass had no choir but, after the Second Vatican Council, the Pastor urged those attending the noon Mass to form a choir (223:02/16/64). Sometime prior to 1970, a choir was formed (223:11/22/70) but it soon disbanded. The noon Mass was originally in English (223:23/03/75).
In October 1974, Sisters Carmen Leal and Theresa Noel were seeking singers and guitar players to practice for 12:00AM Sunday noon Mass. Practice was at 10:00AM on Saturday (250: 12/09/74). Practice was later changed to Wednesday at 8:00PM in the church (250: 03/11/74). This was billed as the Teen Choir. Sister Carmen was also looking for volunteers who could play a musical instrument (250: 10/11/74).
The attempt to form a choir was not successful and in August 1975 a third attempt was made. Practice was set for 11:00AM in the school (223:17/08/75). The new choir was called the Adult Choir. Sister Theresa was the initially the choir director (223:24/08/75) (223:05/10/75). This choir too failed to get organized and in February 1976, Ray Cortéz was convinced to leave the 8:00AM Choir to direct a new 12:00 noon choir (223:07/06/1981). This choir practiced on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, apparently in an effort to get trained before Easter. High school students were urged to join (223:01/02/76).
In May 1978, the 12:00AM San Jose Church Choir, under the direction of Ray Cortéz, had nineteen members including two guitarists. The members were a lady named Connie; Rosalinda Romero; Sister Gloria; Joe Maldonado; John Muñoz; Ramon Vidaurri; Bertha Guerra; Irma Cortéz; Alice Maldonado; Velma Muñoz; Moses Saldana Jr.; Margaret Gomez; Olga H. Tapia; Frank Nuñez Jr.; Anna Maria Saldana; Ruth Martínez; Carmen Marmolejo; John Vidaurri (guitarist) and John Marmolejo (guitarist) (240) (58).
As a fundraiser, the 12:00AM choir sang the Mañanitas for birthdays and wedding anniversaries on the 2nd and last Sundays of each month. Parishioners called Mrs. Ana Maria Saldana to request the service (223:08/10/78) (223:27/06/82) (223:02/01/1983). To supplement this income, the choir sold tamales after all Masses on February 20, 1983 (223:20/02/83). In January 1984, the 12:30PM choir donated $500 to the church, the proceeds of a dance they sponsored (223:29/01/84).
The schedule of the noon Mass was not disturbed when Fr. Underwood added a Youth Mass in January 1983 (223:30/01/83). However, beginning August 7, 1983, the Mass schedule was moved forward by 30 minutes and a Mass at 12:30PM replaced the 12:00 noon Mass (223:10/07/83). The choir practiced in the church on Tuesdays at 8:00PM (223:13/02/83).
Ray Cortéz and the 12:30PM Choir sold tickets for a raffle and worked a dance in May 1984. A drawing for three prizes ($350, $100 and $50) was held during the dance (223:20/05/84). The money was used to produce a CD and, a year later, the 12:30PM Mass choir produced and sold a CD (Homenaje a La Virgen de San Juan del Valle) at the entrance to the church. This was their second CD. They also auctioned an organ to the highest bidder. The organ was displayed in the Community Center during the auction (223:19/05/1985). The 12:30PM choir donated $432.50 to the church on May 26, 1985 (223:02/06/1985).
Parish choirs were always willing to sing at liturgical events when asked. In 1985, the 12:30PM choir sang at the Golden Jubilee Mass for four Holy Cross Fathers at San José (223:21/07/1985). Isabel Reyes volunteered to provide organ music for funerals free of charge (223:15/01/84) but this did not include a choir. Persons who wanted a choir for a wedding or a funeral could hire one of the choirs for the occasion. In 1988, Ray Cortéz again offered his choir to sing Mañanitas beginning at 4:00PM on May 8, Mother's Day (223:01/05/1988).
In September 1986, the 12:30PM Choir sponsored a benefit dance for the new church. The dance was in the parish hall with El Grupo Exo (223:24/08/1986). The dance raised $1,857.60 to pay for the new outdoor statue of St. Joseph for the new church (223:21/09/1986).
On special occasions, the choirs worked together. One such occasion was the dedication of the third San José church on April 30, 1988. A photo in the Sunday Bulletin showed the dedication service of the new church during the recitation of the Lord's Prayer. The photo shows a choir with over 40 persons, ten altar servers and lectors and six priests. The roll-up screen behind the altar was lowered so the 1,400 persons attending the dedication could read the words to the prayers if necessary. The capacity of the new church was 1600 persons (223:08/05/1988). On December 5, 2003, the united choirs of San José presented a Christmas Concert in the Community Center on Friday at 7PM (223:30/11/2003).
For many years between 1978 and 1993, Ray Cortéz and the 12:30 Choir offered to sing Mañanitas from door to door for Mother's Day beginning on Mother's Day and ending about a month later (223:22/04/1990). The service was available by appointment (223:02/05/1993). The choir practiced on Wednesday at 7:30PM in the old church (223:26/01/1992) (223:25/03/1990).
Until at least November 1992, the Mass schedule for the 12:30PM English Mass did not change (223:21/05/1989). Later, this Mass was scheduled to begin at 1:30PM and was offered in Spanish. When Reyes Cortéz retired in 1998 or 1999 as the director of the noon choir, Manuel González Jr. directed the choir for about 18 months. The personnel of the choir changed completely after Mr. Cortéz left (Veronica Gonzalez).
Saturday Vigil Mass Choir
It is not known when San José Parish began offering a Sunday Vigil Mass on Saturday afternoon. A Mass at 6:30PM on Saturday was on the Mass schedule when the Sunday Bulletin first appeared in December 1960 (223:12/18/60). In 1961, José R. Juarez was the Director of Choir and Recitative Mass (223:09/24/61). The Recitative Mass was said to be the 6:30PM Saturday Mass (223:02/16/64). When the Mass was celebrated in the vernacular beginning in 1964, the Saturday Mass was said in Spanish (223:08/22/65). In the 1990s the Saturday Vigil Mass became a bilingual Mass and eventually it was celebrated in English.
In May 1970, the Sunday Bulletin announced an evening Mass on 7:00PM Saturday was scheduled as a trial. "You can fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending this Mass" (223:04/05/70). This was a change in the Mass schedule from 6:30PM to 7:00PM on Saturday (223:12/31/61) (223:08/22/65) (223:01/14/68).
In December 1985, the 7:00PM Saturday Choir was featured in the Diocesan Christmas Special: "Love Followed Upon Love; Christmas 1985" shown on Austin Cablevision (223:15/12/1985). Emilio Cavazos was the choir director (223:05/01/1986). Nelda Martínez formed another choir that alternated with the choir led by Emilio Cavazos (223: 12/01/1986) and the two choirs sang on alternate Saturdays (223:03/08/1986). The language of the Saturday Mass was Spanish (223:27/01/1985).
In 1992, the choir director of the 7:00PM Saturday Vigil Mass was Joe Luna. He was seeking Spanish-speaking choir members and two trumpet players. The choir practiced on Friday at 7:30PM in the old church (223:12/07/1992).
