Table of Contents
9.1.a Adult Religious Education, RCIA
9.1.b Bible Class
9.7 First Communion, Confirmation
9.8 Holy Orders
9.12 Religious Sisters
Adult Education and RCIA
From the very beginning of the Mexican Mission in 1939, the Holy Cross Missionaries were aware that most of their parishioners had endured but little religious education. The pastors' emphasis was, however, on preparing children to receive their first Communion. This was important because, if for no other reason, one of the seven questions on the church's annual Report to the Bishop was, "How often is Catechetical instruction given to the children?" (1).
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) was a sodality or society whose purpose was to teach Catholic doctrine. After 1905, each parish was required to form a CCD. The CCD program was to prepare Catholics to receive the sacraments of Penance (Confession), the Eucharist (Holy Communion) and Confirmation. Naturally, it focused on children and, until recently, instruction consisted of memorizing the Catechism.
Religious education classes in Christian Doctrine were also offered to adults, primarily to train CCD teachers (223:06/02/63). At San José Parish, CCD teachers attended classes Monday through Friday for two or three weeks in the month of July in preparation of the next year's CCD classes (223:07/05/70). This training was intended for CCD teachers but any parent who was interested was welcome to attend (223:07/12/70).
In September 1964, Father Santo J. Ciatto, C.S.C., an Associate Pastor at San José, started programs for high-school aged youth and adults, apparently for the first time. His program consisted of a Youth Religion Class and an Adult Religion Class. The adults met at 8:00PM on Tuesday in the school. The instructor for the adult class was Father Ciatto while the instructor for high-school students was Mr. Joseph Juárez, a professor of history at St. Edward's University (223:09/13/64).
The schedule of adult religious education class coincided with the CCD (Doctrine/Doctrina) schedule. Classes began in September, October (223:11/08/70) or November (223:11/08/70), were suspended for the Christmas vacation, resumed in January (223:01/14/68) and were recessed during the summer months (223:04/06/72). Classes usually met once a week (223:11/08/70).
In November 1967, one of US President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society agencies offered to provide teachers and free texts to San José parishioners who wanted to learn English or earn a General Equivalence Diploma. Parishioners were invited to meet in the Parish Hall on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7:30PM to learn about the program (223:12/03/67). In 1969, GED classes met on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:30PM to 9:00PM beginning in early September (223:09/07/69). The program continued in 1970-1971 school year when Mr. Porfirio Rios was the contact person for those wishing to register to get their GED (223:08/16/70).
At the same time, religious education classes for adults were announced. In 1970, the parish offered seven classes, each with its own text. Parishioners were urged to attend one of them (223:12/13/70). The classes were from 7:30PM to 9:00PM (223:01/24/71). Thirty people attended the class in 1971 (223:02/07/71). After the first seven-week course concluded, another seven week course on a different topic began (223:03/14/71). These classes were offered during the school year through March 1971 (223:03/28/71).
In the fall of 1971, the classes met at St. Ignatius Church. In January 1972, the adult education classes were moved back to San Jose and met on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00PM to 9:00PM (223: 06/02/72). Classes were suspended during the summer and begin again in September (223: 04/06/72).
Prior to 1971, San José Parish formed a Religious Education Board. In 1972, the Board consisted of Mr. Glenn Rosendale, Mr. David Segura, Mrs. Alice Torres, Mr. Rudy Reséndez and Mr. Carmen Cortéz. The purpose of the Board was to guide the CCD (Religious Education) program (223: 16/07/72). In July 1972, the Religious Education Board wrote that the goal of the Religious Education Program was as follows. "The primary goal of the San Jose Religious Education Program is to offer all parishioners the opportunity to develop a Christian way of life. The means to obtain this goal would be through community involvement based on the teachings of Christ and celebrated through Christian worship" (223:30/07/72). The Board asked the parishioners to suggest topics for an Adult Lecture Series.
In August 1972, as the parish prepared to close the San Jose parochial school, San José Parish hired a coordinator of religious education to train parishioners for a "total religious education program" (97). The idea was to strengthen the religious education program for both children and adults. Ninety Catechists were trained for grades 1 to 8 (88). Classes for Catechists met on Saturday mornings (223:27/08/72).
The adult religious education program began with a ten-week class on Mexican American Studies beginning September 12, 1972. This class met at 7:30PM on Tuesday in the school building. The leader was Mr. Mario Juárez Cruz. Another class, The Sacrament Study Class, met on Thursday (223: 10/09/72).
In August 1973, the Parish Board of Religious Education hired Miss Guadalupe Vela to coordinate elementary school and adult programs and Mrs. Viola Carlisle as coordinator for junior and senior high school youth. Both young women were certified teachers. CCD offered a number of mini-courses for older teenagers and adults. Classes met Monday nights and used seventeen teachers teaching seven courses (101) (249:21/10/73) (249:18/11/73). The courses were: Marriage, taught by Sam and Gloria Luna; Church History, taught by Alberto Garcia and Daniel Ramirez; Morality (The Christian Experience), taught by Rev. Mike Mikan, Raymond Castro and Richard Resch; Images of Faith, taught by Mrs. Teresa Garcia, Mrs. Alice Maldonado and Miss Christine Reyna; Football, taught by Roberto Garcia, David Callahan and Juan Garcia; Contemporary Problems, coordinated by Porfirio Rios and Ben Limón and Bible, taught by Francisco Gonzalez and Tom Álvarez (101).
This program proved to be too ambitious and could not be sustained. In 1981, only the adult Bible study remained and it met on every Thursday at the same time as the First Communion classes (223:20/09/1981). The program was revived in 1983 with Adult Classes meeting in the School Building on Sunday mornings from 9:00AM to 10:20AM (223:07/10/1986).
Parents of young children were encouraged to attend Religious Education Classes at 9:30AM- 10:30AM on Sunday and then to attend 11:00AM Mass. There were separate English and Spanish language classes. The program began with a mandatory Renewal weekend that began on Friday night, lasted all day Saturday and was followed by Mass on Sunday (223:14/08/83).
The Adult Education Classes in 1985 were offered in Spanish and English (223: 08/09/1985). These classes were in the school. There were three classes on different topics and a fourth class for those adults preparing to receive the sacraments for the first time. (The term R.C.I.A. was not used.) The teachers included: Victor Balderas, Stella Trejo, Enrique Saenz, Brother William Dunn, C.S.C., Fr. Leonard Paul, C.S.C., Lupe Cruz, Araceli Nieto, Chester Alcalá, Tom and Mary Longoria (223:15/09/1985).
In January 1987, the Sunday Bulletin announced a series of twelve classes for adults on Monday evenings from 7:30PM to 9:30PM. The series ran from January 12 to March 30 (223:11/01/1987). The parish asked each adult to fill out a survey (Adult Education Enrichment Survey) to identify topics for adult education classes. Response was not encouraging and the classes taught by the following teachers were cancelled after January 25: Victor Balderas, Deacon Alfredo Vasquez, Enrique Saenz, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Chaffer and Brother Daniel (223:25/01/1987). The courses that survived included courses named Basic Teachings of the Catholic Faith, taught on Monday nights; Working and Praying for Peace, taught on Monday nights; Improving Communications Between Husband and Wife, taught on Sunday and Las Ensenanzas Basicas De La Fe Católica, lunes por la noche (223:05/04/1987). Some of these classes met in the Community Center (223:08/02/1987). The series ended in April when CCD classes were over for the school year.
Adult Education Classes continued on Sunday mornings in the school building in the fall of 1987. Three topics were taught from 9:00AM to 10:00AM. The topics were: Scripture Study, Learning Spanish and Bishop's Pastoral. This program was separate from RCIA (that met during the week) (223:01/11/1987). Adult Education Classes were suspended from December 13 until January 10 for Christmas. The following persons were the teachers: Mrs. Edelmira Saenz, Mr. Alfredo Chavez, Mr. Luis Calderon and Brother William Dunn, C.S.C. (223: 13/12/1987). Adult Education and CCD Classes began again on Sunday, January 10 after the Christmas break (223: 03/01/1988).
On June 11, 1988, a new program of scripture study began in Room 2C of the school. The scripture studied was, "The Revelation to John" (223:11/06/1989). This class ended July 9, 1989.
On October 8, 1989, RCIA began to meet in the old church at the same time as the adult Bible study class (223:08/10/1989). The RCIA program was suspended December 17 for the Christmas holidays and ended April 15, 1990 when the candidates were confirmed (223:15/04/1990).
The adult Bible study was called "The Story of Our Faith". RCIA was called "Journey in Faith". Adult Bible study class began meeting on October 1, 1989 on Sundays was intended for parents of CCD children. The class was suspended for Christmas and resumed on January 7 and then met until June 3, 1990.
On June 18, a class called "Our Catholic Faith", met on Monday and Wednesday through August 15. "Our Catholic Faith", an 8-week summer course, was required for CCD teachers. Fr. Underwood, Deacon Joseph and John Nira taught the class. John Nira was the Director of CCD (223:10/06/1990). The weekly topic was announced in the Sunday Bulletin.
After the summer break ended at the end of August 1990, a year-long Bible study class began Sunday and Monday at 9:00-10:30AM and 7:40-9:00PM respectively. Registration was on Sunday, Sept. 9 and 16. This was part of Adult Religious Education. Before this class began, the pastor offered a Saturday renewal called "Life in the Spirit". This program was on Sept. 15 from 9:00AM until 1:00PM. Life in the Spirit was a day of reflection and prayer for the release of the Holy Spirit (223:26/08/1990).
Beginning January 30, 1991, there were also classes in the old church at 7:00PM for Spanish-speaking adults who wished to learn English (223:27/01/1991) (223:03/02/1991).
Adult Bible Class and Journey of Faith were suspended during the 1990 Christmas Break and resumed in January 1991 (223:06/01/1991). The classes were suspended again during Easter and resumed in April (223:31/03/1991). Topics of the Bible class included: Good News According to Matthew; Our Lord's Prayer; Preparing for Lent; Daily Reflections for Lent; the growth of the early church and the movement of the Holy Spirit. Topics of Journey Of Faith included: Jesus, Lord & Savior; The Fire of the Holy Spirit; Signs of God's Love; How Strong is My Faith; How to live the Christian life and develop virtue. Adult Bible Study class met on Sunday mornings in the Parish Hall and Sunday 11:00AM to noon in the Rectory (223:03/02/1991).
The Sunday Bulletin announced that Jesse Martinez would be the instructor of the Spanish-language religious class. The class would meet on Tuesdays in the parish hall at 7:30PM (223:14/04/1991). The theme of each week's lesson was published in the Sunday Bulletin in Spanish each week (223:12/05/1991). These classes met throughout the summer months under the title "Dios Con Nosotros" with Jesse and Nelda Martinez. The series ended on August 4 (223:04/08/1991) and resumed in October (223:29/09/1991).
Adult Bible Study classes and CCD classes were grouped together in the Bulletin under Religious Education (223:07/04/1991). CCD classes ended April 21. Adult Bible Study continued until May 19 and resumed on June 9. Classes were held on Sunday morning and Monday nights. (223:03/11/1991). San José youth were invited to a Youth Bible Study in the old church on Monday evening beginning in April 1991 (223:07/04/1991). The youth class apparently met all spring and into the summer of 1992.
Adult Bible Classes continued to meet on Tuesday at 7:30PM to 8:45PM. The Spanish class was called Dios Con Nosotros and met in the old church. The English class met in the school at the same time (223:05/01/1992). Dios Con Nosotros ended on May 26 for the year (223:24/05/1992). The English Adult Bible Class ended June 2 for the year (223:31/05/1992). After the English Adult Bible Class ended, San José High School Youth Bible study class took this time slot (223:07/06/1992).
The summer religion course was called "Our Catholic Faith". The class met on Monday at 7:30PM in the parish hall (223:07/06/1992). All CCD teachers were required to attend. The series ended on July 27 (223:26/07/1992).
Registration for Adult Bible Class opened on August 30 with classes beginning Sunday Sept. 13. The English-language class was called Adult Bible Sharing-Study Group and met in the Sacred Heart Chapel. Bud Garrett was the instructor (223:23/08/1992) (223:30/08/1992). The Spanish language classes met on Sunday at 10:30AM in the school building. After November 8, the English language class was cancelled because of low attendance (223:08/11/1992). The Spanish language class continued to meet until Christmas (20/12/1992). It resumed and met until April 1993. The class stopped meeting when Father Underwood left the parish (223:04/04/1993).
After April 1993, the Adult Bible Classes were no longer announced in the Sunday Bulletin and apparently stopped meeting. The RCIA classes continued. The Youth Bible Study Class continued to meet on Monday in the old church, led by Jack Salazar and Richard Galvan (223:13/06/1993).
R.C.I.A./Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process used by the Catholic Church for prospective converts who are above the age of infant baptism. In 1987, RCIA met Monday or Tuesday at 7:30PM. The RCIA program was sometimes called Journey in Faith/ Crecimiento en Fe at San José (223: 06/12/1987). RCIA was first mentioned in the San Jose Sunday Bulletin in September 1987 but Rev. Underwood had referred to it several years before. In November 1984, he identified the key movements in the Catholic Church as Marriage Encounter, R.C.I.A., Cursillo, Parish Renewal and the Charismatic Movement (223:04/11/84).
When the RCIA program began at San José, the pastor informed the congregation that, "The following persons need to attend: Catholics who have never studied their Catholic faith as adults, Catholics who have studied their faith, inactive Catholics should attend to again become active Catholics, non-Catholics should attend to investigate the Catholic faith". A Spanish translation of the pastor's comments was available as an insert in the Bulletin (223: 20/09/1987). RCIA was for persons 17 years of age and older who were interested in becoming a Catholic (223:28/06/1992).
The pastor and John Nira (the Adult Religious Education coordinator) were seeking parishioners who would serve as spiritual friends, guides and sponsors to persons wanting to join the Catholic family (223:04/09/1988) (223:30/07/1989). Each candidate required a sponsor. Fr. Underwood said that, "the Journey in Faith (the RCIA program) was San José's unique and special way to...prepare you for confirmation (18/10/1988).
Journey of Faith began with a Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechmens (223:04/10/1992). The English RCIA classes and the Spanish RICA classes met on different nights in the parish hall or the school from 7:30 to 9:00PM (223: 04/10/1987) (223:01/10/1989) (223:03/02/1991). RCIA classes were suspended for the Christmas break in December and resumed in mid-January (223: 20/12/1987). The English class was ended April and the Spanish ended class in May (223:07/05/1989). Candidates were confirmed on the Vigil of Pentecost, usually in May. The class resumed in September (223: 18/12/1988).
RCIA began with an all-day Saturday retreat in the main church that was called a renewal (223:09/12/1990) and continued until the candidates were confirmed in the spring of 1991. On May 18, 1991 (the Vigil of Pentecost) thirty adults were confirmed. Three adults were baptized and eight adults received First Communion on March 30. The pastor suggested that parishioners "begin your own personal Journey of Faith by attending the Pray Meeting on Thursday nights" (223:21/04/1991).