Choir directors and the choirs frequently appealed for new members and musicians (223:16/10/1988). Sometimes a choir disbanded and, in August 1989, the Saturday Vigil Mass had no choir (223: 20/08/1989). Three years later, Luis and Augustina Cortéz were recruiting for singers and musicians for the 7:00PM Saturday Mass Choir in Spanish (223:29/08/1993).
The schedule of the Saturday Vigil Mass was unchanged from January 1988 until November 1992 (223:21/05/1989). In October 1993, the Saturday Mass became bilingual and by 2003 it was English.
In October 1981, all teenagers who liked to sing were invited to join a choir to sing at the citywide celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 13, Sunday at the Municipal Auditorium (223:25/10/1981). The choir practice was on Monday night at 8:00PM for five weeks under Ray Cortéz. The dress code was black pants, white shirt and black tie for boys; white blouse, green skirt and red waistband for girls (223:08/11/1981).
In March 1990, the choir for the Thursday night prayer meeting was the combined Sunday choirs under the direction of Ray Vásquez. The choirs sang ten songs for the Charismatic Conference that met at San José in March and recorded them. The tapes were later available at the church office for $7 (223:25/03/1990).
A meeting of musicians who were interested in forming a church orchestra or conjunto was called at the old church on Sunday afternoon on March 17, 1991 (223:10/03/1991). The next month a call was made for singers to meet (223:14/04/1991). About 18 months later, the Joyful Noise Youth Choir had a sign-up table at the 11:00AM Mass and auditions on September 26, 1992. The choir would consist of 12 young people ages 14-22 (223:20/09/1992).
A mariachi based at San José, Mariachi Guadalupano, won 1st place in the Marachi Competition in Houston in February 1993. They performed at the Mardi Gras celebration on February 23 at the San José Community Center. Parishioners were advised to call Manuel Gonzales if you would like him to play at weddings, etc. (223:07/03/1993). The band was made of Manuel Gonzales and his children.
A San José Choir performed on Sunday, August 8, 1993 in the evening for Gospel night at the Austin Aqua Festival (223:01/08/193) and, in 2003, the combined choirs of San José presented a Christmas Concert in the Community Center (223:30/11/2003).
A music ministry was not formally organized at San José Parish until about 1971. In March of that year, the Adult Religious Education Class was cancelled and persons interested in helping with the music and singing in the parish was invited to a meeting in the school at 7:30PM (223:03/07/71). In 1983, the Music Ministry was listed as one of twenty-three ministries at San José Church (223:10/04/83) and, in 1984, 83 persons were involved in the six choirs (223:03/02/1985). Kirk Overbey was in charge of music for the parish in 1991 (223:05/05/1991).
In August 1986, when the third church was in the design stages, the pastor wrote that, "One real advantage in building a new church is we are able to design everything to meet our present needs. And this is certainly true with our Sound System.
"We now have six choirs for our five weekend Masses (two choirs alternate at the Saturday - 7:00PM Vigil Mass). I checked with all the choir directors as to their needs and I have given these needs and recommendations to the sound Engineer who is designing the Sound System accordingly."
"This sound engineer, in designing the sound system, will specify the type and size of the amplifier and the speakers; he will make sure the acoustics in the church are proper without echo, etc.; he will suggest how to sound proof the mechanical rooms; and he will incorporate and integrate all the choir sections. For example, there will be six jacks for microphones for voice at the choir section but he will have four properly placed microphones above the choir to catch all the voices of the choir. These four microphones properly placed will eliminate the need for each choir to bring their own microphones. There will be a mixer for these four microphones so each choir director can adjust the volume.
Also there will be six additional jacks with another mixer for these for the electric guitars.
Installed in the altar will be a tape recorder that music can be played when a choir isn't present at a Mass, Benediction, Funerals, etc.
In short, our sound system will be designed to our needs and will be one we will be proud of" (223:03/08/1986).
Because Mass at San José were in both Spanish and English, it was difficult to locate a single songbook with words for the many songs used by the choirs. The solution was to locate a screen above and behind the altar in the third church. A projector was located on the balcony that could be controlled remotely. Choirs made slides of the songs used in the Mass and projected the words onto the screen. In 1991, Isaac Cisneros prepared the slides for the songs projected on the screen during Masses. "He has been doing this for years" (223:03/02/1991). Later the church office offered to make slides for the choirs (223:15/11/1992) (223:21/03/1993).
The projector was used in this way until 2018 when the parish priest objected to the practice, presumable because the screen, when it was in use, hide an image of the Risen Lord that was mounted on the wall behind the altar. By then, the parish had purchased a Spanish-language songbook, Flor Y Canto, from the Oregon Catholic Press that contained most of the songs used by San José Choirs Spanish-language choirs. In lieu of using slides and the screen, a message board was mounted on the wall and the page numbers of the songs in the Flor Y Canto songbook displayed on the board. This was not the first time such a message board was used in the parish. A similar board existed in the old church.
In 1673, a French Visitation nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque had visions of Jesus, wherein he asked the Church to honor His Most Sacred Heart. He made twelve promises to those who practice devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The twelfth promise asked the faithful to "receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months" with the intention of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude of men (St. Margaret M. Alacoque, Autobiography).
Many parishes, including San José, encourage the practice of the Holy Hour of meditation during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during the First Friday of each calendar month. Some parishes begin adoration immediately following the morning Mass on Friday and adoration continues until the beginning of communion service on Saturday morning. In other parishes, the vigil begins after Mass on Friday evening and continues all night. If the parish has an adoration chapel that is always open, there is no vigil after the evening Mass on First Fridays. At San José, in recent years, adoration begins immediately following the evening Mass on First Fridays and continues until midnight. During that time, the perpetual adoration chapel is closed.
The very first edition of the Sunday Bulletin on December 11, 1960, announced that First Friday Adoration would begin at 6:15AM on Friday and end at 7:30PM. The pastor also reminded parishioners of the Novena at 7:30PM on Wednesday (223:12/11/60). Between 1960 and 1962, First Friday Adoration lasted all day with three Masses and confessions before each Mass (223:09/29/63). In 1961, Rev. Houser reminded parishioners that all members of organizations might wear their insignia to Mass on any First Friday to show respect and honor to the Sacred Heart.
In 1963, the time for the Novena was changed to 7:15PM (223:12/23/63) but the First Friday schedule stayed the same until at least 1970. In August 1967, the Sunday Bulletin announced, "This coming Friday is First Friday" (223:08/27/67). Mass at 6:15AM and 7:30PM began and ended the First Friday adoration (223:12/31/67) (223:09/01/68) (223:02/02/69) (223:11/02/69). There were apparently three Masses on Frist Friday at 6:15AM, 8:30AM and 7:30PM (223:09/27/70) (223:11/01/70). The Mass for the school children was at 8:30AM.
In August 1965, San Jose was assigned to pray for the success of the Ecumenical Council from 1:00AM until 2:00AM on September 3. September 3 happened to be the first Friday in September but the prayers had nothing to do with First Friday program (223:08/29/65).