During the summer 1991, the RCIA class met with the prayer meeting on Thursday nights until October (223:06/10/1991). After October, the prayer meeting continued to meet but without the RCIA (Journey of Faith) component (223:03/11/1991). RCIA classes met at 6:30PM in separate Spanish and English groups in the school (223:13/12/1992). Journey of Faith met throughout the year until Dec. 20 when it was suspended for Christmas (223:20/12/1992). Over fifty young people and adults attended Journey of Faith classes (223:06/10/1991).
In October 1992, RCIA began on Thursday evening with the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens (223:04/10/1992). In December, it was announced that Deacon George Joseph would conduct RCIA beginning January 5. Registration was required (223:13/12/1992). When Journey of Faith resumed in January 1993, it met on Tuesday at 7:00PM and at 6:30PM on Thursday with the prayer meeting (223:03/01/1993).
On January 17, 1993, the three RCIA classes met. One met on Tuesday (led by Deacon George Joseph), one met on Thursday in English (led by Larry Thoreson) and another met on Thursday in Spanish (led by Deacon Oswaldo Nira) (223:17/12/1993). After spring break, one English class was moved to 3:00PM on Tuesday (223:07/02/1993) (223:21/03/1993). The 3:00PM class stopped meeting after April 11. The other RCIA class continued until May 1993 when the candidates were confirmed. In February 28, Catechumens and candidates for adult confirmation enrolled their names in the book of the Elect at the 12:30PM Mass. The book was presented to the Bishop (223:28/02/1993). Eighty RCIA students were confirmed on Sunday, May 30 (223:30/05/1993).
Journey of Faith Class began on October 12 (223:10/10/1993). English language classes were on Tuesday and Spanish on Wednesday in the school (223:31/10/1993).
Bible Class refers to a form of continuing education for Catholic adults. Bible Class might be called Sunday school in a Protestant church. Bible Class is not designed to prepare children to receive the Sacraments (this program is called CCD in modern American Catholic churches) or to prepare adults to receive the Sacraments (now called R.C.I.A.). San José Religious Education Department offered many classes under the title of Adult Education. This article will examine classes that focused on study of the Bible rather than the Catechism or secular topics. However, it is difficult to know what each adult education class studied so this article overlaps with others that describe Adult Education in general and RCIA.
In September 1978, the pastor, Rev. John Korcsmar, announced that he would continue the Bible class that had begun under the previous pastor (223:30/10/78). The class met on Monday evenings. It was called the Adult Bible Class (223:03/12/78). Three years later, in 1981, Adult Bible Class was taught in the school on Thursdays when there were First Communion Classes. Sister Maria Navarro taught the class. This class was intended for the parents of children enrolled in the class that prepared them to receive First Communion (223:04/10/1981).
In 1983, English-language Bible Class met from 6:30PM to 7:30PM every Thursday (223:30/01/83). Beginning in January 1983, a Teaching of Jesus Class met on every Wednesday night at 7:30PM for adults (223:27/02/83). In 1984, Adult Bible class was scheduled to coincide with the Sunday CCD classes from 9:00AM to 10:20AM (223:19/08/84). The teachers were Victor Balderas, Stella Trejo, Rev. Elmer Gross, Brother William Dunn, Enrique Saenz, Chester Alcala, Jose Martinez and Carlos A. Coronado (223:16/09/84).
From October 1988 until May 1989, Fr. Underwood taught the English-language RCIA course (Journey of Faith) on Wednesday night at 7:30PM (223:07/05/1989). On June 11, a new program of scripture study began at this time slot in Room 2C of the school. The book studied was, "The Revelation to John" (223:11/06/1989). This class ended July 9, 1989. On October 8, 1989, Journey of Faith (RCIA) in the old church occupied this time slot (223:08/10/1989). Evidently, the pastor taught both the RCIA class and the Bible class and the classes met at his convenience. He taught the RCIA class during the schoolyear and the Bible class during the summer.
The next school year, a similar class called "The Story of Our Faith" met on Sundays 9:15-10:30AM and Tuesday 7:30-9:00PM. The Story of Our Faith was a Bible class for parents of CCD children. Both the Bible class and RCIA met in the school (223:01/10/1989). This series of classes was repeated the next year with the same schedule.
Another class, "Our Catholic Faith" met on Monday and Wednesday from June until August 1990. "Our Catholic Faith", an 8-week summer course, was required for CCD teachers. Rev. Underwood, Deacon Joseph and John Nira taught the class. John Nira was the Director of CCD (223:10/06/1990). The weekly topic was announced in the Sunday Bulletin. This was Bible class that Rev. Underwood taught during the summer months.
A year-long Bible study class began Sunday, September 23 and Monday, September 24, 1990 at 9:00AM to 10:30AM and 7:40PM to 9:00PM respectively. Registration was on Sunday, September 9 and 16. This was apparently not the RCIA class.
"Life in the Spirit" was a day of reflection and prayer for the release of the Holy Spirit in one's life. It was a one-day class that met on Saturday, September 15, 1990 from 9AM to 1PM (223:26/08/1990). The retreat was one of a series of retreats that Rev. Underwood offered during his career. He usually called the event "renewals" sometime called them retreats or conferences, perhaps in response to criticism that he was promoting the charismatic movement.
Beginning January 30, 1991, classes were offered in the old church at 7:00PM for Spanish-speaking adults who wished to learn English (223: 27/01/1991) (223:03/02/1991). These classes apparently were not religious education classes. Various individuals had been teaching English as a Second Language for years at San Jose In 1987, Enrique Saenz taught English as a Second Language for Spanish speakers after the 8:00AM Mass on Sundays (223:25/10/1987). After US President Reagan offered an immigration amnesty to undocumented aliens, the US government funded these ESL programs. During 1991, other adult education classes were the Adult Bible Study on Sunday mornings in the Parish Hall and on Sunday 11:00AM to noon in the Rectory (223:03/02/1991).
Adult Bible Class and Journey Of Faith were suspended during the Christmas Break and resumed in January (223:06/01/1991). The classes were also suspended during Easter and then resumed in April (223:31/03/1991). Topics of the Bible class included: Good News According to Matthew; Our Lord's Prayer; Preparing for Lent; Daily Reflections for Lent; the Growth of the early Church and the movement of the Holy Spirit. Topics of Journey Of Faith (RCIA) included: Jesus, Lord & Savior; The Fire of the Holy Spirit; Signs of God's Love; How Strong is My Faith; How to live the Christian life and Develop Virtue. San Jose youth were invited to a separate Youth Bible Study in the old church on Monday evenings (223:07/04/1991).
In April 1991, the Sunday Bulletin announced that Jesse Martinez would be the instructor of the Spanish-language religious class. The class would meet on Tuesdays in the parish hall at 7:30PM (223:14/04/1991). The theme of each week's lesson was published in the Sunday Bulletin in Spanish each week (223:12/05/1991). These classes met throughout the summer months under the title "Dios Con Nosotros" with Jesse and Nelda Martinez. The series ended on August 4 (223:04/08/1991) and resumed in October (223:29/09/1991).
The Thursday Night Prayer Meetings were where the Charismatic movement found its home at San José Parish. While Fr. Underwood was very aware that many Catholics and some parishioners of San José were wary of the Charismatic movement, he identified it as one of five key movements in the Catholic Church and encouraged his parishioners to participate in the Thursday Night Prayer meetings (223:04/11/84).
The Adult Bible Study classes and CCD classes were grouped together in the Bulletin under Religious Education (223:07/04/1991). Although CCD classes ended on April 21, Adult Bible Study continued until May 19 and then resumed on June 9. Class met on Sunday morning and Monday nights. Journey of Faith (RCIA) continued at the prayer meeting on Thursday nights throughout the year until October 6 (223:06/10/1991). After October 6, the prayer meeting continued without the RCIA (Journey of Faith) contingent (223:03/11/1991).
During 1992, Adult Bible Classes continued to meet on Tuesday from 7:30PM to 8:45PM. The Spanish class was called Dios Con Nosotros and met in the old church. The English class met in the school at the same time (223:05/01/1992). Dios Con Nosotros ended on May 26 for the year (223:24/05/1992). The English Adult Bible Class ended June 2 for the year (223:31/05/1992). After the English Adult Bible Class ended, the time slot was taken by San Jose High School Youth Bible study class (223:07/06/1992).
The summer religion course for 1992 was "Our Catholic Faith". The class met on Monday at 7:30PM in the parish hall (223:07/06/1992). All CCD teachers were required to attend. The series ended on July 27 (223:26/07/1992).
Registration for Adult Bible Class opened with classes beginning Sunday Sept. 13, 1992. Bud Garrett was the moderator. The Spanish language classes met on Sunday at 10:30AM in the school building. The English language class met in the Sacred Heart Chapel (223:23/08/1992). After November 8, the English language class was suspended because of low attendance (223:08/11/1992) although the Spanish language class continued to meet until Christmas (20/12/1992).
The Spanish-language adult education/R.E. class continued to meet in the school building on Sunday at 10:30AM until April 1993. It stopped meeting when Father Underwood left the parish (223:04/04/1993). Father Underwood was the teacher. After April 1993, the Adult Bible Classes were no longer announced in the Sunday Bulletin and apparently disappeared at least until the end of 1993. The RCIA classes continued.
Beginning in June 1993, a Youth Bible Study Class met on Monday in the old church, led by Jack Salazar and Richard Galvan (223:13/06/1993). Journey of Faith Class (RCIA) for new Catholics began on October 12 (223:10/10/1993). English language classes were on Tuesday and Spanish on Wednesday in the school (223:31/10/1993).
Baptism is the only sacrament that all Christian denominations share in common. In the Catholic Church, infants are baptized to welcome them into the Catholic faith and to free them from the original sin they were born with.
Baptism in the Catholic Church usually takes place on Sundays in the early afternoon after all Sunday Masses are over. In most cases, the parish priest or a deacon administers the sacrament, anointing the person being baptized with oils, and pouring blessed water over the child or adult's head not just once but three times.
A person being baptized is expected to dress in white and all those in attendance, including parents, godparents and family members, must profess their faith and declare that they reject Satan. Baptism should take place as soon after birth as possible.
Between 1939 and 2018, the San José Parish Registers list 17,586 baptisms. First Communion registers list 10,932 persons who made their First Communion in the parish. Confirmation records show that about 5,745 persons were confirmed in the parish between 1941 and 2015 and marriage records list 2,411 marriages between 1939 and 2018. These records show that for every 100 persons who were baptized in the parish, 59% subsequently received First Communion, 36% were confirmed and 25% married in the Catholic Church.
In 1976, the Sacrament of Baptism was administered the second Sunday of each month at 3:00PM. A class was held every month in the school for parents and godparents on Thursday prior to the baptism on the following Sunday (223:11/01/76) (223:30/10/78). Parents were required to call the rectory to make the arrangements and to enroll in the preparation class (223:17/10/78).
In 1982, baptisms were scheduled on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month (223:07/06/1981). The parents and godparents were required to attend a class on the Saturday prior to the baptism. The parents were encouraged to bring the birth certificate and the godparents must have been married in the Catholic Church (223:21/06/1981). Usually one person in the church office coordinated baptisms (223:27/03/83).
Beginning in 1983, the names of all those baptized appeared in the Sunday Bulletin. There were usually around 10-15 persons listed each month (223:23/09/83). In January 1987, the Sunday Bulletin listed the names of 83 persons baptized at San Jose (perhaps during 1986) (223:04/01/1987). Thereafter, the names of those baptized appeared in the Sunday Bulletin periodically (223:08/03/1987), often every month (223:14/08/1988).
Volunteers taught the baptismal classes in both Spanish and English for parents and godparents. In 1983 the volunteers included Marcela Luna, Jose Jimenez, Bertha Garcia, Leo and Mary Murillo, Joe and Frances Trevino, Refugio and Loraine Davila (223:30/09/83). The pastor periodically called for new volunteers to teach the baptismal classes in both Spanish and English for parents and godparents (223:11/11/1990).
Adults and children who were not baptized as infants needed to be prepared prior to baptism. In February 1993, Fr. Underwood announced that parents and sponsors of Grades 3-10 and RCIA candidates who have not been baptized were required to attend a workshop on Saturday, Feb. 27 (223:14/02/1993). The workshop was only to acquaint the candidates on the mechanics of the process.
The sacrament of penance or confession is considered the normal way to be absolved from mortal sin. Mortal sins are a "grave violation of God's law", i.e. a violation of the Ten Commandments. Persons who are aware of having committed mortal sins must repent of having done so and then confess them in order to benefit from the sacrament of penance. Only a priest can minister the sacrament of penance and confessions are usually done in the privacy of a confessional. Receiving the sacrament of penance from a priest is distinct from receiving pastoral counseling.
Each adult Catholic must confess all their mortal sins at least once a year to a priest and then take communion at least once between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday. This is called one's Easter Duty.
In December 1975, the priests held a communal penance service including a dramatization of the Parable of the Prodigal son (223:14/12/75). A communal penance service is a rite of reconciliation for several penitents where the penitents do not make an actual confession. The service was well received by those in attendance (223:28/12/75).
Reconciliation (Confession) is available at any time but certain times are set aside for the priest to hear confessions. During those times, a priest would be waiting in the confessional. A confessional is an enclosure where the priest sits to hear confession. A screen separates the priest and the penitent. At San José Church, confessions were scheduled every Saturday throughout the year. In 1985, a priest was available in the confessional from 5:45PM to 6:45PM on Saturday (223:27/01/1985).
Because of the Easter Duty, additional times for confession are scheduled prior to the Easter Vigil Mass and at Christmas. At Easter and Christmas, priests were available to hear confessions on two separate days and at different times to accommodate parishioner's work schedule (223: April 1979 Calendar). In the middle 1980s, a specific time was set aside during Holy Week for senior and junior high school students to confess prior to Easter (223:31/03/1985) (223:13/12/1987) and extra priests were made available on the Saturday before Christmas (223:13/12/1987) (223:11/12/1988). The pastor advised parishioners who wished to confess during Holy Week and before Christmas to, "Just confess your sins. There is not enough time for counseling or discussing any problems because there will be so many wanting to go to Confession. If you need counseling, please call the Church Office for an appointment" (223:15/12/1985) (223:14/12/1986) (223:18/12/1988). He said this because some priests were amenable to extended, drawn-out confessions, lasting in extreme cases, as much as 45 minutes.
Parishioners were also urged to not wait until Holy Week to confess (223:24/03/1985) and, in an effect to get more individuals to take advantage of the Sacrament during the year, the Confession schedule was changed to 4:00PM to 5:00PM in English and 5:45PM to 6:45PM in Spanish and English (223:01/02/1987). Typically, as in 1987, the pastor advised parishioners to, "Make your Christmas Confession early. Beat the crowd." Then he would list the numerous opportunities to confess: "Saturdays 4:00 to 5:00PM in English; 5:45 to 6:45PM in Spanish and English and Sunday 2:00PM to 5:00PM (223: 06/12/1987). Confessions will also be heard daily from 8:00PM to 10:00PM on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On December 19, several priests will hear Confessions from 4:00 to 6:45PM and from 8:00 to 9:00PM" (223:13/12/1987).