In November 1970, the pastor wrote that, "We want to make a list of those sick or old people of San Jose who would like to receive Holy Communion each month on First Fridays". A blank space was left on the Sunday Bulletin for parishioners to write the name, address and telephone number of shut-ins (223:11/22/70). Again in July 1972, the pastor called for the names of sick person who would like to be visited and receive communion on First Friday (223:30/07/72).
In February 1976, the Rosary Crusade first appeared at San José Parish. The Rosary Crusade carried a Statue of Our Lady of Fatima 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, the Austin Rosary Crusade began directing the Rosary every First Friday in San José Church at 7:30PM followed by the evening Mass.
The first Rosary led by the Rosary Crusade was on February 6, 1976 (223:01/02/76). This was not the first time the Rosary was said at San José but the Rosary Crusade made the Rosary a part of the First Friday service. After the Rosary Crusade began coordinating the service, it was called Rosary Crusade Mass and Holy Hour (223:25/02/79).
In 1982, the Rosary Crusade sponsored processions and prayers of the Rosary in various churches in Austin. The Holy Hour on Frist Friday must have lapsed because the Bulletin advised that, "Beginning Nov. 5, there will be Holy Hour the First Friday of the Month" (223:10/10/82). At this time, Enrique Saenz was listed in the bulletin as the contact person for the Rosary Ministry (223:27/06/82).
Beginning in August 1983, the program for the First Friday was changed. The 7:00PM Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on First Friday was followed by Night Adoration until midnight. Four parish groups (sodalities) acted as prayer leaders. The schedule for the service on September 2, 1983 was as follows. From 7:45PM to 9:00PM, the Thursday Night Prayer Group led the prayers; from 9:00PM until 11:00PM, the Rosary Crusade and Cursillistas led the prayers; from 10:00PM until 11:00PM, the Tuesday Night Youth Prayer Group led the prayers and from 11:00PM until 12:00PM, the Socios and Guadalupanas led the prayers. The next month the Socios and Guadalupanas led the prayers during the first time period, followed by the Thursday Night Prayer Group, etc. The order rotated in this way each month with each group advancing one hour each month. The leaders were encouraged to allow some quiet time between prayers (223:28/08/83).
In October 1983, the prayer leaders were Guadalupanas and Socios, Prayer Group, Rosary Crusade and Cursillistas and Youth in that order, each with one-hour time slots (223:02/10/83). In November the schedule for Adoration was as follows: Youth (7:45-9pm), Guadalupanas & Socios (9-10pm), Prayer Group (10-11pm) and finally Cursillistas & Rosary Crusade (11-12pm) (223:30/09/83). The rotation changed every month (223:27/11/83) (223:01/01/84) (223:01/04/84).
In March 1984, the pastor invited other groups to participate in the Adoration service (223:26/02/84). In July 1984, the Sunday Bulletin reprinted the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary to encourage people to attend First Friday Adoration (223:29/07/84). No other group joined in the rotation until January 1985 when the L.E.M.s, Lectors and Ushers replaced the Thursday Night Youth Prayer Group in the line-up (223: 27/01/1985). Otherwise, the rotation continued as before (223: 27/01/1985) (223: 02/06/1985) (223: 30/06/1985). The order of rotation announced in the Sunday Bulletin each month prior to the last week of the month (223: 28/07/1985) (223:01/09/1985) (223:29/09/1985) (223:27/10/1985) (223:01/12/1985) (223:29/12/1985) (223:02/02/1986).
In March 1986, the pastor changed the First Friday Adoration service. Attendance had declined and it proved difficult for older persons to attend from 10:00PM and on. The service was shortened to only two hours. The time slot was 8:00PM to 9:00PM was given to prayers in Spanish and from 9:00PM to 10:00PM in English. "With this new arrangement, it will not be necessary to assign a particular hour to a parish organization or ministry" (223:30/03/1986). The service closed at 10:00PM with Benediction (223:27/07/1986).
In August 1986, the First Friday Adoration schedule changed to 7:45-9:00PM in Spanish and 9:00 to 10:00PM in English (223: 31/08/1986). In September, it changed back to begin at 8:00PM (223:28/09/1986). In December, the First Friday Adoration was cancelled because most of the participants attended another event (223:30/11/1986).
In May 1987, a new schedule for the First Friday Adoration was announced. The new schedule was: 7:00PM-7:30PM Mass as usual; 7:30-8:00PM quiet adoration before the Blessed Sacrament; 8:00PM - 9:00PM Holy Hour; 9:00PM closing with Benediction (223:31/05/1987) (223:02/08/1987) (223:20/09/1987). The schedule remained the same in 1988 (223:31/01/1988) (223:28/02/1988) (223:28/08/1988).
In November 1988, the First Friday was part of the All Souls' Novena. The schedule was the same as in 1987 and 1988 (223:30/10/1988) (223:01/01/1989). Beginning in April 1989, a Rosary replaced the half-hour of quiet adoration (223:02/04/1989). (223:02/07/1989) (223:30/07/1989) (223:27/08/1989) (223:01/10/1989) (223:29/10/1989) (223:26/11/1989) (223:31/12/1989) (223:25/02/1990).
In June 1990, the prayers of the Rosary preceded the Mass. The Rosary began at 6:40PM and the Mass began at 7:00PM followed by an Hour of Adoration from 7:30 to 8:30PM (223:01/06/1990) (223:01/09/1990) (223:29/09/1990) (223:27/10/1990) (223:01/12/1990). An insert in the Sunday Bulletin reminded people of the "promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" for those who made nine First Fridays (223:29/07/1990).
In March 1991, the pastor announced a change to the First Friday schedule. The Rosary began at 6:40PM followed by the 7:00PM Mass. There was no adoration in the old church after Mass. There was "no adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the old church since there is Perpetual Adoration in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Please go to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for your adoration. If the Chapel is full, you can adore from the church" (223:31/03/1991) (223:21/04/1991).
Between March 1991 and December 2003, the First Friday service ended with the 7:00PM Mass. Those who wished to participate in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament went to the Perpetual Adoration chapel in the main church. In December 2003, beginning at 5:45PM Mass on the First Friday of each month and ending at the 8:00AM Mass on the First Saturday of each month, the 24-hour adoration was moved from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel (in the new church) to the Sacred Heart Chapel in the old (second) church. All parishioners were invited to participate. Different ministries took charge of leading the prayers during the night (223:30/11/2003). The Blessed Sacrament chapel in the main church was closed during adoration in the Sacred Heart Chapel in the old church. No explanation was given for the change.
Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three child shepherds near Fátima, Portugal in 1917, initiated the practice of the First Saturday devotion. In 1925, Lucía Santos, one of the shepherds, had a vision in which the Virgin Mary promised to, "assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me" (Marians of the Immaculate Conception).
The First Saturday devotion was already an established practice, having been approved by Pope Pius X in 1905. However, Sister Lucía gave urgency to the practice and modified it slightly. In 1939, she said, "Whether the world has war or peace depends on the practice of this devotion, along with the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is why I desire its propagation so ardently" (The Most Holy Rosary).
In many parishes, First Saturday Adoration consists of a special Mass on the morning of the First Saturday of each month followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, benediction and recitation of the Rosary followed by fifteen minutes of meditation. At the beginning of the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a priest or deacon removes the sacred host from the tabernacle and places it in the monstrance on the altar for adoration by the faithful. A monstrance is a vessel used to display the consecrated Host. When the Host is exposed in this way, volunteers must be in constant attendance either in silent contemplation and reflection or while reciting psalms, readings and devotional music.
In December 1985, while Rev. Fred Underwood, C.S.C., was the pastor, the Sunday Bulletin reprinted, "The Promise of the Five First Saturdays" i.e., "I promise at the hour of death to help with the graces needed for their salvation, whoever on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me." The source of the reprint was cited as, "Words of Our Lady to Lucia, December 10, 1925" (223:01/12/1985).
In July 1990, the Sunday Bulletin announced that, beginning August 4, a 7:00AM Mass was added on every First Saturday for people who wish to make five First Saturdays (223:29/07/1990). The promise for this devotion was, "to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation" (223:26/08/1990). The program of the First Saturday consisted of a Rosary at 6:40AM and then Mass at 7:00AM (223: 27/01/1991).
In March 1991, the pastor announced that there would be, "no adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the old church (after First Friday Adoration) since there is Perpetual Adoration in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Please go to the Chapel for your adoration. If the Chapel is full, you can adore from the church. This change did not affect the First Saturday schedule that remained the same as previously (223:31/03/1991) (223:21/04/1991).
First Friday and First Saturday were announced for October 4 and 5 and November 1 and 2, 1991. However there was no announcement for December 6 and 7, 1991 and no one showed up on the First Saturday at 7:00AM Mass. On December 29, the pastor announced that there would be no 7:00AM First Saturday Mass and that the 7:00PM Mass would fulfill the First Saturday requirement (223:29/12/1991).
This message was repeated in August 1992 when the pastor wrote, "Since only a few have been showing up at the 7:00AM Mass and we often have Wedding and Quinceanera Masses, and are short of priest help, we have discontinued this 7:00AM Mass as well as future First Saturdays. You can fulfill your First Saturday Mass at the 7:00PM Mass in Spanish (223:30/08/1992). There was no further mention of First Saturday during 1992 and 1993.
The First Saturday Mass was later reinstated and, prior to 2003, the Mass on First Saturdays was moved to 8:00AM (223:30/11/2003). The First Saturday Mass continued on this schedule until 2018 (223:05/08/2018). On September 1, 2018 the schedule was modified slightly so that the First Saturday service was always the day after the First Friday of each month (223:26/08/2018). The service did not include Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers
According to instructions from the Vatican and the Code of Canon Law (Canon 910.1), the title Minister of the Eucharist belongs only to a Catholic priest. Laypersons who assist in the distribution of Holy Communion are properly called Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (Canon 910.2). Despite this, laypersons that help distribute Holy Communion, as allowed by Canon 230, are called Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEM). Lay Eucharistic Minister or LEM was the Anglican and Episcopalian term for what Catholics call Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. The term first appeared in the San Jose Sunday Bulletin in June 1981 when Romeo Sanchez was listed in the Sunday Bulletin as the contact person for Lectors and L.E.M.'s (223:07/06/1981) (223:27/06/82). The caption of a photo taken in 1979 of Albert Garcia listed him as a L.E.M. (58).
Eucharistic ministers, lectors and ushers were distinct from acolytes or altar servers. Members of each of these ministries were trained and commissioned for their respective ministries. Eucharistic ministers and lectors often met together for training (223:30/12/1990) but the requirements to serve and the commissioning were different. Eucharistic ministers were required to be 18 years of age and a registered parishioner. They agreed to serve for two years and were commissioned by the Bishop (223:06/05/84). Lectors and ushers needed to be registered parishioners and were commissioned on by the parish priests on a date set by the parish, often in June (223:06/05/84).
The first Lay Ministers were trained at El Hogar Del Pueblo at Santa Julia Catholic Church 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: Victor Balderas, Emilio Cavazos, Josie Cavazos, Margaret Gómez, Enrique Saenz, Stella Trejo (223: 23/06/1985). This class probably marked the beginning of the Lay Ministry in the Diocese.
Training was repeated prior to each commissioning ceremony. In November 1986, training for Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors was done in October. The Lector instructors were Margaret Loera, Ruth Martínez, Miguel Pérez-Crus and Stella Trejo. The facilitators for Eucharistic Ministers were Joe Fabian, José Jiménez, Margarito and Andrea Rodriguez, Irma Rubio, Romero Sanchez and Gilbert and Rosie Tello. At San José training for English-speaking and Spanish-speaking ministers was done separately. Enrique Saenz translated the written material and Virgil Almogabar and Ruth Martinez videotaped the lectors during the training. The training took place on October 27 for English-speakers and October 30 for Spanish-speakers. Anyone who missed had to attend a make-up session on November 25 if they wanted to be commissioned for 1987 (223:09/11/1986).
In December 1986, Rev. Charlie Van Winkle, C.S.C., led a mandatory retreat for English-speaking Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors (223:30/11/1986). The retreat for Spanish-speaking ministers took place the following week. Rev. Victor Goertz was the Retreat Director (223:07/12/1986).
In May 1987, fifteen persons completed training to be Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs). Andrea and Margarito Rodriguez and Rosie and Gilbert Tello were the instructors (223:31/05/1987). Service as a Lector or Eucharistic Minister proved to be popular and the qualifications were changed. An announcement in the Sunday Bulletin in September stated the following qualifications: 18 years or older, attending Mass regularly, registered in the parish, married in the Church, intent on following Christ, willing to attend training and fluent in the language. The contact was Archie Gress who was the Coordinator of Ministries (223:06/09/1987).
Interested persons were asked to sign up in September (223: 27/09/1987) and in November fourteen persons completed the training program for Eucharistic Ministers (223: 08/11/1987). In November 1988, the training was repeated (223:27/11/1988). Thereafter, members of this ministry met occasionally in the church at the call of the Pastor (223:17/06/1990), usually for training purposes (223:04/02/1990) (223: 30/12/1990).
Lector, like Eucharistic Ministers, is a distinct ministry of the Catholic Church. A lector is the person assigned to read a Biblical text (other than the Gospel). Prior to the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) only men who had been ordained to this Minor Order were allowed to read at a Mass. Since Vatican II lay men and women are allowed to serve as lectors. Also, as a result of Vatican II, the language of the Mass became English and Spanish and Latin practically disappeared from the Mass (12).
The changes resulting from Vatican II were implemented at San José Church on November 29, 1964. The 10:00AM and 12:00AM Mass were Solemn Masses on that date with Lay Readers to help. The Lay Readers were Senores José Juarez, Don Weisenhorn, Manuel Treviño, Jesse Torres and Israel Rodriguez (223:11/22/64). On December 13, the Lay Readers for the 8:00AM Mass were Senores Manuel Treviño and Israel Rodriguez; for the 10:00AM Sr. José Juarez and for the 12:00AM Mass Mr. Don Wisenhorn and Sr. Jesse Torres (223:12/13/64).