The pastor reminded parishioners that, "All the faithful who have reached the age of discretion are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year" (223:05/04/1987) (223:27/03/1988). The pastor said that anyone who has confessed their sins during the last year need not go to Confession during Lent (223:05/04/1987). Nevertheless, Confession was also scheduled for Holy Saturday from 4:00 to 6:15PM for any parishioner who waited until the last minute to make their confession (223:12/04/1987).
While confessions were scheduled for Saturday throughout the year, the exact time when a priest was waiting in the confessional changed frequently. In 1985, a priest was available in the confessional from 5:45PM to 6:45PM (223:27/01/1985). In 1987, the Confession schedule was changed to 4:00PM to 5:00PM in English and 5:45PM to 6:45PM in Spanish and English (223:01/02/1987). In 1989, confessions were from 4:00PM to 6:00PM (223:21/05/1989). In August 1989, Saturday confession times were changed 4:00PM to 5:30PM to allow the priest time to eat supper before the 7:00PM Spanish Mass. After the third church was built, confessions were heard on the left side of St. Joseph's statue even while an event (such as a wedding) was going on inside the church (223:27/08/1989).
For Catholics, First Holy Communion is the third of seven sacraments they may receive during their lifetime. First Holy Communion occurs only after Baptism and First Confession. The primary task of Catholic Religious Education/CCD is to prepare Catholics to receive the first four of the sacraments including confession and reconciliation.
For CCD students, their first confession usually takes place in the spring. The sacrament of First Communion follows soon afterward. In 1987, for example, First Reconciliation (Confession) for grade 4, 5, and 6 CCD students was on Saturday at 4:00PM, April 25. These same students received their first Communion on the next day, Sunday, at 3:00PM (223:19/04/1987). As was customary, Bishop John McCarthy came to San Jose for Confirmation on Sunday at 7:30PM. First Reconciliation (Confession) for grade 3 students was Saturday, May 2. They made First Communion the next day on Sunday at 3:00PM (223:26/04/1987). Frank Ybarra video-taped the ceremony and sold copies for $15 (223:10/05/1987). In 1991, the number of grade 3 through grade 6 children receiving First Reconciliation/Confession was so great that the task took two hours. Those children with last names beginning with A-L were scheduled for 9:30AM and M-Z for 10:30AM (223:06/01/1991).
Typically, students attend one of two programs to prepare themselves to receive the sacraments of first Confession and first Communion. The two programs are CCD and RCIA. In 1993, the parish offered a third way. The parish sheduled a Sacramental Workshop for any 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grade student who have not received the Sacraments of First Eucharist (Communion) and First Reconciliation (Confession). Students must attend all five workshops beginning March 23 at 6PM (223:14/03/1993). On the final day, "you will receive the Reconciliation Sacrament. On April 25, you will receive the First Eucharist (Communion) Sacrament" (223:21/03/1993). Candidates who had been prepared in the RCIA program received First Confession on Tuesday, March 30 (223:28/03/1993) and children who graduated from the first Communion class received First Reconciliation at a separate ceremony (223:26/09/1993).
San Jose CCD
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) was a sodality or society whose purpose was to teach Catholic doctrine. It originated in 1562 in Milan, Italy. After 1905, each parish was required to form a CCD. Currently, the purpose of the CCD program is to prepare Catholics to receive the sacraments of Penance (Confession), the Eucharist (Holy Communion) and Confirmation.
At San José Parish, the religious education program promoted by CCD has been called by many names, including Doctrina, Catechism, First Communion, religion class, CCD and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. In recent years, it has been called Continuing Christian Development or Religious Education in recognition of the fact that CCD is no longer a society but a program of the parish.
The first mention of the CCD in the San José Sunday Bulletin was an announcement that, "Doctrina started on Saturday, September 30, 1961 at 9:00AM. This class is an obligation for parents whose children go to public schools" (223:09/24/61). During the school year, all children attending public school were obligated to attend classes in Doctrina from 9:00AM to 11:00AM Saturday. The Sunday Bulletin listed fourteen volunteer teachers for the 1961-1962 school year (223:01/07/62).
In September 1962, the pastor reminded parishioners that, "Pope Pius 10th made the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine obligatory for all Catholics (in 1905)" (223:09/16/62). The Sunday Bulletin listed the Doctrina teachers for the year. There were one or two teachers for each grade level from Grade 1 to Grade 8. Rev. Samuel J. Ciatto, the Assistant Pastor, taught the 8th grade class. Four drivers provided transportation for the younger students and volunteers called "fishers" made home visits (223:02/24/63) (223:09/30/62). Two-hundred and nineteen children attended Doctrina classes (223:10/21/62) taught by eight grade-level instructors and two Kindergarten teachers (223:02/17/63) (223:05/12/63). More than seventy children were approved for First Communion (223:04/14/63) in the spring of 1963. CCD classes did not meet during the summer school vacation but CCD teachers attended a class in Christian Doctrine in June and July (223:06/02/63).
In September 1963, the CCD class schedule changed. Children under 14 years of age continued to attend CCD class on Saturday from 9:00AM to 11:00AM (223:03/29/64). Young people aged 14 and over attended classes in religion on Monday evenings (223:09/29/63). During the first week of classes, 198 children attended the Saturday Doctrina classes and 100 boys and girls attended the Monday religious education classes. Fourteen teachers taught the Saturday classes while Father Ciatto and a group of men were in charge of the class on Monday nights (223:10/06/63). There were four drivers who provided rides on Saturday (223:10/20/63).
Two-hundred and sixty-two children attended the Saturday Doctrina classes in November (223:11/03/63) and thirty-eight high school students passed the High School Religion Courses led by Father Ciatto. Both programs ended in May (223:04/10/64).
The officers of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for 1963 were Sr. Jose Garcia President; Sr. Marcelino Rocha Vice President and Rev. Samuel Ciatto, C.S.C. Chaplain (223:10/06/63). The members of the society were the CCD teachers and their assistants.
Doctrina classes for children in public schools grades 1 to 7 (6 to 13 years of age) began September 26, Saturday from 9:00AM to 11:00AM. Grades 8 or 14 years of age or older met on Monday nights (223:08/23/64). Books used were the same as those used by the religion class in San José School. The books cost 60 cents each (223:09/13/64). Sixteen teachers taught Kindergarten to grade 7 (223:09/20/64). 224 children enrolled in Doctrina (223:10/04/64) and, of those, 134 boys and girls were in the First Communion Class (223:05/16/65).
Father Ciatto began teaching separate Youth Religion and Adult Religion classes at the beginning of the 1964-1965 schoolyear. The adults met at 8:00PM on Tuesday in the school. The instructor for the youth class was Mr. Joseph Juarez, who was a professor of history at S.E.U. at San Marcos (223:09/13/64). All high school-age youth 14 to 18 years old were obligated to attend the Youth Religion classes on Monday from 7:00PM to 8:00PM (223:09/06/64).
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine was required by Canon Law in each parish. The CCD at San José Parish had four officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) and three committees. The committees were in charge of Teachers, House Visits and Helpers. The Chairman of House Visits was Dr. Nassour (223:03/07/65).
Doctrina started on the last Saturday of September (223:09/12/65). The Saturday class schedule for children of the first eight grades was the same as the previous year (223:10/03/65). Religion classes for the high school students (organized by Rev. Abstetar) met from 7:00PM to 8:00PM every Wednesday. The teachers were students from St. Edward's University (223:10/03-10/65).
Doctrina for all public school children grades 1-8 started on Saturday at 9:00AM on October 1. Classes lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. For teenagers in grades 9-12, religion classes began on Monday, October 3 (223:09/25/66). Mr. Jerry Wisinski from St. Edward's University managed the CCD program (223:09/17/67).
CCD registration for public grade school children was on Saturday, after Masses on Sunday on September 10 and the following Monday at the school (223:09/10/67). CCD classes began on Saturday, September 16 for grade school and Monday, September 18 for high school (223:09/03/67). Jerry Wisinski again managed the CCD program with the help of Miss Elizabeth Garza from Mary Hill College and Frank Macias (223:09/17/67).
Beginning in January 1968, CCD and CYO coordinated their meetings. CCD for high school students met at 7:30PM on Monday night and the Catholic Youth Organizations (CYO) met immediately afterward. The CCD class schedule for children in grades 1 through 7 did not change (223:01/21/68).
CCD classes were suspended during Christmas week and when the San Jose School was on vacation (223:12/15/68). Classes ended a few days before Christmas and resumed in the first week of January. After classes resumed in January, students hoping to make First Communion in the spring began to make preparations. Their parents were expected to attend meetings with the pastor to receive instructions (223:01/14/68).
CCD classes for grades 1 to 6 began on Saturday at 9:00AM. CCD classes for 7-12th grades began on Monday, September 2 with Mass at 6:00PM followed by class at 7:00PM followed by the CYO meeting at 8:00PM. All children in the parish between 12 and 18 years of age were expected to attend both the CCD and CYO meetings (even those enrolled in the parish school) (223:09/08/68). After Christmas break, the CCD class schedule for grades 7 through 12 was changed to 11:00AM on Sundays (223: 01/05/69).
Linking the CCD and CYO meetings had unexpected consequences. On October 27, the CCD-CYO meeting was cancelled because of a dance sponsored by the CYO District Council (223:10/20/68). Linking the two programs strengthened the CYO.
The pastor, Rev. John Haley, told the Parish Council that he had decided to hire Holy Cross Brothers from St. Edward's University to teach CCD on Sundays to the older children in grades 7 to 12 and to adults (213).
In February 1970, the administrative structure of the CCD program changed. The society or sodality was replaced by a CCD Board headed by Porfirio Rios. The Parish Council accepted the change and recognized the new Board on February 17. Vincent Ortiz was the CCD coordinator. (213).
CCD (Doctrina) classes for grades 1-6 began Saturday October 18 at 10:00AM and lasted until 11:15AM. Classes for high school students began the following Monday at 7:00PM. The CYO meeting in the Youth Center followed CCD classes at 8:00PM (223:10/05/69) (223:04/05/70).
Attendance averaged 250-275 children. The tuition was $5 per family although it cost $6 per child for books and supplies (213). Students were encouraged to pre-registration for next year's classes on May 9 and 10 (223:04/26/70).
A picnic from noon to 4:00PM on May 23 marked the final day of CCD for the schoolyear. Each family brought their own food (223:05/17/70). During the summer of 1970, the CCD coordinator sponsored a 4th of July dance in the San Jose Community Center to raise money for the program (223:06/28/70). The following Monday, training began for CCD teachers and parents. Teacher training lasted for two or three weeks. Teachers were given a choice of attending sessions on either Monday through Friday 8:30-10:0AM or Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7:30PM-9:00PM (223:07/05/70). This training was for teachers and parents (223:07/12/70).
All children attending public school were expected to attend CCD classes on either Saturday 10:00AM-11:30AM or Monday night (223:08/09/70). 275 grade school students attended the first CCD session (223:09/20/70) and over 300 the next Saturday (223:10/04/70). Late registrants increased the number registered to 431 students in late October (213) and finally 525 students in November 19 (223:11/08/70). Enrollment had increased 100% over the previous year. Attendance averaged 70% (213).
The class schedule was the same as the previous year with grammar school students attending CCD classes on Saturday from 10:00AM to 11:00AM and high school students attending classes on Monday at 7:30PM followed by CYO at 8:30PM in the Youth Center (223:12/06/70). In November, Doctrine Class for Adults began (223:11/08/70).
Beginning in March, the CCD program began showing movies right after the Saturday classes. The movies lasted until 12:45AM. The price was 25 cents per child (223:03/21/71).
In 1970, the Socios donated funds to pay for CCD books (223:01/31/71) because the $5 fee paid by grammar school children did not cover the cost of their books (223:02/14/71). However, the CCD President, Vincent Ortiz, held fundraisers and the CCD had enough money at the end of the schoolyear to donate $500 to help purchase a new station wagon for the parish (223:07/11/71) (223:13/02/72). CCD classes closed for the summer on May 18 (223:05/16/71) and began again in September (223:05/23/71).
Vincent Ortiz was the CCD President (223:06/06/71) and the Associate Pastor, Rev. Mike Mikan, was the chairman of the Parish Council's Education Committee (213).
Rev. John Haley began recruiting volunteer teachers for CCD in August with teacher training taking place the Sunday prior to the beginning of CCD classes (223:08/08/71). There were seventeen CCD teachers. Grades 7 and 8 were combined under one teacher while grade 1 to grade 4 each had three or four teachers per grade level (223: 09/12/71).
In 1971, CCD classes for all children in public schools grades 1-8 began on Saturday morning at 10AM-11AM on September 18 (223:09/05/71). The high school CCCD continued to meet on Monday evenings. In January 1972, San José hosted a CCD training session that was attended by 300 CCD teachers from the Diocese of Austin (223: 23/01/72). In addition to teaching classes, the CCD sponsored six booths at the annual bazaar in May and earned $260 for the church (223:21/05/72).
The Religious Education Board consisting of Mr. Glenn Rosendale, Mr. David Segura, Mrs. Alice Torres, Mr. Rudy Reséndez and Mr. Carmen governed the CCD program (223:16/07/72). The Religious Education Board wrote that, "The primary goal of the San Jose religious Education Program is to offer all parishioners the opportunity to develop a Christian way of life. The means to obtain this goal would be through community involvement based on the teachings of Christ and celebrated through Christian worship (223: 30/07/72).
The Board asked the public for topics for an Adult Lecture Series (223: 16/07/72) and invited the public to attend a meeting to consider hiring a CCD coordinator for the coming year (223:05/03/72). The CCD teachers met in July to assess the program and to prepare for the coming year (223:16/07/72).
In August 1972, San José Parish hired Glenn Rosedale to make plans for a new religious education program (12). He became the full-time coordinator of religious education and recruited parishioners to be trained as teachers. The object was to train parishioners as instructors for a "total religious education program" (97). By August 18, ninety Catechists had completed the training (88) (97).
Religious education classes were held on Saturday from 9:00AM to 10:00AM for junior high grades 5 to 8 and from 10:00AM to 11:00AM for elementary grades 1 to 4. The Saturday programs enrolled 275 students (223:27/08/72) (223: 10/09/72). The high school program met at 7:00PM on Monday. The high school program was called Continuing Christian Development (CCD) (98).
The adult religious education program began with a ten-week class on Mexican American Studies beginning September 12. This class met at 7:30PM on Tuesday in the school building. The leader was Mr. Mario Juarez Cruz. A similar class, the Sacrament Study Class, met on Thursday (223: 10/09/72).
At the end of the 1972-1973 schoolyear, Mr. Rosendale left to continue his studies at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio and the parish hired two young women to replace him. CCD was planning to add a Kindergarten program for 5 year old children (223:01/07/73).
After Glenn Rosendale's departure, the Parish Board of Religious Education hired Miss Guadalupe Vela to coordinate the elementary grade CCD classes and adult programs and Mrs. Viola Carlisle to coordinate religious education for high school-age students. Miss Vela's program had 50 teachers and aides. Mrs. Carlisle recruited and trained teachers for CYO-aged students and young adults (99). Seven teacher training workshops were held to prepare the teachers prior to the start of classes (99).
As in the previous year, children in grades 4 through 8 attended CCD classes from 9:00AM to 10:00AM on Saturday. Children from Kindergarten to grade 3 met from 10:15AM to 11:15AM on Saturday. High school students met on Monday evening from 7:00PM to 8:00PM (248:09/10/73). The high school class enrolled 97 students (249:16/09/73).
High school religious education on Monday consisted of mini-courses in the San Jose School taught by 17 teachers (101). The courses dealt with Marriage (taught by Sam and Gloria Luna), Church History (taught by Alberto Garcia and Daniel Ramirez), Morality (taught by Fr. Mike Makan, Raymond Castro and Richard Resch, Images of Faith (taught by Mrs. Teresa Garcia, Mrs. Alice Maldonado and Miss Christine Reyna), Football (taught by Roberto Garcia, David Callahan and Juan Garcia), Bible (taught by Francisco Gonzalez and Tom Álvarez) and Contemporary Problems (coordinated by Porfirio Rios and Ben Limón) (101) (249:21/10/73) (249:18/11/73).
The CCD program consisted of more than weekly class room instruction. The high school students staged a Christmas program in December (249:16/12/73). CCD staff produced a newsletter, called The Samaritan, which was published weekly and appeared to take the place of the Sunday Bulletin. The CCD coordinators also managed the South Austin Neighborhood Center located in the San José Community Center (249: 21/07/74).
In the spring of 1974, the CCD class schedule changed. Elementary CCD met as usual on Saturday mornings but the high school students were split into two groups. Junior high school CCD met on Wednesday at 6:30PM and high school CCD met on Monday at 7:00PM (249: 12/05/74). Sister Mary Louise Hernandez was in charge of the elementary CCD program (249: 21/04/74).
When the program ended in May, ten outstanding CCD teenagers were awarded crucifixes by their teachers and Fr. Mike. The hope was that next year there would be sufficient money for scholarships (249: 19/05/74).
In July, a new Parish Board of Religious Education (CCD Board) was elected. The new officers were Al Rubio, President; Nivia Gonzales, VP and members Joe Maldonado, Teresa Casarez, Mary Longoria, Rachel Sanchez and Alice Maldonago (249: 14/07/74).
In the middle of August 1974, both Miss Vela and Mrs. Carlisle returned to school and Religious Sisters replaced them as CCD coordinators (249: 21/07/74). Sister Mary Louise was placed in charge of CCD (250: 10/11/74).
The CCD class schedule was unchanged from the year before. Classes for grades 4, 5 and 6 met at 9:00AM on Saturday, followed by 10:00AM by classes for kindergarten and grades 1, 2 and 3 (223:29/09/74). Classes for senior high school (grades 9-12) began on the following Monday (223:15/09/74). Junior high CCD (grades 7 and 8) met on Wednesday in the old school building (223:13/04/75). Senior high school religious education offered eight different courses on a variety of topics (223:05/02/75).
Preparations for confirmation candidates began in October when their parents were required to attend Parent Confession Classes (250:20/10/74). Candidates were also required to attend four mandatory classes. On May 15, 1975, the parish confirmed 105 people (250:15/12/74) (223:13/04/75).
After the San José School closed in the spring of 1973, the school building was renamed the San José CCD Center Building. All CCD, baptismal, First Communion and first confession classes were moved to the school building (223:05/01/75). The move to the new building created its own problems. In November, Fr. Mike was seeking volunteer hall monitors (250: 10/11/74) and the Sisters were looking for a 'man' janitor for the CCD Center (223:02/03/75).
New officers of the CCD Board were elected in May. The officers were Alfonso Rubio, President; Sister Theresa Noel; Joe Maldonado; Alice Maldonado; Mary Longoria and Sister Carmen Leal (237).
Sister Angela Elizabeth, MCDP, and Sister Teresa Noel, MCDP, arrived at San José Parish in August to run the CCD program for the 1975-1976 schoolyear (223:03/08/75). Their order was Missionary Cathechists of Divine Providence (103). Sister Angela Reyes MCDP was the coordinator of the elementary CCD classes (223:10/08/75). 88 volunteer CCD teachers were commissioned for the 1975-1976 year. Enrollment was 400 elementary and 250 secondary students (103).
According to the 35th Anniversary Program notes dated December 20, 1975, "San Jose Continuing Christian Development, known as the C.C.D., has an interesting history. Its beginning can be traced to the zealous endeavors of Father Michael Mikan and Father John Haley who saw the necessity of developing religious education as a Parish centered activity after the parochial school closed in 1972. The interest and enthusiasm of these two leaders and people of the parish provided the necessary direction and utilization of many of the resources found in this parish."
"Tremendous amount of planning was done by the C.C.D. Parish Board so that now the program has prospered and is steadily growing. Besides the numerous helpers, the program numbers 87 volunteer C.C.D. teachers and a total enrollment of 600 students. The CCD staff consists of two coordinators and a priest (209)".
CCD and CYO sponsored a play, "The Saviour is Born," at the Community Center (223:14/12/75) and the CYO provided babysitting during the parish Christmas party on Dec. 20. CCD was suspended for a month during the Christmas (223:14/12/75). The CCD sponsored nine booths at the annual parish bazaar in May (223:02/05/76). The program ended for the schoolyear on May 9. Teachers were urged to return their materials for use in the next year (223:09/05/76).
At the end of the 1975-1976 schoolyear, the CCD Coordinator, Sister Angela Elizabeth, resigned. In July, the Misioneras de Jesus, Maria y Jose (MJMJ) agreed to provide a Sister to coordinate San Jose CCD. She would live with other Sisters of her community at Guadalupe Church (223:25/07/76). Subsequently, Rev. John Korcsmar hired Sister Gloria Rodriguez, M.J.M.J. as coordinator of CCD (12).
The CCD program continued with the same schedule. In March 1077, Sister Elisa Rodriguez conducted a cultural awareness workshop for the teachers of San Jose CCD (105).
The schedule for CCD classes for the 1978-1979 schoolyear was greatly changed from the previous year. Greater emphasis was placed on the 2nd grade class and junior and senior high school classes were replaced with monthly retreats. Classes began on September 23. Grades K, 1 and 3 met on Saturday at 10:30AM. Grades 4, 5, 6 met on Saturday at 9AM and grade 2 met on Sunday at 9AM. Junior high students attended a monthly retreat from 2:00PM to 5:30PM on 1st Saturday of each month and senior high students attended a monthly retreat on 2nd Saturday of each month (223:10/09/76) (223:04/02/79).
It was announced that all candidates for Confirmation must be in at least 8th grade (223:10/09/76). The Second Grade CCD met on Sunday at 9:00AM (223:04/03/79). By October, there were four classes of Second Grade CCD and registration was closed (223:08/10/78).
All CCD teachers took a pledge to follow exactly the official teaching of the Catholic Church and received a Christian Symbol Pin (223:17/10/78). There were 24 teachers and 28 aids (90). In the spring, CCD sponsored Kiddie Movies in school on Saturday afternoons (223:11/03/79) and, in April, Grades K-6 had a special program called "Easter in 75 Minutes". The program was an explanation of Jesus' passion, death and resurrection (223:01/04/79). High school CCD sponsored a talent show and spaghetti dinner at the Community Center to end the schoolyear.
Kathy Salas was listed in the Sunday Bulletin as the contact person for High School CCD in June 1981 (223:07/06/1981).
Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ, was listed in the bulletin as the contact person and Director of Religious Education. Sister Maria Navarro, MJMJ, was listed as Pastoral Associate (223:27/06/82). Irene Sanchez was the contact person for the High School CCD (223:27/06/82). There were 27 teachers and 18 aides (89).
CCD classes began Saturday, September 26, 1981. Students were instructed to register by September 19 and come to Church on September 26 to be assigned to a teacher and a classroom. The CCD schedule was printed on the front cover of the Sunday Bulletin. Grades K-6th classes lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes and grades 7-12 classes lasted two hours (223:13/09/1981).
All classes met on Saturday. Kindergarten to 6th grade met in the morning and grade 7 to grade 12 met from 4:00PM to 6:00PM on one Saturday per month. First Communion Classes (for grades 3-6) met every Thursday from 6:30PM to 7:30PM (223:13/09/1981). An adult Bible class met every Thursday evening (223:20/09/1981).
CCD registration was scheduled for August 15 after each Mass (223: 25/07/82). The CCD class schedule changed again. Grades 4, 5 and 6 met at 9:00AM to 10:15AM on Saturday and grades K, 1 and 2 met from 10:30 to 11:45AM. Junior High School 7 & 8 grade met at 4-5:30PM on the First Saturday of every month and Senior High School 9- 12 grades met on the 4th Monday of each month from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
First Communion became a two-year program. First Communion Classes met on Thursday with Grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 meeting at 6:30-7:30PM. Girls who expected to have a Quinceanera were required to attend CCD classes. CYO members must also attend CCD classes as did students in Confirmation Classes for 8th grade and High School students. Confirmation Class met on Wednesday at 6:30-7:30PM beginning January 26, 1983 (223: 08/08/82).
In September 1982, Miss Beeda Saenz was the Director of Religious Education. She worked as a volunteer and was replaced by Mr. Archie Gress in December (223:12/12/82). Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ, managed the CCD program for six years. Sister Maria took over the program after Sister Gloria left. (At this time, there were two MJMJ sisters at San Jose: Sister Maria Navarro and Sister Maria Cabrieles or Cabrialez) (223:19/09/82). The arrangement with the Sister of the Misioneras de Jesus, Maria y Jose (MJMJ) must have ended at the end of 1982 because in January 1983 Archie Gress announced a job opening for a paid CCD Coordinator (223:23/01/83).
In December 1982, the pastor noted that although 700 children attended CCD classes, few attend Mass. Rev. Underwood rearranged the CCD schedule and introduced a Children's Mass at 10:30AM Sunday with a special liturgy and homily for children. He said Sister Mary MJMJ would organize a Youth Choir for the Mass (223:05/12/82).
Parishioners were polled and found to be satisfied with the CCD program. A survey of parishioners found that 88 respondents rated the CCD program as very good, 245 rated it as good, 24 rated it as average and only 1 rated it as poor (223:19/09/82). CCD was in charge of a booth and the cakewalk at the annual Jamaica in October. The Director of Religious Education, Beeda Saenz, asked each family to donate items for the CCD booth and the cakewalk. The Sunday Bulletin listed each teacher and what their students were encouraged to bring (223:10/10/82).
CCD classes all met on Saturday, beginning at 9:00AM for 4th through 6th grades and ending at 5:30PM for grades 7 and 8 (223:13/02/83). In addition to Archie Gress (the CCD Coordinator), CCD staff included 1st Communion Coordinator Romana Salazar and CCD secretary Aggie Castro (223:27/03/83). An audit revealed that salaries, books and supplies for CCD cost $42,456 during the 1983 calendar year (223:12/02/84).
In July 1983, Sister Eva Walsh was hired as the new CCD coordinator. CCD classes no longer met on Saturday and CCD registration fees were eliminated (223:10/07/83). CCD class for grades 1-6 began with Mass at 9:30AM on Sunday followed by classes from 10:30AM to noon. Doctrina/CCD for grades 7 and 8 and grades 9 to12 met during the week (Wednesday or Tuesday from 7:00PM to 9:00PM).
The parents were encouraged to attend religious education classes at 9:30AM- 10:30AM on Sunday and then to attend 11:00AM Mass while their children were in CCD class. There were separate English and Spanish language classes for adults. The program began with a mandatory renewal weekend that began on Friday night, lasted all day Saturday and was followed by Mass on Sunday (223:14/08/83).
The CCD program sponsored social activities as well as religious education classes. In October, the students and teachers attended a skating party and junior high, senior high and young adults attended a Halloween Costume Party in the Community Center (223:28/10/84). In December, CCD sponsored a Children's Christmas Mass and Pageant was on Dec. 24. The CCD program was suspended for the Christmas holidays until January 8/9 (223:23/12/84).
When classes resumed after Christmas, the CCD program for junior and senior high school students was linked to two new organizations, call L.I.F.E. and J.O.Y. The L.I.F.E. Youth Group attended Mass at 7:00PM on Tuesday with religious education class afterward. On Wednesday J.O.Y. high school-aged youth attended Mass at 7:00PM on Wednesday with a religious education class afterward (223:27/01/1985).
There were seven adult Religious Education teachers; thirty-seven teachers for youth in grades 7 to 12 and young adult teachers; and thirty-four teachers for grades 1 to 5. The Religious Education program for grades 1 to 6 had 500 students; junior high grades 7 & 8 had 155 students and high school grades 9-12 had 175 students (223:03/02/1985). May 5, 1985, was the last day for CCD classes for grade school students. Religious Education teachers (catechists) received level 1, 2 or 3 certificates from the Diocese (223:05/05/1985).
At the end of May, the CCD coordinator announced that Brother Jim Hanson, C.S.C. would teach a Scripture class for Religious Education teachers on Monday, 7PM to 8PM for 6-8 weeks beginning September 23. All CCD teachers were required to attend the class (223:26/05/1985) (223:28/07/1985).
CCD registration for the 1985-1986 school year opened on August 18 (223: 11/08/1985) and was open every Sunday at the school building from 9:00AM to 2:00PM (223: 01/09/1985). CCD classes began Wednesday September 18 for Junior High and Tuesday, September 17 for high school 08/09/1985).
Adult Education Classes were scheduled for Sunday from 9:00AM to 10:20AM in Spanish and English (223: 08/09/1985). These classes were in the school. There were three classes on different topics and a fourth class for those adults seeking sacraments. Teachers included: Victor Balderas, Stella Trejo, Enrique Saenz, Brother William Dunn, C.S.C., Fr. Leonard Paul, C.S.C., Lupe Cruz, Araceli Nieto, Chester Alcala, Tom and Mary Longoria (223: 15/09/1985).
CCD classes for grades 1-6 began on Sunday, September 22 at 9:00AM and continued into the 9:30AM Mass. The Homilies were directed at the children. Adults were encouraged to attend another Mass because there was no room in the church and because the Homilies were for children (223: 22/09/1985). CCD teachers and adults attending Sunday morning Bible class were urged to park in the back of the school, "to leave the parking area around the Church open for those who will only be attending Mass" (223: 03/11/1985).