In October 1965, the Pastor called a meeting of all those who were willing help as readers or lectors (223:10/03/65). Recruiting lectors became a recurring event. In January 1968, Rev. Mike Mikan, C.S.C., offered a free training program for those interested in reading at Sunday Mass (223:01/14/68). In the summer of 1968, two seminarians, Pete Rocca and Martin Rini, were charged with training prospective lectors (223:06/16/68) (223:06/16/68).
For several years, the names of lectors were printed in the Sunday Bulletin. In May 1969, Henry Saenz of the Parish Council read a list of readers for different masses into the minutes of the Parish Council. The lectors for Sunday Mass were Joe Rocha, 6:30PM Vigil Mass; Tom Longoria, 8:00AM; Luís Castillo, 8:00AM; Henry Saenz, 10:00AM and Perfirio Rios 12:00AM (213). In March 1970, the Parish Council was told there were thirty-two men helping on Sundays as ushers or readers (213). By 1975, women were being commissioned as lectors. Among the lectors in 1975 were Martin Estrada, John Riojas, Carmen Cortez, Porfirio Rios, Lawrence Rutt, Henry Calderon (223:13/04/75), John Campos, Tino Luna, Tina Esquivel, Nivia Gonzalez and Teresa Galvan (223: 27/04/75).
A missal is a prayer book that contains all the readings and prayers for each Mass throughout the liturgical year. The Sunday missal contains all the Sunday readings and the daily missal contains all of the daily readings. Many Catholics had a personal hand missal that could be used year after year. These old missals became obsolete after Vatican II. In November 1969, the Sunday Bulletin announced that the Missal had changed and new books had to be printed (213). This was a financial burden on the parishioners.
A missalette is a smaller prayer book that contains the readings and prayer for a particular season. It is obsolete after the liturgical season is done. In October 1970, the Parish Council approved the purchase of 300 monthly missalettes at the cost of $25 per month. (213). During the following month, the Parish Council approved the installation of bookracks behind the church pews to hold the missalettes (213). In January 1971, a parishioner, Paul Samaniego, installed the bookracks and a second parishioner, Pete Castillo, painted them (213). Parishioners no longer needed to purchase a Sunday missal and carry it to church. The church purchased revised editions of both the English- and Spanish-language Roman missal for use by the priests.
In 1976, it was recognized that, in addition to the requirements to be commissioned, lectors needed to be trained in public speaking. In July 1976, four one-hour classes were scheduled for lectors (223:27/06/76). Twelve new lectors who were commissioned in August had been trained in public speaking (223:01/08/76).
Usually the same staff person, who coordinated L.E.M.s, also coordinated the lectors. In 1981 and 1982, this person was Romeo Sanchez (223:07/06/1981) (223:27/06/82). In 1987, this person was Archie Gress, the Coordinator of Ministries (223:06/09/1987). In 1984, there were forty-one lectors (223:03/02/1985) and Fr. Underwood undertook a four-day course to train all lectors in May and June. Carlos Coronado coordinated the training (223: 28/04/1985).
In 1986, training for Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors was done in October. The training was through and involved four lector instructors and eight facilitators for Eucharistic Ministers. The lectors were videotaped was they read. Separate sessions were held for English-speakers and for Spanish-speakers. Anyone who missed the training had to attend a make-up session if they wanted to be commissioned for 1987 (223:09/11/1986). Part of the training was a mandatory retreat on Saturday (223:30/11/1986) (223:07/12/1986). The training is described under the heading of Eucharistic Ministers.
Training also took place in May 1987 (when fifteen persons completed the three training sessions (223:31/05/1987) and in November (when fourteen Lay Eucharistic Ministers completed the training sessions) (223: 08/11/1987) (223: 07/02/1988). Mr. and Mrs. Margarito Rodriguez and Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Tello were the trainers for several years (223: 21/02/1988). After 1987, two training sessions were scheduled each year, one in the spring and the other in the fall of the year (223: 03/04/1988) (223:08/01/1989) (223: 13/08/1989) (223:04/02/1990) (223:27/05/1990) (223:08/03/1992). In March 1992, all liturgical ministers were invited to a "day of recollection" at Twin Oaks Ranch in Buda on Saturday, March 21 (223:15/03/1992).
After the third church was constructed, a ministry of Greeters was added to the roster of ministries. Initially the Greeters and the Lectors met together (223:20/03/1988) but the two groups were distinct from each other (223:10/04/1988). Greeters hosted meet-and-greet sessions for new parishioners and visitors in the parish hall and personally welcomed visitors at the entrance to the church. After a few years, the ushers and the Eucharistic Ministers welcomed visitors. They lined up at the main entrance to welcome each attendee as they entered the church.
In the 1940s, Mass was celebrated at San José Church at 6:00AM and 8:00AM on Sunday morning. After the 8:00AM Mass, the pastor and the altar boys left by car for one of the missions (193). Only San José in Austin had Mass every Sunday. The mission at Garfield (Guadalupe Church) celebrated Mass on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month and the mission at San Francisco (also known as St. Francis) in Colton celebrated Mass on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month.
In a report in 1940, Rev. Mendez reported that he did not know the number of communions made because, "Priests help me from St. Edward's on various missions. I cover each once a month." This indicates that Mass may have been offered more frequently than once a month at his missions but by priests other than Fr. Mendez (3).
In 1960, the Sunday Mass schedule was 6:30AM, 8:00AM and 10:00AM (223:12/18/60). In January 1962, a fourth Mass was added to the Sunday schedule. After the change, Mass was said at 6:30AM; 8:00AM; 10:00AM and 12:00 noon on Sunday (223:12/31/61). In 1964, the pastor commented that, "The 8:00AM Mass is Communion for Sodalities. We always had that Mass. We added the 12:00 Mass 1 ½ years ago for late sleepers".
Until the First Sunday of Advent in 1964, Mass was said in Latin. The pastor noted that, "We hope to start Mass in Spanish at 6:30AM and 8:00AM on Sundays" (223:08/22/65). Presumable the other two Sunday Masses were in English and had already made the switch to the vernacular.
For the next ten years, the Sunday Mass schedule did not change. However, a problem arose with the daily Mass schedule. In January 1968, the Daily Mass was at 6:15AM and 11:25AM on school days (223:01/14/68). The Liturgical Committee of Parish Council was considering changing the 6:15AM daily Mass to the afternoon (223:01/21/68). So few people attended the 6:15AM daily Mass that Parish Council was considering moving it to the afternoon. An announcement in the Bulletin urged people to telephone in their choice, either 5:45PM, 6:15PM or 7:00PM (223:02/11/68). Only one person did so. Subsequently, the daily Mass schedule was changed to 5:30PM in the afternoon (223:02/18/68). When attendance did not improve, the daily Mass was changed to 7:00PM beginning on Ash Wednesday 1968 (223:02/25/68).