Assistant Pastor Fr. Leonard Paul taught a Bible class for catechists and those adults who were unable to attend the Adult Religious Educations classes on Sunday morning. The classes for Catechists were on Monday evenings from 7:30PM to 8:30PM and lasted six to eight weeks (223: 22/09/1985). Ninety-four Catechists were commissioned during Mass on September 29 (223: 29/09/1985). In February 1986, forty catechists from San Jose attended a Christian Education Congress in Houston on a Saturday. Transportation was in private vans loaned by Steve Mireles, Rudy Duran, Paul Samaniego and Tony Moreno (223:09/02/1986).
All CCD programs were suspended for the week of Thanksgiving (223: 24/11/1985) and for Christmas and resumed January 5 (223: 05/01/1986). At the end of the school year, CCD students with perfect attendance received a free pass to a private roller skating party at Hot Wheels on Stassney Lane for students and their parents. The normal price was $2.50 (223: 27/04/1986). On May 4, the last day of CCD classes, the Catechists were recognized at all four Sunday Masses (223: 04/05/1986).
Training sessions in the school for all CCD teachers and aides began on August 18 and ended on August 28 (223: 17/08/1986). Seventy-four Catechists were commissioned. Their names were listed on an insert in the Bulletin (223: 21/09/1968). Classes began Sunday, September 7 for grades 2-6 (223: 31/08/1968).
In November, the first grade CCD class met at the Community Center from 10:30AM to noon for lessons and a party (223:26/10/1986). CCD classes were suspended during Thanskgiving week (223:23/11/1986) and for Christmas. CCD classes began again during the week of January 5-9, 1987.
The Junior High and Senior High School programs began with 7:00PM daily Mass on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Grade School program began with the 9:30AM Children's Mass on Sunday, January 11 (223:04/01/1987). April 26 was the last day for CCD class for grade school students (223:26/04/1987). All CCD/Religious Education teachers/Catechists (including 25 teenagers) received certificates during the Sunday Mass in April (223:26/04/1987).
A Spanish-language class called "Crecimiento en el Espiritu Santu" met on Monday evenings beginning June 8 (223:07/06/1987). On June 28, the theme changed to "Comienza La Lucha", que es lo que la Biblia dice que hagamos para ganar la lucha (223:28/06/1987). On July 12, the theme was "Hijos y Herederos de sus requezas" (223:12/07/1987) and, on July 26, the theme was, "La Tentation". The announcements were always in Spanish (223:26/07/1987). If there was no class, the group met for prayer and a covered dish supper at from 7:30PM to 9:00PM in the church hall (223:02/08/1987).
Catechists met in August to plan the coming year (223:02/08/1987). A parish meeting on August 5 decided that all Religious Education Classes would meet on Sunday. Elementary (grades 1-5) met from 9:00AM to noon; Middle School (grade 6, 7, 8) met 5:00 to 8:00PM; High School (grades 9-12) met at 5:00PM to 8:00PM (223:16/08/1987). Registration began August 16 after each Mass. Registration fee was $15 for one child and $20 for two or more children (223:02/08/1987). CCD class began on September 20. Grades 1-5 attended 9:30AM Mass in the church while adults attended Mass in the Community Center (223:06/09/1987).
Catechists were expected to attend In Service training at Dolores Parish Center and a Catechist Formation Program offered by the Diocese (223:30/08/1987).
In September 1987, RCIA was mentioned for the first time. RCIA was an anachronism for Renewed Christians Inducted as Adults (now called Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). It met Monday at 7:30PM in the Parish Hall. "The following persons need to attend: Catholics who have never studied their Catholic faith as adults, Catholics who have studied their faith, inactive Catholics should attend to again become active Catholics, non-Catholics should attend to investigate the Catholic faith. The announcement about the RCIA was translated into Spanish on a separate sheet (223: 20/09/1987). The RCIA program was sometimes called Journey in Faith (223: 06/12/1987). It is described in another article.
In addition to CCD and RCIA, the Religious Education Department offered other classes for adults. Adult Education Classes met on Sunday mornings in the school building. Three topics were taught in the classrooms from 9:00AM to 10:00AM. The topics were: Scripture Study, Learning Spanish and Bishop's Pastoral. This program was separate from RCIA (that met during the week) (223: 01/11/1987). Adult Education Classes, CCD and RCIA were suspended from December 13 until January 10. The following persons taught the religious education classes for adults: Mrs. Edelmira Saenz, Mr. Alfredo Chavez, Mr. Luís Calderón and Brother William Dunn, C.S.C. (223: 13/12/1987) (223: 20/12/1987).
The last day of Religious Education classes for students in grades 1-12 was on April 24. Sixty-two Catechists were awarded certificates including sixteen teenage assistants (223: 24/04/1988). Training of Catechists for the next school year began on July 11 and consisted of three sessions that met on Monday from 7:30 to 9:00PM in the parish hall (223:03/07/1988).
CCD was described as the formal education module of the Total Youth Ministry. CCD was suspended during the summer months but the other aspects of the youth ministry (service projects, field trips and spiritual growth experiences) continued but in a more relaxed pace. From August 1, 1987 until August 1, 1988, dances were used to raise money for the program. The money was deposited in a fund with a balance of $14,000 as of July 1988. Sister Eva Walsh's religious community donated $13,000 to bring the fund balance to $27,000.
In addition to the balance of $27,000, the youth fund purchased the tabernacle and one Halide light for the new church. These two items cost $1,025. They also purchased a Video projector, a large portable screen and a VCR for use in the hall, costing in total $2,157. They purchased a helicopter lighting system and mirror ball for the dances in the hall for $355, paid $2,600 for Youth Leadership Training/Retreats and paid $500 for social events.
No youth ministry events were scheduled for August 1988 but activities would resume in September with Grade School CCD (223:31/07/1988). Registration for CCD opened on Saturday August 27. The cost was $12 for one children or $20 per family (223:28/08/1988).
CCD leaders Katherine Reina and Rudy Duran participated in the 50th Anniversary Committee. They committed to making banners for the event (242).
Holy Orders is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. The sacrament of holy orders includes three orders: bishop, priest and deacon. In the phrase "holy orders", the word "holy" means "set apart for some purpose". The sacrament can only be conferred on baptized men. Most deacons are Transitional Deacons and are candidates for the priesthood. Married men may be ordained as Permanent Deacons but in the Latin rite may not be ordained as priests. Pope Paul IV restored the permanent diaconate at the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1972. The first Permanent Deacon at San José Parish was Deacon Alfred C. Vasquez, Sr. He was ordained in 1984 and served 13 ½ years at San José (newspaper clipping, San Jose File #2, Catholic Archives).
Currently, men interested in serving as deacon are advised that they must discuss the possibility with their pastor and then attend Project Stephen, which meets every Third Thursday of the month at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. Participants in the program study during the evenings. They learn the qualities and characteristics of a deacon, what he does and what it takes to become a deacon. During the program of studies, they pray before the Blessed Sacrament, study St. John Paul II's comments about discernment and enjoy the fellowship of other men and couples in discernment. Couples are urged to discern together and wives are encouraged to attend the sessions (Catholic Spirit, June 2018).
The Diocese of Austin ordained 30 permanent deacons in 1984 and 30 more in 1988 (Catholic Spirit, June 2018). There are currently more than 150 active Deacons in the Diocese of Austin and some seventy retired Deacons. This article will deal exclusively with Permanent Deacons who had a connection with San Jose Parish.
In June 1974, Pete Rocha, who was a transitional deacon, was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius (249: 02/06/74). Glenn Rosendale, who worked at San José Parish in 1976, was later a candidate for deacon in the Diocese of Amarillo (223:21/03/76). (223:04/04/76). He served at St. Peter's Church in Olton, Texas (223:17/12/78). Pete Rocha and Glenn Rosendale were both parishioners of San José.
Three men from San José parish were studying to be deacons in March 1985. These men included Enrique Saenz and John Rivera. Both were well-known at San Jose. In March and May, Juan Flores, Jesse Hernandez, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Calderon and Mr. and Mrs. Bob Haynes prepared and sold a barbecue plate after the 9:30AM Sunday March 17 Mass to raise money for the three men so they could continue their studies for the Diaconate program (223: 10/03/1985). The net proceeds from the sale amounted to $445.24 (223: 24/03/1985).
Two months later, in May, Joe Alcala prepared and sold a barbecue chicken plate dinner on the church grounds from 10:15AM to 5:00PM for the same purpose (223: 28/04/1985). The event raised $866.92. Other parishioners donated the side dishes (223: 19/05/1985). Two years later, Enrique Saenz and John Rivera were accepted as Acolytes, a step toward becoming a Deacon. They had completed two-thirds of their training (223:19/07/1987).
The first deacon to serve at San Jose was Alfredo Vasquez. He was ordained in 1984 and worked at Dolores Parish. In May 1986, when San José Associate Pastor Rev. Leonard Paul, C.S.C. left for Detroit to help his sick brother (223: 04/05/1986), Rev. Alfredo Vasquez came to help at San José and remained there for the remainder of his career as a deacon (223:11/05/1986).
In 1987, the pastor encouraged more men to consider whether they were called to be deacons. He wrote an article in the Sunday Bulletin called, "A Vocation View". He said, "The new ministry of "Deacon" is mentioned in today's Scripture. Perhaps the Lord is calling you to assist with the charitable, educational or liturgical needs of His people today" (223:17/05/1987). At that time, there were few deacons in the diocese and the parish only had one deacon on its rolls.
On July 16, 1988, Bishop John McCarthy ordained John Rivera and Enrique Saenz as deacons at St. Louis Church following years of extensive study by the two men (223:17/07/1988). The following Sunday, the Sunday Bulletin explained that deacons are ordained to preach and teach, baptize, perform marriages and funerals, bless houses and religious objects, distribute Holy Communion and visit the sick and elderly. A deacon could not consecrate hosts, hear confessions or anoint the sick (223:24/07/1988). Before deacons became available, the parish relied on the priests and Eucharistic Ministers to visit the sick and the elderly (223:09/06/1985).
Both of the new deacons were assigned to San Jose Parish in August 1988. In January 1989, the Sunday Bulletin listed Deacon Enrique Saenz (full-time), Deacon Alfredo Vasquez, Deacon John Rivera and Rose Quiroz, Secretary. Deacons Saenz and Vasquez were listed as counselors (223:19/03/89). All three deacons were listed a non-residents, meaning they lived at home. Only Enrique Saenz worked full-time as a deacon. The other deacons had secular jobs and could work only part-time.
In May 1990, Deacon George Joseph joined Enrique Saenz, Alfredo Vasquez and John Rivera at San Jose. Oswaldo Nira joined the roster of deacons between July 1991 and July 1993. Five non-resident deacons served the parish in July 1993: Enrique Saenz (who worked full-time as a deacon), Alfredo Vasquez, John Rivera, George Joseph (full time) and Oswaldo Nira. In July 1993, Deacon Oswaldo Nira left San José, leaving two full-time and two part-time deacons at San José (223).
Deacon Alfredo Vasquez was known beyond the parish and in 1993 was appointed Coordinator for the South Central Regional Hispanic Deacons of the US (223:22/08/1993). Deacon Vasquez served at San José for 13 ½ years until he passed away in 2007 (newspaper clipping, San Jose File #2, Catholic Archives).
Frank Macias was the son of Pedro and Otila Macias of San Jose Parish. He was ordained to the Diaconate on Dec. 12, 1993 for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 14, 1994 at San Jose. The pastor of San José wrote in the Sunday Bulletin, "We are very blessed to have a member of our parish family being ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ" (223:26/12/1993).
In 2015, San José had six deacons on the parish roster: Richard Botello, Joe. V. Gutierrez, Elias Moran, John Rivera, Enrique Saenz and Romeo Sanchez (195).
The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments, including anointing of the sick. Anointing of the sick (Extreme Unction or Last Anointing) is the penultimate sacrament a Catholic could expect to receive. It is given after Confession and before Holy Communion. These three sacraments taken together are called the "last rites". They can only be properly administered by a priest but many times a deacon or an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion (Eucharistic Minister) will be sent to deliver Holy Communion and anoint the sick. Confession can only be heard by a priest.
After the Second Vatican Council, the Church encouraged reception of the sacrament (anointing of the sick) "as soon as any one of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age". It is best to attend to this before one becomes bedridden. Ideally, the final sacrament a Catholic receives should be the Eucharist. This prepares the Catholic for resurrection. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Communion in the body and blood of Christ, received at this moment of "passing over" to the Father, has a particular significance and importance...according to the words of the Lord: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC 1524).
The January 11, 1976 edition of the San Jose News, i.e. the Sunday Bulletin, had a paragraph in Spanish, "La Uncion De Enfermos" that was a translation of a paragraph in English titled, "Anointing of the Sick" (223:11/01/76). Another set of English and Spanish paragraphs on the same topic appeared the next three weeks (223:18/01/76) (223:25/01/76) (223:01/02/76). Apparently Rev. Lawrence Bauer, the Parish Administrator, was trying to correct some erroneous views.
In general, Catholics are given a Catholic funeral upon their death. Funerals can be held on any day of the week. The Code of Canon Law prescribes how the funeral should be performed. The purpose of the funeral Mass (called a Requiem Mass or Mass of the Dead) is to benefit the soul of the dead, to comfort her family and to encourage the family to pray for the soul of the departed. The service at the graveside is very brief if the burial plot is in a cemetery that has already been blessed. The ceremony ends when the priest makes the final petition, "May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_funeral).
Usually a Catholic funeral consists of a vigil or wake service, a funeral Mass and the Rite of Committal. The wake or velorio takes place the evening before the funeral and is usually preceded by the praying of the Rosary. During the Funeral Mass, the body is sprinkled with holy water and covered in the funeral pall. Special prayers are said at the Funeral Mass. The Rite of Committal takes place at the cemetery (www.htschool.org/parish/sacraments).
The Rite of Committal requires the priest to travel to the cemetery where the body is to be interred. The first entry in the San José Parish Combined Register was a death on August 3, 1939. The burial was at María de La Luz Mexican cemetery in south Austin. Rev. Mendez attended to three funerals in 1939, four in 1940 and eight in 1941. Other priests who performed funerals and whose names appear in the Death Registers of San Jose Parish prior to 1954 were Rev. Elmer Rupp C.S.C., Rev. Joseph Houser C.S.C., Rev. Joel Atwood C.S.C., Rev. Delaney C.S.C. and Rev. Diez O.M.I.
Between 1939 and 1949, most of the internments performed by these priests were at María de La Luz Cemetery in south Austin, Old San José and New San José Cemeteries in Montopolis, in the graveyard of Guadalupe Church in Garfield, in other Mexican cemeteries as far away as Bastrop and Lockhart and at Calvary and Austin Memorial Cemeteries in Austin. The six volumes of Death Registers in the San Jose Parish Archives contain the names of over 3,000 persons who were buried by priests at San José Parish between 1939 and 2018.