The Parish Council also decided to discontinue weddings during regular Sunday morning Masses. Weddings could be held any weekday or during the Sunday afternoon Mass (223:01/21/68). According to Ester Terrazas 10:00AM was a popular time for weddings and her parents would attend a different Mass if they realized that a wedding was scheduled because the Mass would last longer.
On April 11, 1970, an evening Mass on 7:00PM Saturday was scheduled as a trial. "You can fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending this Mass" (223:04/05/70). Prior to this, there was no Saturday afternoon Mass. In November the Sunday Mass schedule printed in the Sunday Bulletin listed Mass at 6:30AM, 8:00AM, 10:00AM and 12:00AM noon. Daily Masses was listed at 6:15AM with 11:25AM on school days (223:11/22/70). There is no Saturday Mass listed on the Mass schedule but the pre-printed Bulletin sheets may have dated from 1968.
By May 1971, the daily 6:15AM Mass had been discontinued. Daily Mass is at 8:30AM and 7:00PM. Sunday Masses are listed in the Sunday Bulletin at 6:30AM, 8:00AM, 10:00AM and 12:00 noon. There is no Vigil Mass listed for Saturdays (although maybe the 7:00PM Daily Mass was the Vigil Mass) (223:05/09/71). The use of outdated bulletin sheets was creating confusion and in October 1971 the Sunday bulletin announced daily Masses was at 8:30AM and 7:00 PM rather than 6:15 AM as indicated on the Weekly Bulletin forms supplied by Angel Funeral Home (223:03/10/71).
The Sunday Mass schedule did not change until 1975 (223:25/12/71). The 6:30AM and 8:00AM Sunday was in Spanish and the 10:00AM and 12:00 noon Mass was in English. Daily Mass was at 8:30AM; confessions were on Saturday from 5:00 to 6:00PM followed by Mass at 7:00PM each day including Saturday (249:19/05/74).
The schedule for Holy Week was as follows: Monday-Wednesday, 8:30AM and 7:00PM; Holy Thursday 7:00PM; Good Friday 3:00PM; Holy Saturday 11:00PM Vigil and Easter Celebration at midnight with Confessions each day (223:26/03/72). On Easter, the Mass schedule was 8:00AM, 10:00AM and noon (249:07/04/74).
In March 1975, Rev. Mike Mikan was the only priest assigned to San Jose Church. He eliminated the 6:30AM Sunday Spanish Mass and changed the schedule to 7:00PM Saturday Mass in English, 8:00AM Sunday Mass in Spanish and 10:00AM and 12:00 noon Sunday Mass in English (223:23/03/75). Very few parishioners were attending the 6:30AM Sunday Mass and no one publically objected to the change.
December 27, 1975 was the last 7:00PM Saturday Mass for a while. Beginning January 4, Mass was offered on Sunday evening at 7:00PM instead the Mass on Saturday (223:28/12/75). The Mass Schedule on January 11, 1976 was: 8:00AM Spanish; 10:00AM English; 12:00AM English; 7:00PM English; Confessions: Saturdays, 5:00-6:00PM (223:11/01/76) (223:07/06/1981). The attempt to eliminate the Vigil Mass did not last long. By September 1976, the 7:00PM Vigil Mass in Spanish had been restored to the schedule (223:17/10/78) (223: 04/09/78) (193). Although the Saturday Vigil Mass usually attracts the least number of parishioners of all the Sunday Masses, those few had become accustomed to it and must have convinced the Pastor to restore the Vigil Mass to the schedule.
Other changes were attempted. In February 1976, Rev. Lawrence Bauer urged volunteers to begin saying the Rosary before each mass, beginning Feb. 8 (223:01/02/76). However, it was not until August 1989 that a different pastor was able to institute the practice of reciting the Rosary prior to each Mass (223:06/08/1989). The 8:30AM daily Mass was very sparsely attended so the time was changed to 5:30PM Monday through Friday on a trial basis (223:25/02/79). The afternoon Mass proved to be better attended (223:11/03/79).
Church law places limits on the number of Mass intentions for any one Mass. The meet the demand at San José, Fr. Korcsmar instructed that, beginning in September 1981, all Mass intentions would be recorded in the Mass Book kept in the church office. The intentions would not be published in the Sunday Bulletin. There would no need to make a donation for the Mass and there would be more than one intention accepted for each Sunday Mass (223:27/09/1981). The new policy was kept in place until Fr. Korcsmar left the parish. After Fr. Underwood replaced Korcsmar in November 1982, the church reverted back to the previous practice.
Beginning in January 30, 1983 a box labeled Mass Intentions for the Week appeared in the Sunday Bulletin. Inside the box was listed the Mass intentions for each of the Sunday and daily Masses, one per Mass. This box disappeared on April 10, 1983 when Mass Intentions were once again listed along side the Mass time in the weekly schedule of events (223:10/04/1983).
Fr. Korscmar wanted to know why parishioners attended Mass when they did. He commissioned a survey that was taken in August 1982. A total of 377 heads of households responded to the survey. (At the time, the parish has 868 registered families on its rolls). For most responders, the time and language were the determining factors of why they attended a particular Mass (223:29/08/82). The tally of responses provides some insight into the number of parishioners attending each Mass. The number of families at each Mass was as follows: 8:00AM 65; 10:00AM 125; 12:00 noon 151; 7:00PM Saturday 36. A total of 101 families (27%) attended a Spanish-language Mass and 276 families (73%) attended an English-language Mass. Thirty-six years later, in 2018, the proportion of English-language to Spanish-language parishioners was reversed with 62% of persons attending a Spanish-language Mass and 38% attending an English-language Mass (223:29/07/2018).
In January 1983, Fr. Underwood changed the Mass schedule to allow 1 ½ hours between Sunday Masses instead of 2 hours and to add a Youth Mass. The new Sunday schedule was: 7:30AM Spanish; 9:00AM English; 10:30AM Youth Mass; 12:00 noon English (223:30/01/83). As of August 7, 1983, the Spanish Mass was rescheduled from 7:30AM to 8:00AM; a 9:30AM Children's Mass was added (grades 1 through 6 attended this mass as part of their CCD schedule); 11:00AM Youth Mass and a 12:30PM Mass replaced the 12:00 Noon Mass. A Mass was scheduled every 1 ½ hours on Sunday (223:10/07/83). The Saturday (Sunday Vigil) 7:00PM Mass in Spanish; Sunday 7:00PM Mass in English and Weekdays 7:00PM Mass schedule was not affected by this change (Photo154) (223:27/01/1985).
Changes to the CCD program were made to encourage young people to attend Mass during the week. High School students normally attended Tuesday evening Mass and Junior High School students normally attended Wednesday evening Mass. Confession for Adults was at 7:30PM on Monday (223:18/12/83). Between 170 and 200 youth attend Mass on Tuesday and Wednesdays (223:01/01/84).
The holiday Mass schedule was adjusted as needed. On Sunday, December 24, 1978, a Children's Mass at 8:00PM and a midnight Mass (Misa de Gallo) at midnight was added to the regular schedule (223:17/12/78). In December 1985, when Christmas fell on Tuesday, the Mass schedule was as usual except a Midnight Mass was added on Tuesday (223: 22/12/1985).
New Year's Day 1986 was a Holy Day of Obligation so the Mass schedule for Wednesday, January 1 was the regular Sunday Mass schedule (223: 29/12/1985). The next year 1986 New Years fell on Thursday so again the Mass schedule was the same as Sunday (223:28/12/1986).
Sometime after January 1985, the 7:00PM Sunday Mass was dropped from the Mass schedule. In July 1987, the Sunday Bulletin reported that, "Because of calls and requests from persons who must work on Saturday evenings and until 6:00PM Sundays, on a trial basis, beginning Sunday July 12, San Jose Church at 2425 Oak Crest Street - 5 blocks west of St. Ignatius Church- will have a 7:00PM evening Mass (on Sunday) (223:21/06/1987). The first 7:00PM Mass was well attended (223:19/07/1987) and the 7:00PM Sunday Mass was on the Mass schedule until at least the end of 1990. Every First Sunday of the month the 7:00PM Sunday Mass was followed by a healing service (223:01/07/1990). The pastor said, "Jesus has been healing many persons" (223:26/08/1990).
The Children's Mass at 9:30AM on Sundays created a logistics problem. The pastor wanted to the parents of the CCD students to attend a separate Mass geared to their age and interest. In the spring of 1987, Mass was celebrated in the Community Center for CCD children while CCD classes were in session. After CCD classes ended in April, the Mass was celebrated in the main church (223:26/04/1987). For some reason, in the fall, the Mass for adults was in the community center while the CCD students, grades 1-5, met in the church. CCD classes for grades 6-12 began at 5:00PM followed by Mass in the hall at 7:00PM (223: 20/09/1987). When CCD classes were suspended, the 9:30AM Mass for both children and adults was again in the church (223: 22/11/1987).
Beginning on April 4, 1990, the Wednesday Mass was in Spanish (223:08/04/1990). Otherwise, the Mass schedule was the same as previously (223:21/05/1989). From January 1988 until November 1991, the Mass schedule was Saturday (Sunday Vigil) 7:00PM in Spanish; 8:00AM Sunday in Spanish; 9:30AM in English- Children during school year); 11:00AM in English Youth; 12:30PM in English; 7:00PM in English; Weekdays 7:00PM (223:21/05/1989).
Between December 1991 and November 1992, the schedule remained the same except daily mass was said only on Wednesday and Thursday. Between November 1992 and October 1993, the schedule was unchanged except daily Mass was at 7:00PM except on Thursday it was said at 8:00PM. For the remainder of 1993, the schedule was Saturday (Sunday Vigil) 7:00PM bilingual Mass; 8:00AM Sunday Mass in Spanish; 9:30AM Mass in English- Children during school year; 11:00AM Mass in English for Youth; 12:30PM Mass in Spanish; 7:00PM Mass in English; Weekdays 5:45PM in the Sacred Heart Chapel except Thursday, 8:00PM.
Between 1993 and
2003, the Mass schedule remainder virtually unchanged with the exception that
the starting time was moved forward or backward for some Masses, the 7:00PM
Sunday Mass was eliminated and a Mass was added for Saturday morning at 8:00AM (223:30/11/2003).
Greeters and Ushers
Beginning in July 1987, newcomers to San Jose 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). In August, the parish was seeking greeters for the 12:30PM and 7:00PM Sunday Masses. The qualifications were to be above 15 years old, registered at San Jose and married in the church (if at all). Volunteers could sign up at a table near the exit door after each Mass (223:16/08/1987). Greeters were already working the other Sunday Masses (223:30/08/1987).
In March 1988, the pastor announced that he wanted "spirit filled people" to greet parishioners before the Mass. To that end, he recruited a corps of parishioners to serve as "Greeters". The Greeters and Lectors met March 22 and 23, 1988 in the evening to examine the new guidelines for the new church (223:20/03/1988). Lector training was available Tuesday through Thursday, April 5-7 at 7:30PM in the school building (223:03/04/1988) and training for Greeters was on April 13 and April 20 (223:10/04/1988).
At some point, the Lectors began extending a greeting to all first-time visitors after the Mass and asked them to stand while the Eucharistic Ministers approached them with a small gift from the church. In 1991, Fr. Underwood began the practice of having a reception in the parish hall for new parishioners after the 9:30AM, 11:00AM, 12:30PM and 7:00PM Sunday Mass in the parish hall for coffee and donuts. At the reception, he explained the goals of the parish and what Jesus, the Risen Christ was doing in the parish (223:22/09/1991). Deacon Vasquez met with the new people after the 8:00AM Mass (223:29/09/1991).
This practice continued in some form for several years. In August 1993, the Christian Initiation Program of San Jose was looking for ministers of hospitality to share their faith (223:15/08/1993).
In recent years, the Eucharistic Ministers, who process into the church sanctuary with the priest at the beginning of Mass, welcome parishioners as they entered the foyer of the church. In their absence, the ushers extended a greeting as the parishioners come through the main door of the church.
Ushers have very specific duties. They are asked to dress appropriately and arrive early. They usually greet and welcome mass attendees at the church entrance. They help seat attendees, especially when the building is nearly full. They are expected to take note of any doctors or nurses in attendance should they be needed.
During the service, the ushers stay in the back of the church but participate in the service. They direct late comers and pass the collection baskets. They point out disabled and elderly persons during the communion service that need communion brought to them. After the Mass is over, they stand at the church doors to distribute the weekly bulletin and answer questions. The ushers then straighten up the pews and prepare the church for the next Mass.
Ushers at San Jose are usually men although teenagers are recruited during the school year, partly to fill the students' commitment for public service and partly to train the next generation of ushers for this service.
In January 1962, the pastor listed the usher for each Mass. They were 6:30PM-Fernando Sanchez & José Rocha; 8:00AM-Jeronimo Estrada & Roberto Bargas; 10:00AM- Antonio Cruz and Refugio Herrerra and 12:00AM- Julian Calderon & Ramón Samilpa. These men were all Socios of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The pastors said, "We hope that all men of San José may be willing to help the Usher when asked" (223:01/21/62). The second San José church had two rows of pews and two men could usually handle all of the duties of the ushers.
In the 1960s, each sodality or church organization attended mass together at least once a month. This was called corporate mass. The pastor was very keen to see that others did not enter the lists to disrupt the group as they walked toward the altar to receive communion. He instructed the ushers that, "Whenever a special group has communion together, the ushers will help out by coming up front to see that no one enters a special group to receive Holy Communion (out of order)" (223:01/12/64).
During the 1960s, ritual and protocol changed and ushers were trained to accommodate the changes. In July 1969, Rev. Bob Gilmour reported to the Parish Council that the ushers and readers had an organizational meeting and discussed procedures for the Mass. There were two English Masses and two Spanish Masses on Sunday (213). The ushers met about every six months in the school library on Wednesday night (223:11/16/69). In the spring of 1970, the Parish Council was told there were 32 men helping on Sundays as ushers or readers (213). The ushers worked in shifts of four men at each Sunday Mass. Often all four men belonged to the same sodality.