Church law was changed in 1963 to permit cremation. During the last ten years, over 8% of San José parishioners have chosen to be cremated after their deaths.
First Communion and Confirmation
First Communion is the third of the seven sacraments that a Catholic may receive. It follows Baptism and First Confession and is followed by Confirmation. Prior to 1910, the order of the first three sacraments was Baptism, Confirmation and then first Communion. Following a decree of Pope Pius X, children receive their first Communion on reaching the age of discretion (age 7) and are Confirmed when they become adults (at age 14). Hence, First Confession and First Communion now precede Confirmation.
This article describes First Communion and then Confirmation. First Confession is described in the article titled Confession.
First Communion classes are separate from CCD classes. There were separate classes for 3rd graders, for students in grades 4, 5 and 6 (the Upper Grade First Communion Class), for students in high school and for adults (223:25/09/83). Each class met at a different time and place (223:30/10/78) (223:07/01/79) (223:27/02/83). After the parochial school closed, all children had to attend Mass and CCD class on Sunday morning and another class during the week for one hour each week from October to April. They were tested on the material. In October 1978, the pastor reported that many children did not pass when tested and urged the parents to help train their children. The CCD teachers held an open house for parents to confer with their children's teachers (223:29/10/78).
In addition to attending class, the students and their parents had to attend an orientation session in the fall (223:29/09/1991) (223:07/11/1993) and a retreat, usually in April (223:07/04/1985) (223:31/03/1991) (223:28/04/1991) (223:05/05/1991).
The largest cohort was the 3rd grade First Communion class. Before enrolling in that class, children must have been at least 8 years old and have completed one year of CCD. The second largest cohort was the grades 4, 5 and 6 First Communion class. High school students were usually placed in the R.C.I.A. class. However, in 1993, the parish offered a sacramental workshop for any 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grade student who have not received the Sacraments of First Eucharist (Communion) and First Reconciliation (Confession) (223:14/03/1993). On the final day of class, the candidates received the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and, in April, they received the First Eucharist (Communion) Sacrament (223:21/03/1993).
Usually First Confession took place on Saturday and was followed on Sunday afternoon by First Communion (223:13/05/84) (223:17/04/1988). These were major events. In 1988, the First Communion service involved 140 persons making their first communion and 1,400 visitors (223:08/05/1988). In 1990, 170 students in grades 3 to 5 celebrated First Confession on May 12 and then received First Holy Communion on Sunday May 13 at 3PM (223:06/05/1990). The week before, twenty-eight teenagers receive First Holy Communion on May 6 at the 12:30 Mass (223:06/05/1990).
The first entry in the parish records of a First Communion class was in May 1945 when Rev. Thomas Culhane gave First Communion to twelve children. A photograph in the parish archives attests to an earlier class that received their First Communion prior to December 1941. First Communion did not become an annual event at San José Parish until 1947. The number of children who received First Communion gradually increased from 12 in 1945 to 18 in 1948, 42 in 1952 and over 100 in 1964. In the early 1990s, 170 to 180 children made their First Communion each year (223:28/04/1991) (223:05/05/1991) (223:07/11/1993). To accommodate the different groups, the ceremony took place on two days (223:05/05/1991) (223:26/04/1992).
The sacrament of Confirmation builds on the sacraments of Baptism, Penance and Holy Communion and completes the process of initiation into the Catholic community. Catholics believe that the candidate receives the Holy Spirit when the oil of Chrism is placed on her forehead by the Bishop during the confirmation ceremony. After receiving the oil of Chrism, the candidate is an adult member of the Catholic Church.
The first records of Confirmation at San Jose date from December 14, 1941 when the Archbishop of San Antonio, Rev. R. Lucey, D.D., visited San José and its two missions (San Francisco and Santa Cruz). He stopped at San Francisco first, blessed that church at 11:00AM and then confirmed 68 persons. He then traveled to Buda where he blessed the church at 2:00PM and confirmed another 21 persons. Afterward, he traveled to San José Church where he blessed the church at 4:00PM and then confirmed 74 persons (holycrosshistory.com, #2009-5).
There is no record in the church archives of a First Communion ceremony at San Jose Church prior to May 20, 1945 so the children who received First Communion in 1940 and 1941 should find their names among the 74 persons who were confirmed on December 14, 1941. The next confirmation ceremony did not take place until 1951. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Bishop visited San Jose every three to five years for confirmation. It was not until 1972 that confirmation became an annual event.
Confirmation was the last sacrament of initiation into the Catholic Church. In current practice, the sacrament is normally reserved for those who can understand its significance. Hence, it is postponed until the recipient's early adulthood (usually age 14). In San José in 1979, to be confirmed a child must have been in at least the 8th grade.
In 1984, the Sunday Bulletin listed five requirements for persons who wished to be confirmed. The child must have attended Tuesday night Mass and class since September 1983, attended at least one Renewal Weekend, received First Communion and their parents must have attended a Renewal Weekend for Adults and been baptized (223:04/12/83). In 1990, the confirmation program was open to students 9th through 11th grade who have received First Communion (223:29/07/1990). Students who entered the 2nd year confirmation preparation program in 1993 must have been at least 14 years old (223:29/08/1993).
The process of preparing for Confirmation was lengthy. Junior high school students (grade 7th and 8th) were required to attend Saturday retreats in the two years prior to being confirmed (in the 8th grade) (223:28/01/79). The retreats met monthly, beginning in October (223:07/06/1981). Children had to attend the monthly retreat and their parents were required attend the parent's workshop (223:07/01/79).
Children were confirmed in cohorts because the process took two years. The first step was an orientation session in September or October (223:29/07/1990) (223:29/09/1985). All candidates, parents and sponsors attended an Investiture Session that initiated the Confirmation process (223:21/09/1986) (223:02/10/1988).
In 1983 and 1984, students in 9th grade and up were required to attend a renewal weekend and Mass and class every Tuesday with the YES youth group. Adults who wanted to be confirmed attended Bible classes for one hour each week beginning in October and ending in April (223:25/09/83).
In 1991, candidates were required to attend weekly classes in the spring (223:24/02/1991) (223:21/04/1991) and the parents, and sometimes the children, were required to attend a Saturday retreat as well (223:09/04/89). In 1990, parents of children to receive confirmation were required to attend the Family Spiritual Renewal on Saturday with F. Underwood (223:28/10/1990). In 1993, all confirmation students were required to attend a Youth Renewal (223:31/10/1993) and all involved were required to attend a morning retreat at the Community Center a few days before the confirmation ceremony (223:09/04/89).
Tradition and Canon Law requires the Bishop of the Diocese (or his representative) to preside at the Confirmation Mass. The Bishop wears special red vestments to symbolize the red tongues of fire that appeared at Pentecost. He anoints each candidate using oil of Chrism and says, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit". From this point, the child is considered an adult in the eyes of the Church. In 1988, Monsignor Edward C. Matocha, Vicar General for the diocese, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation (because the Bishop was in Rome) (223:10/04/1988). The pastor could also substitute for the Bishop and is usually granted permission to confirm adults at the completion of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). However, the Bishop confirms children and the result is a grand event with many participants (223:29/05/83) (223:01/04/84) (223: 14/04/1985) (223: 20/04/1986) (223:23/04/89) (223:29/04/1990).
The Confirmation ceremony itself involved a number of volunteers. In May 1983, Mrs. Teresa Acuna, Mrs. Mary Arzola, Mrs. Mary Cantu, Sr. Mary Cabrialez, Mr. Ray Castro, Jr., Mr. Eddie Reyes, Mrs. Frances Treviño, Delia Anguiano, Bonnie Acuna, Cecilia Martinez, Mrs. Romana Salazar, Mr. Mercedes Torres and the Youth Choir helped at the ceremony (223:29/05/83). In 1985, Mr. and Mrs. Arturo Saucedo provided the flowers and the CWV Ladies Auxiliary provided the refreshments (223: 28/04/1985). In May 1993, Mary Aguilar, Gloria Davis, Anita Perez, Sonia Gonzales, Virginia Rangel, Billie Menchaca, Becky Swank, Linda Hernandez, Steven Singleton and Javier Rangel and Chico Govea helped at the reception (223:16/05/1993).
Beginning in 1993, another requirement was added to the confirmation process. Confirmation students must do community service (223:12/09/1993). Late entry into the program was not allowed and Confirmation Preparation registration was closed for the year by the middle of October (223:10/10/1993). The confirmation process was designed to prepare Catholic youth to fully participate in parish life. The Confirmation Ceremony concluded the CCD classes for middle and high school students (223:23/04/89). Their commitment to pursue religious education classes was fulfilled. If they wished to continue their religious education, they continued as adults.
Holy Orders is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. The sacrament of holy orders includes three orders: bishop, priest and deacon. In the phrase "holy orders", the word "holy" means "set apart for some purpose". The sacrament can only be conferred on baptized men. Married men may be ordained as Permanent Deacons but in the Latin rite may not be ordained as priests. The article on deacons deals with Permanent Deacons who served at San José Parish.
Religious Sisters are members of a religious community of women who have taken what used to called simple vows. They live an active vocation of prayer and charitable works in areas such as education and healthcare. Although the words "nun" and "religious sister" are not interchangeable, most Catholic do not know the difference and many parishioners use the words interchangeably. The article on Religious Sisters treats of Religious Sisters who were employed by San José Parish or worked in the parish in some way.
Priests are unmarried men who have been ordained as priests in the Catholic Church, usually after several years of study and preparation. Priests and Brothers belonging to the Congregation of the Holy Cross and Religious Sisters belonging to the Sisters of the Holy Cross (one of three Holy Cross congregations for women) founded and guided San José Parish from 1939 until 1993. The article on Pastors describes the pastors of San José Parish and the many priests who assisted them.
The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage (or matrimony) and holy orders. Marriage is considered a sacrament of service and is the "covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership" for their good and the good of their offspring (Marriage in the Catholic Church, Wikipedia).
Banns and marriage preparation
Until 1983, the pastor of a parish was required to announce upcoming weddings from the pulpit on three consecutive Sundays or by placing an announcement on the church door (or in the parish bulletin). The purpose was to alert the community to a proposed marriage to elicit any information that would make the marriage invalid. After 1983, each Diocese established other means to inquire whether or not a proposed marriage was valid and banns are now published only in specific cases when the parish cannot otherwise establish someone's eligibility.
During the 1960s, marriage banns were routinely printed in the Sunday Bulletin. In the 1970s, the notices were grouped into one notice that covered weddings scheduled over a three or four month period and were repeated every month or so (223:11/04/76).
Banns were still being published in the Sunday Bulletin in 1969 but with less frequency and detail than previously. Banns announced in November 1969 listed only the names of the two parties. Previously the home parish and sometimes the names of the parents were listed as well (223:11/16/69). For the first time in several years, banns of upcoming marriages were published in the Sunday Bulletin in March 1976 (223:28/03/76). Banns were printed in the Sunday Bulletin until Church policy changed in 1983 (223:06/02/83).
By 1979, Diocesan guidelines also called for a four-month preparation program prior to marriage (223:04/03/79) and couples were advised to contact the rectory four months before the planned date of marriages (223:17/10/78). As early as 1976, the University Catholic Center sponsored Pre Cana Conferences for those planning to be married. These conferences were announced in the Sunday Bulletin but were apparently not a requirement for marriage in the Catholic Church (223:11/01/76).
Prior to 1981, marriage preparation became a requirement. For that reason, couples were advised to contact Father at least four months prior to marriage. The pastor said that, "The Church isn't against people getting married..." but that the couple must attend marriage preparation classes (223:07/06/1981). Beginning in 1985, couples planning to marry at San José were required to see a counselor or the priest six months prior to the date. When the policy was announced, the pastor explained that the counselor, Carlos Coronado, had a Masters Degree in Theology, was trained by the pastor to counsel couples and, in addition, the parish priest didn't have the time to counsel couples (223:07/07/1985) (223:15/03/1987).
The pastor advised couples that Church rules strongly discouraged marriage until both persons were at least 18 years old (223:03/12/78). In 1987, the parish priest suggested a minimum age of 19 (223:07/06/1987). Sometimes the parish priest imposed other requirements. In 1990, couples preparing for marriage, parents of children to receive confirmation, etc. and youth making their Quinceaneras were all required to attend a Family Spiritual Renewal (223:28/10/1990).
Marriage Encounter and Marriage renewal
Rev. Gabriel Calvo developed a series of conferences for married couples in Spain in 1952. The conferences evolved into the Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME). The mission of WWME is to proclaim the value of the sacraments of matrimony and Holy Orders (Catholic Spirit, June 2018). Marriage Encounter was introduced in the US in 1967 and became a Ministry of the Diocese of Austin. Marriage Encounter Weekends begin Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon and includes one-on-one sessions in which couples work through the material with each other in private. Couples typically sleep at the retreat location (Catholic Spirit, June 2018).
Rev. Fred Underwood, who was pastor of San José Parish from 1982 until 1993, strongly encouraged couples to attend a Marriage Encounter weekend. He described it as, "a weekend of romance and excitement" (223: 07/09/1968) and "a romance restoring weekend" (223:07/04/1991). The Diocese of Austin scheduled a Marriage Encounter weekend about every three months (223:04/02/1990) (223:29/04/1990) (223:07/04/1991) (223:21/03/1993) at various locations including Cedarbrake Renewal Center in Temple, TX.
Marriage Renewals are a special celebration in the parish church during which couples renew their wedding vows (223:07/01/79). In 1979, marriage renewals were scheduled monthly on Monday night at 7:30PM (223:25/02/79). The Mass was followed by cake, coffee and punch in the rectory (223:28/06/1981). In 1983, Marriage Renewal Vows were scheduled each month on the 4th Sunday during the 7:00PM Mass (223:30/01/83). Sometimes the pastor announced "Renewal of Marriage Vows at all of the Masses" on Holy Family Sunday in December (223:20/12/1981).
In October 1983, the Sunday Bulletin announced that Marriage Recognition Certificates were available for couples who had been married 25, 40, 50, 60 and over 60 years (223:30/09/83). The names of eleven couples married over 25 years were printed in the Sunday Bulletin (223:04/12/83). The announcement was repeated in 1986 (223:02/11/1986). In 1989, the Marriage Recognition Certificates were modified so they were available after 10 years, 25 years and over 25 years in 5-year increments (223:05/11/1989).
The Marriage Recognition Certificates were presented on the Sunday after Christmas (Holy Family Sunday) by the parish priest. The certificates were signed by the Bishop (223:02/11/1986).
Since the presence of the parish priest (or his delegate) is a requirement for a valid Catholic marriage, most marriages take place in church. The first marriage recorded in the San José Parish Marriage Register was on September 3, 1939. Most marriages recorded in 1939 and 1940 were of couples who had previously married in civil ceremonies. Although about a third of the marriages performed at St. Mary's Church in Austin were of couples with Hispanic surnames, most Mexicans in southern Travis County in the late 1930s did not have access to a Catholic priest and so were married in civil ceremonies.