The names of the ushers who served on Sunday, April 13, were printed in the Sunday Bulletin for the 10:00AM and noon Mass. The men listed belonged to the Catholic War Veterans (Manuel Navarro, Frank Acosta, Matt Martinez and Pete Castillo) or the Men's Club (John Loera, José Sanchez, Vince Ortiz, Melton Gonzalez and Margarito Rodriguez) (223:13/04/75). The Catholic War Veterans supplied the ushers for the 10:00AM Mass and the Men's Club supplied the men for the noon Mass. The men who ushered for the 10:00AM and 12:00noon Masses on April 27 were Cruz Barba, Jr., Desiderio Salazar, Martin Vega, Frank Acosta; Virgil Almogabar, Henry Guerrero, John Anguiano and George Sanchez (223:27/04/75).
Between 1980 and 1982, prominent ushers were Sam Guerra, Vincente Granado and Joe Uriegas. Sam Guerra was in charge of the ushers at the Diocesan Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration at the Municipal Auditorium in December 1981 (223:06/12/1981). Vicente Granada may have been the head usher in 1982 (223:07/11/82) (58).
Most volunteers worked as usher for only a few years and it was necessary to recruit and train new men and women (05/09/71) (223:27/06/76) (223:22/10/78) (223:22/05/83). In October 1983, the Sunday Bulletin announced that ushers were needed and listed the qualifications. "Ushers needed for our Weekend Masses. Qualifications are very simple: 1. Must be 18 years of age or older; 2. Women are eligible as well as men. Come on, ladies, we want you to become involved. 3. If married, must be married in the church. If you are not married in the Church it is a very simple matter to marry you in the Church since all that is required is one meeting to fill out the forms and a simple marriage ceremony later. See Fr. Gross regarding marriage fix-ups. 4. Training will be provided and it's very minimal. Please sign up at the side or front door as you leave the Church today" (223:30/09/83). The announcement was repeated in Spanish for "porteros".
In May 1984, a notice in the Sunday bulletin announced training for all existing and prospective Eucharistic ministers, lectors and ushers. Dates were May 16 or 19 for Ministers and Lectors and May 23 for Ushers. Requirements were: Liturgical Ministers must be 18 years old and a registered parishioner. Lectors and ushers must be a registered parishioner. Ministers and Lectors agree to serve for two years. The Ministers were commissioned on the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 24 by the Bishop. The parish priests commissioned the Lectors on June 10 and the ushers (porteros) on the Feast of Peter and Paul on June 29 (223:06/05/84). In 1984, there were twenty-two ushers (223:03/02/1985).
In March 1985, it was discovered that someone was taking money from the box where the collection was stored after each collection. The pastor changed the procedure for handling the collection to require two persons to transport and handle the cash at all times. The ushers deposited the collection in a safe in a closet in the choir area and then removed it after each Mass. People were urged not to leave their envelopes on the altar (223:24/03/1985).
In November 1982, the ushers sponsored a dance in the Community Center as a fund raiser for the church (223:07/11/82). A few years later, on a Sunday in October 1985, the ushers sold fajita tacos and sausage wraps after each Sunday Mass (223: 27/10/1985). They earned $350.00 (223: 03/11/1985). They may have needed the money to pay Angel Rivera Sr. for a cabinet he built for the usher's storage. Again in April 1986, the ushers sold fajita tacos and sausage wraps after all Masses. The price was $1.50 for a fajita taco and $1.25 for a sausage wrap (223:06/04/1986).
Ushers were required to attend a training session about every six months. The sessions were short, lasting only an hour or two, and were led by Fr. Underwood or one of the more experienced ushers, such as Pete Castillo. The training was in English and Spanish (223:23/06/1985) (223:30/11/1986) (223:07/06/1987).
In May 1987, sign-up tables were placed at the South and West door exits of the new church in an effort to recruit ushers. Women were encouraged to sign up. The ushers had to be 18 or over, a registered parishioner and, if married, married in the church. Ushers for the Youth Mass (11:00AM) had to be of high school age (223:03/05/1987).
Occasionally, the pastor had to instruct the parishioners on proper decorum, obviously at the request of the ushers. A message in the Bulletin urged parishioners to have their Sunday Offering Envelopes ready to drop into the collection basket so as not to delay the Mass (223:31/05/1987). Rope barriers were placed on the pews in the rear of the church to allow room for latecomers and also to group people together so the attendees could join hands during the Our Father prayer (223:21/08/1988).
In July 1991, a message appeared in the Sunday Bulletin from the pastor that was directed a young mothers. He said, "Your cooperation will be appreciated- Help us keep our church clean. Do not bring gum into the church. Do not bring food or drinks into the church. Do not allow small children to write on envelopes or play with missaletes.
Teach your small children to be quiet in church. If you bring your baby into the church and the baby begins to cry, please leave with your baby immediately and go to one of the cry rooms or the foyer.
If a mother does not take her crying baby out, an usher will come with a card reminding the mother that we do have "cry rooms" and please take your baby there. Some mothers get upset and angry at the ushers. We ask these mothers to cooperate with the ushers" (223:21/07/1911).
In July 1987, the ushers from the 8:00AM Mass served a barbecue chicken plate after each Mass for $2.50 per plate and raised $297.50 for the new church (223:26/07/1987) (223:02/08/1987). A year later, they cooked and sold tacos on September 4. The pastor thanked the breakfast groups and those who served dinner after the breakfast. "The income helps to compensate for the low summer Sunday Collections" (223:11/09/1988). In September 1989, the ushers sold turkey legs after each Mass under the old oak tree to raise money to buy usher's pins (223:10/09/1989).
The ushers sponsored an After Easter dance on April 21 with Turismo (Mike Saucedo) and La Onda de Tejas (Frank Sanchez). Tickets were $6 and $7 at the door per person (223:08/04/1990). The tickets were available in the foyer from the ushers or from the church office (223:15/04/1990). This was a fundraiser for the ushers.
There was always a shortage of ushers and about once year, the head usher launched a recruiting drive to fill vacant slots (223:23/10/1988) (223:21/05/1989) (223:04/03/1990). Usually, he put a table in the church foyer to sign up new ushers. He encouraged couples to sign up and work together (223:28/06/1992).
On Saturday, August 18, 1990, the ushers sponsored an adult dance with music by Grupo Rasones with Will Fabila & Sol Y Tierra. Tickets were $8 per couple (couples only please) from 8:00PM to 1:00AM in the Community Center (223:12/08/1990). In 1990 and 1991, Ángel Rivera was the Head Usher (223:20/05/1990). He appointed an usher captain for each mass (223:31/10/1993) and insisted that ushers attend regular meetings (223: 27/01/1991) (223:27/06/1993). Ángel Rivera was the usher captain for the 11:00AM Mass (223:02/06/1993).