In 1939, priests from the Mexican Mission performed four marriages. Thereafter, the number of weddings remained remarkably steady at about 25 per year or about 250 per decade until 1990 when the number gradually increased to 64 weddings in 1999. After the year 2000, the number declined to an average of 40 per year over the next two decades.
In 1968, the Liturgical Committee of Parish Council decided to discontinue weddings during regular Sunday morning Masses. Wedding could be held any weekday or during the Sunday afternoon Mass (223:01/21/68). Before this change, the 10:00AM Sunday Mass was a popular time for weddings and some parishioners would attend a different Mass if they realized that a wedding was scheduled because a Wedding Mass lasted longer.
In 1987, the Parish Priests of Dolores, Cristo Rey, San José, St. Julia, San Francisco and Our Lady of Guadalupe issued "Marriage Guidelines for Mexican-American Parishes" that stipulated no Sunday weddings.
The same Marriage Guidelines dictated that there be a rehearsal and limited the number of photographers to two. No rice or birdseed could be used. The music used in the ceremony should at least imply a religious dimension. The priests were also concerned that the wedding had gotten too expensive. They resolved that, "Be it resolved that our Mexican-American families get back to a simpler, more spiritual approach when it comes to the celebration of the sacrament of marriage". "Be it also resolved that we support those couples who refuse to be sponsors or "padrinos" when a large sum of money will be requested from them for the celebration. It is okay to say "no" to an abuse" (223:07/06/1987).
The pastor of San Jose routinely called for volunteers (couples were preferred) to devote one hour per month to conduct wedding rehearsals. "Training for marriage rehearsals will be scheduled at a later date", he wrote in 1988 (223:06/11/1988) (223:06/09/1992) (15/11/1992).
Counseling and Divorce
The parish offered marriage counseling. In September 1982, the Diocese sponsored a weekly show on Cable Channel 6 dealing with marriage counseling (223:26/09/82).
In 1987, a notice in the Sunday Bulletin advised that, "If you were not married in the Catholic Church or did not receive the Bishop's permission to be married to a non-Catholic in a non-Catholic church, and you now wish to have your marriage validated and to return to the sacrament, please call Carlos Coronado (the church counselor) for an appointment" (223:14/06/1987). Couples who were not married in the Church were usually excluded from taking leadership roles in liturgical ministries.
Before Permanent Deacons were available for marriage counseling, the parish employed counselors (223:29/01/1984) (223:03/01/1988). These men were paid. Deacons, who became available after 1986, did not expect to be paid. When the Dominican Preaching Team was at San José in 1993, Brother Tim Wrinn, O.P., presented a workshop for marriage couples in the Sacred Heart Chapel in addition to offering counseling (223:03/10/1993).
However, counseling cannot save every marriage. A Catholic marriage can be annulled if the marriage was invalid at the time the vows were exchanged. An annulment takes place at the Diocesan level but the local parish is directly involved in the process. In 1990, the Sunday Bulletin announced a six-week workshop to help divorced people. The workshop was in a Lutheran church (223:22/04/1990). If the marriage could not be saved, a Catholic could apply to the Marriage Tribunal for an annulment. The process was lengthy and complicated. It began with a call to a counselor at the Tribunal (223:24/10/1993).
Local requirement for a wedding ceremony
In June 1987, the Parish Priests of Dolores, Cristo Rey, San José, St. Julia, San Francisco and Our Lady of Guadalupe issued "Marriage Guidelines for Mexican-American Parishes". This is bound into the Sunday Bulletin between the June 7 and June 14, 1987 issues.
The document was divided into Technical Requirements, Domestic/Liturgical Requirements and a Resolution. The Technical Requirements included a minimum age of 19, some type of marriage preparation, Confirmation and a donation to the church to cover the expense of utilities (at a minimum). Liturgical Requirements included no Sunday weddings, a rehearsal, limit of two photographers, no rice or birdseed and control of music. The music should at least imply a religious dimension.
The Priests resolved that, "Be it resolved that our Mexican-American families get back to a simpler, more spiritural approach when it comes to the celebration of the sacrament of marriage".
Priests of San José Parish
Over the last eighty years, over one hundred priests, Brothers and seminarians have worked or lived at San José Parish. This article will briefly describe their tenure at the parish. Most of the material was taken from the Sunday Bulletin.
Several years ago, the Jamaica Committee commissioned a tee-shirt that listed the names of priests and Brothers who had lived or worked in the parish. The tee-shirt is in the possession of Pete Castillo (215). The list, updated and corrected, is the basis of the following list of priests who have served at San José over the last 80 years.
Alfredo J. Mendez, CSC 1939-1948
Joseph Houser, CSC 1948-1967
John Haley, CSC 1967-1975
Michael Mikan, CSC 1975 (211)
Lawrence Bauer, CSC 1975-1976
John S. Korcsmar, CSC 1976-1982
Fred Underwood, CSC 1982-1993
Kirby D. Garner, Diocesan 1993-2002
Tom Frank. Diocesan 2002-2013
Alberto J. Borruel, Diocesan 2013-2018
Jairo Sandoval-Pliego, Diocesan 2018-
James A. Donnelly, CSC 1940-1947
James W. Donahue, CSC 1939-1941
Thomas J. Culhane, CSC 1940-1945, 1959-1960
Alfred Send, CSC 1940
Joseph Houser, CSC 1940
J. Gibbons 1940
J. D'Autremont 1940
William H. Malony, CSC 1940
Peter Mueller, CSC 1947-1948
Joel C. Atwood, CSC 1947-1951
Elmer V. Rupp, CSC 1948-1952
John Driscoll, CSC 1951-1953
Charles A. Delany, CSC 1952-1953
Anthony J. Weber, CSC 1958-1959
Vincent Delavey, CSC 1960-1961
Harold J. Hughes, CSC 1961-1962
Santo J. Ciatto, CSC 1962-1965
Edward F. Abestetar, CSC 1965-1966
Francis S. Bennett, CSC 1966-1967
Michael Mikan, CSC 1967-1975
Robert Gilmore, CSC May 1969-September 1969, 1970-1971
Robert Villegas, CSC 1972-1973
Michael Simone, MM 1975-1976
Joseph Houser, CSC 1982-1983
Francis Weber, CSC 1982-1983
Elmer Gross, CSC 1983-1985
Leonard Paul, CSC 1985-1989
Charles Van Winkle, CSC 1986-1988
Francis Grogan, CSC 1988-1990
Joseph Devilegher, CSC 1990-1992
John Payne, CSC 1993
Le-Minh Joseph Pham 1993-1996
Roger Hall 1996-1997
Dick Hudson 1997
Jairo Lopez 1995-1996, 1997-1999
Joe McNeil 1996-1997
Miguel Angel Paredes 1998-1999, 2002-2003
Carlos G. Puerto 1999-2000
George Joseph 1999-2002
Ernesto Elizondo 2000-2002
Kevin Rai 2002-2013
Juan Carlos Lopez 2003-2006
Melesio Peter 2005-
Miguel Duarte 2006-2009
John G. Boiko 2010-2016
Barry William Cuba 2015-
Priests who lived or worked at San José Mission and Parish
Rev. Alfred Mendez, C.S.C., founded San José as a National Parish for the Spanish speaking. It was never a mission of either St. Ignatius or Guadalupe Church. It was founded as a joint venture of the Holy Cross Fathers at St. Edward's University and the Bishop of San Antonio. When the mission was begun in 1939, the only Catholic Church for Mexicans in Travis County south of the Colorado River was Guadalupe Church in Garfield. The only other chapel available to Mexicans in that vast area was a chapel near Goforth built and maintained by the Vasquez family.
In July 1939, Rev. Fred A. Schmidt C.S.C., a Holy Cross missionary working in the northwestern part of Travis County, asked Bishop Arthur J. Drossaerts of San Antonio for written facilities for him, Mendez and Rev. Thomas Culhane to work in Travis County south of the Colorado River (46).
According to one Church historian, Mendez and Bishop Arthur Drossaerts were patients in adjacent rooms in Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio in the summer of 1939. Mendez described the work of the Mexican Missions in the Galveston Diocese (north of the Colorado River). When Mendez said that Holy Cross Fathers were interested in establishing another parish for Mexicans in Austin, the Archbishop asked, "Why not put your parish in the San Antonio Archdiocese?" (42) (211).
On August 13, 1939, Mendez, writing from St. Edward's University, formally proposed a Mexican mission in south Austin to Bishop Drossaerts. He explained that Rev. Donahue, C.S.C., and Rev. Houser, C.S.C., were supportive of the idea (46). In a letter dated August 15, the Archbishop of San Antonio wrote to Mendez and agreed to establish a "Mother Church" for Mexican Missions in south Austin (46) (73). The CSC Provincial in Notre Dame, Indiana, Rev. James Burns, accepted the invitation of Bishop Drossaerts and appointed Mendez to the new mission (211).
Work began immediately and Mendez and Thomas Culhane began seeking out Mexican Catholics who lived in south Austin and southern Travis County. Mendez took charge of the existing mission in Garfield, on the Bastrop Highway east of Austin, and established preaching stations in Buda, Manchaca, Elroy, Creedmoor and Oak Hill (1). The first recorded baptism in the San José Parish register was on May 21, 1939 at the church in Garfield. On August 3, 1939, the first burial was recorded in the Parish Register and, on September 3, the first marriage. In 1939, Donahue and Mendez baptized 23 adults and children, married four couples and buried three persons. The first burial took place in María De La Luz cemetery. Donahue and Mendez both celebrated Mass at the church in Garfield.
In January 1940, two building lots were purchased in the Bouldin Addition about a mile south of the Colorado River and one-half mile from S. Congress Avenue (67) and construction of a stone church began in February. In addition to the men of the parish, Rev. Peter Mueller and Rev. James Donnelly worked on the building (4). Father Donahue C.S.C., an elderly priest who had recently retired as Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, volunteered to oversee the census that is customarily taken when a parish is erected. He asked for and was given the loan of two Sisters of the Missionary Catechists (Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters) who took a census of Mexican farm workers in Bastrop and Travis County. Donahue was expected to visit the families needing sacraments (4). In 1940, he performed ten marriages, Mendez ten others and Houser performed one marriage of persons interviewed by the two Catechists.
Priests from St. Edward's University helped Mendez at his three missions and five preaching stations during 1940. These men included Thomas Culhane, James Donnelly, Brother Anthony Weber, Alfred Send, Joseph Houser and William H. Malony all Holy Cross Priests or Brothers. Three Holy Cross Sisters from St. Mary's Academy also worked as Catechists (1). In 1940, the missionaries baptized more than 135 persons, married twenty-five couples and buried four persons. Some of the men boarded at St. Edward's University and the Religious Sisters lived at the convent of St. Mary's Academy (1) (4). Donahue lived in the rectory of Holy Cross Church with Rev. Frank Weber (4). In 1941, the team was attending to five missions stretching from near Lockhart north to the Colorado River and from Buda to near Bastrop (9) (12). The Catechists had prepared a class of children for their First Communion in March 1941 and in December 14, 1941, Bishop R. Lucy, DD confirmed candidates at the three largest missions, San José, San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
Mendez had intended to erect a national or language parish when he founded San José Mexican Mission. In February 1942, Bishop Lucey informed him that San José parish was not erected by the Holy See and, since Bishops could not erect a national or language parish, Mendez' appointment as pastor of San José was not valid. Since San José is in Father Duffy's parish (St. Ignatius Parish had its church at 303 W. Johanna Street), the Bishop appointed Mendez as Assistant Pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Church (46). This oversight was corrected in 1947 when San José became a national or language parish (46, letter of April 6, 1947) (120) (134).
In November 1946, the Bishop informed Mendez that Peter Mueller was never formally assigned to San José (46). He was formally appointed in December 31, 1946 (46). On January 2, 1947, James A. Donnelly was appointed Assistant Pastor of St. Ignatius to work with the Mexican Mission. Bishop Lucey explained in a letter why Donnelly was being appointed Assistant Pastor of St. Ignatius although he was working at San José (46: Letter dated Nov. 23, 1946, Lucey to Donnelly).
In a letter dated April 3, 1947 and addressed to 715 W. Mary Street, the Bishop informed Mendez that on Easter Sunday, April 6, San José and its Missions would become a valid national parish for the Spanish-speaking (46) (211) within the parish boundaries of St. Ignatius parish. On April 6, 1947, Mendez was appointed Pastor of San José Parish and Rev. Patrick Duffy of St. Ignatius Church was instructed to witness the Profession of Faith and the Oath Against Modernism (46).
At the same time, Peter Mueller and James Donnelly were appointed Assistant Pastors at San José (46). In September 1947, Rev. Joel Atwood C.S.C. was also appointed Assistant Pastor of San José Parish (46).
On September 3, 1948, Fr. Houser replaced Mendez as pastor of San José Parish (12) (37) (122). Houser had previously taught and still lived at St. Edward's (12). Until 1948, San José Parish had no rectory. Many of the priests who helped at the parish boarded at St. Edward's University although a few, like Mendez, chose to rent rooms elsewhere (1940 Census) (City Directory). In 1948, the Bishop asked that San José build a rectory (211) and a team of Holy Cross Fathers and Brothers built a rectory on W. Mary Street east of and next to San José church (12). The builders included Francis (Frank) Weber, his brother Anthony (Tony) Weber, Elmer Vincent Rupp, Joel Clifford Atwood and he pastor, Fr. Joseph Houser (211). Frank Weber, widely known as "the carpenter priest", was the head carpenter. Mendez had wanted the building to become the property of his order (C.S.C.) (46) and for this reason construction was deferred until Bishop-elect Reicher took office (84).
Six years later, in 1954, Bishop Reicher gifted San José Church six acres south of Oltorf Street and west of S. First Street (12). In February 1956, a church building opened at the new site and the rectory was moved to its current location (9). In September 1957, the parish opened a parochial school in three portable buildings and, in October 1965, construction of a new San José school began (12). The new school, with ten air-conditioned classrooms, a library and office, opened in September 1966 (12).
Over the nineteen years that Fr. Houser was Pastor of San Jose his Associate Pastors were Fathers John Driscoll, Charles Delaney, Edwin Bauer, Thomas Culhane, Vincent Delavy, Harold J. Hughes, Samuel J. Ciatto, Edward F. Abstetar and Francis Bennett. He was assisted by Brothers Anthony Weber and Joseph Caine, C.S.C.
Rev. Samuel J. Ciatto C.S.C. was assigned to San José Church (53) in September 1962 and left San José for an assignment in New Orleans in July 1965 (53). In November 1964, Fr. Ciatto was the Chaplain of the Ladies Auxiliary of San Jose Post 1805 of the Catholic War Veterans. In January1970, he walked alongside Fr. Leo Nieto and Fr. Fred Underwood on the picket line during the Economy Furniture Strike (146).
Rev. Edward F. Abstetar C.S.C. was Assistant Pastor at San José from 1965 until February 1966 when he was reassigned as chaplain of Camp Gary near San Marcos. Rev. Francis S. Bennett C.S.C. replaced Fr. Abstetar as Associate Pastor in February 1966 (223:02/06/66) and stayed until April 23, 1967 when Rev. John Haley arrived (223:04/23/67). In July 1967, Fr. Haley was assigned to replace Fr. Houser as Pastor San Jose Parish. He introduced his Associate Pastor, Rev. Mike Mikan, C.S.C. and Brother Gregory, C.S.C., to the parish on July 9, 1967 (223:07/09/67).
On July 2, 1967, Houser said his farewell Mass after 19 years at San José (12). The farewell program in the evening included a reception, coronation of a Queen, Father's farewell speech and a Bingo. Houser delivered his farewell speech after the coronation of the Queen and before the start of Bingo (223:07/02/67). The parishioners decided to give him money to help buy a car. This was done on a personal basis, rather than by organization. The printed program featured a poem and a photo of Houser (223:07/02/67). Houser was assigned to a parish in New Orleans where he remained a number of years (223:12/15/68). He returned to San José Parish in August 1982 as Associate Pastor (223:15/08/82), stayed for a year and then retired (223:28/08/83).
In September 1967, Fr. Haley fell off a step ladder and fractured a bone in his hip. He had surgery at Our Lady of Carmel Hospital (223:09/10/67) and then transferred to Seton Hospital (223:09/17/67). The Associate Pastor, Rev. Mike Mikan, took his place while Haley was in hospital. Haley returned to work in the first week of October (223:10/15/67). In May 1968, he returned to Holy Cross Hospital because of complications with his broken leg (223:05/12/68) and, in September, he returned to Holy Cross Hospital for an operation on his leg (223:09/15/68).
Fathers Haley and Mikan were the only two priests at San José. Rev. Bob Gilmore served at San José immediately after being ordained in May 1969 but in September 1969 he was reassigned to St. Mary's Cathedral in Austin (223:09/14/69). When Fr. Mike Mikan took a vacation to visit his parents in Chicago during Christmas 1969, Rev. Ernest Sweeney, SJ, a Jesuit, took his place. Ray Canizales, C.S.C., a Holy Cross seminarian from Round Rock who spoke Spanish spent a week at San José during the Christmas holidays (223:12/21/69).
In December 1970, Rev. Bob Gilmore returned to live at San José rectory while he was assigned to the Citywide Committee for Human Rights. He was charged with organizing a center of the Human Rights Committee at San José Church (223:12/06/70) (223:12/27/70). The parish gave the Committee for Human Rights, Inc. a rent-free room in the Youth Building (213). In July 1971, Fr. Gilmore was transferred from San José to St. Ignatius to replace Rev. Edward Abstetar (223:07/11/71).
Father Haley's leg continued to bother him (223:03/14/71) and may have contributed to his long illness. However, he was busy while at San José. He started the Parish Council, struggled to keep the parish school open and oversaw its closing. After the school closed, he enlarged the CCD program and constructed the Community Center (12). In March 1975, he was again sick and was reassigned to lighter duty (223:23/03/75). From March 16 through August 12, 1975, Fr. Mike Mikan was the only priest at San José. During this time, he eliminated the 6:30AM Sunday Mass, leaving four Sunday Mass on the Mass schedule (223:16/03/75).
In July 1975, Mr. Bill Loughran, a seminary student, helped at San José (223:13/07/75) and, on August 12, Fr. Mikan was joined by Rev. Miguel Simone, MM (223:10/08/75) (223:24/08/75). Father Simone was an artist and taught a ten-week class in drawing and painting at the school during the winter of 1976 (223:01/02/76). The priests had the assistance of Glenn Rosendale who was a deacon candidate in the Diocese of Amarillo (223:21/03/76) (223:04/04/76) (223:17/12/78).
In November 1975, Rev. Lawrence T. Bauer, C.S.C. was assigned to San José until a suitable pastor could be found (12). Fr. Simone was transferred to a parish in Hawaii (223:27/06/76) and left San José in June 1976. In July 1976, Rev. Korcsmar arrived to assume the role of pastor. After the arrival of Fr. Korcsmar, Fr. Larry Bauer agreed to remain as Assistant Pastor (223:04/07/76). It may be that Mikan was never officially assigned as pastor and that Haley still held that appointment until Rev. John Korcsmar was appointed. Fr. Korcsmar, like many of the priests assigned to San José after Father Haley, did not speak Spanish. He commented that San José retained the use of Spanish language for cultural reasons but that the parishioners speak English (108).
Korcsmar was known for his sense of humor, often going to great lengths to make his parishioners laugh (223:07/06/1981). He was considered to be progressive (223:29/11/1981) and was said to be involved in politics (Ester Terrazas). In June 1982, he became the Pastor of Dolores Church in Montopolis but continued as pastor of San José. Arrangements were made to find help for him. Fr. Joseph Houser was scheduled to return to San José in July as Associate Pastor (223:11/07/82) and Rev. Jack Keefe was assigned to San Jose for the month of July (223:28/06/82) while Fr. Korcsmar spent most of his time at Dolores Church (223:04/07/82). In August, Fathers Frank Weber and Joseph Houser were assigned as Associate Pastors at San José (223:15/08/82). They shared preaching duties at Dolores and San José with Korcsmar (223:29/08/82).
Korcsmar and Rev. Fred Underwood swapped parishes on November 7, 1982. Underwood had been at Dolores Parish for 14 years (223:07/11/82). After leaving Dolores, he became a kind of motivational speaker. He said he could not speak Spanish but was learning (223:14/11/82). Underwood was a missionary and built a large charismatic following at San José.
In December 1982, Eddie Reyes, a Holy Cross candidate, moved into the rectory with Fathers Fred Underwood and Joseph Houser. He was a student at St. Edward's University (223:19/12/82) (223:14/08/83). In August 1983, Rev. Elmer Gross, C.S.C., was assigned to San José as Associate Pastor and Houser left. Houser was semi-retired and would be able to help out occasionally (223:12/06/83) (223:24/07/83). Houser retired August 26, 1983, but continued to live in Austin and visited the church office twice a week (223:28/08/83). Fr. Gross had previously worked with Underwood at Dolores Church for 10 years (223:28/08/83).
In 1984, a lady in Austin paid the expenses so Underwood could attend the Worldwide Priests Retreat in Rome October 3-17. Underwood's cousin, Rev. Charlie VanWinkle C.S.C. substituted for two weeks (223:30/09/84).
In January 1985, Gross was reported as being sick (223:06/01/1985). In February, he left San José and returned to Notre Dame University. He was sick with cancer of the lymph glands and also had an infection. He moved to a nursing facility, Holy Cross House in Indiana (223:10/02/1985). When Fr. Gross left, Rev. Herman Reith, C.S.C., who was a professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame University, lived at the rectory and helped for several weeks. He spoke Spanish (223:17/02/1985). His stay was brief and he returned to Notre Dame on April 7 (223:14/04/1985).
In March, someone gave Underwood a round-trip plane ticket to South Bend, Indiana where Fr. Gross was in the hospital. Underwood found that his friend was dying. Underwood stayed for three days and offered Mass each day in Gross' hospice room. Underwood asked the parishioners of San José to pray that Jesus would give Fr. Gross "the strength he needs to continue to suffer with perfect resignation" (223: 24/03/1985). On March 25, Rev. Gross died at the Holy Cross House (a retirement and nursing facility) in Notre Dame University. An obituary appeared in the San Jose Sunday Bulletin (223: 31/03/1985). The pastor thanked the Rosary Ministry, the Choirs and all who helped with the Wake and Funeral of Father Gross (223: 07/04/1985).
While Fr. Gross was dying, Fr. Houser substituted for a couple of weeks at the end of April. A Jesuit (Rev. George Menke, S.J.) and a Dominican priest also agreed to help at San José until another full-time priest could be found (223: 21/04/1985) (223: 05/05/1985).
In June 1985, while Underwood was attending a Holy Cross Provincial retreat in Houston, he collapsed mentally and physically. His doctor told him he was "burned out". Underwood decided to take a month off and go to a Holy Cross residence in Cocoa Beach, Florida for about a month. In the meantime, Rev. Peter Logsdon, C.S.C. celebrated Mass during the week, Rev. George Menke, S.J. said Spanish Mass on Saturday and Sunday and Rev. Charlie Van Winkle did the rest. When Fr. Menke left after two weeks, Houser, C.S.C., took his place (223: 07/07/1985). While Underwood was on leave, Fathers Lawrence T. Bauer, Joseph F. Houser, Bishop Alfred F. Mendez, and Frank R. Weber, concelebrate Eucharist at San José Church to celebrate their Golden Anniversary of Ordination (223: 07/07/1985).
While Underwood was on leave, Rev. Leonard Paul, C.S.C. came to San Jose as a full-time Associate Pastor. He spoke Spanish fluently (223: 11/08/1985). Fr. Logsdon and Fr. Van Winkle again helped while Underwood was away (223: 18/08/1985). Underwood returned to his duties at San José and was well enough to make a road trip to visit friends and "crew members that were on the same Bomber crew as Fr. Fred during World War 11" (223: 26/01/1986).
In May 1986, when Rev Leonard Paul, C.S.C., Associate Pastor, left for Detroit to help his sick brother (223: 04/05/1986), Rev. Alfredo Vasquez, a Deacon who was working at Dolores, came to help at San José (223: 11/05/1986). In June, Underwood went to a Holy Cross Retreat in Houston and left Deacon Vasquez in charge (223: 08/06/1986).
Underwood was more careful of his health after his breakdown and took a break at least once a year. In July 1986, Rev. Ray Wilhelm, O.M.I. and Rev. Isidore Garcia, O.M.I. helped with Spanish Mass and confessions for three weeks and from July 14th until August 1st. Fr. Van Winkle lived in the Rectory and helped out. This allowed Underwood to make his annual Retreat (223:13/07/1986) (223:03/08/1986). Van Winkle agreed to serve as Associate Pastor at San José every other week. On alternate weeks, he would conduct parish renewals throughout the Austin Diocese (223:17/08/1986).
In October 1986, Fr. Leonard Paul was Associate Pastor of San José but he was in Chicago tending to his sick brother. He hoped to return to San José soon (after his brother had recovered) (223: 05/09/1986). However, Fr. Leonard's brother did not recover and in October was expected to die soon (223: 12/10/1968). In December 1986, Underwood and Van Winkle were living in the rectory (223:14/12/1986) while Fr. Leonard Paul, who was engaged in writing, was living at the Holy Cross Provincial House. Rev. Paul was, however, still assigned to San José as Associate Pastor (223:04/01/1987).
In April 1987, Underwood, Van Winkle and Archie Gress lived in the rectory (223:05/04/1987). In June, three CSC priests and seminarians, Rev. John Phalen, Jim Phalan and Jim Palmer, all C.S.C. priests or seminarians, lived and worked at San José for the month of June. In July 5, they left for their assignment or returned to school (223:05/07/1987). Rev. Hermie Reith, C.S.C., a professor at Notre Dame, stayed at San José in January and February 1988. "The last time he was here he painted the large statue of Mary in the church and the Christmas Crib" (223: 31/01/1988).
In May 1988, Van Winkle preached the homilies at all Sunday Masses to give Underwood a rest. Underwood said he wanted to devote his time to the partitioning of the old church into six classrooms and a nursery but he also said he needed a rest (223:08/05/1988). His Provincial and doctor ordered him to "leave immediately for a rest" (223:15/05/1988). Van Winkle reported that Underwood was utterly exhausted to the point where he could not concentrate so Underwood took a month's leave from San José (223:05/06/1988).
Van Winkle said that he had come to San José on a part-time basis two years ago, intending to stay for one year. Now, after two full-time years, he had decided to continue with his plan. He planned to leave San José September 1. Rev. Frank Grogen would replace him as full-time Associate Pastor (223:05/06/1988). Underwood planned to return to San José on July 10. He was resting at a Holy Cross facility in Cocoa Beach, Florida called Christopher Lodge (223:19/06/1988).
Van Winkle announced that July 3 would be his last time to celebrate Mass at San José. He left to study Spanish, first at Mary Hardin-Baylor University and then in Cuernavaca. He asked parishioners to send him a photo with their name and address so he could remember them (223:26/06/1988). On September 4, 1988, Rev. Frank Grogan arrived and was greeted with a reception (223:28/08/1988).
Underwood did not speak Spanish. After Rev. Leonard Paul was transferred to San Francisco Church in July 1989, San José had no Spanish-speaking priest although Fr. Frank Grogan was learning it. Deacon Saenz and Deacon Vasquez delivered the homily (223:09/07/1989).
Underwood made a retreat during January 1990. Fr. Grogan was in charge with the help of Rev. Christopher Scadron, who was on loan from South Dakota (223:31/12/1989). Rev. Scadron left on February 1 and Underwood returned on February 4 (223:28/01/1990).
Both priests were away in June 1990 and the Deacons celebrated a Communion Service. Underwood returned on Thursday evening and Grogan left on a two-week vacation and returned June 20. Rev. Joe Berra, S.J. helped at the Mass and confessions (223:03/06/1990). Rev. Victor Goertz helped with Spanish Mass and confessions in June (223:03/06/1990). On July 1, 1990, Rev. Joe Devliegher, C.S.C., joined the San José Church staff as Associate Pastor (223:01/07/1990).
In September 1990, after two years at San José, Grogan left to study Spanish at MACC in San Antonio and then Cuernavaca (223:09/09/1990). Again Rev. Herman Reith stayed at San José for a few weeks in February and March. He installed the flower beds next to the new church in 1990 (223:24/02/1991).
In April 1993, Underwood left San José. During his tenure, he mobilized the parish to renovate the second church (twice) and add the long-missing bell tower, both without borrowing money. He paid off the debt on the Community Center and the San José School. He removed the old barracks that had long served as the school and day care center and constructed a third church, costing about $2,000,000, on the site. He championed a miracle photograph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and made San José a site of pilgrimage. He built the Perpetual Adoration Chapel and led a long series of parish renewal events and prayer meetings that created a reputation for San José as a charismatic parish. He was the last pastor supplied by the Congregation of the Holy Cross.
Fathers Damien Hinojosa and Pascal Kabura were university students who helped at San José during the transition from Rev. Underwood to Rev. Kirby Garner. They left after school was out in May 1993 (223:16/05/1993). When Rev. Le-Minh Joseph Pham was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1993, he assigned to San José. He came to the US with his parents in April 1975 and graduated from Bryan High School, Bryan, Texas in 1983. He attended St. Mary's Seminary in Houston (223: 11/07/1993).
In November 2003, the Sunday Bulletin listed Rev. Tom Frank as pastor; Rev. Juan Carlos López and Rev. Kevin Rai as Associate Pastors. The deacons were Alfred Benavides, Richard Botello, Nathan Brewster, Joe V. Gutierrez, john Rivera and Romeo Sanchez (223:30/11/2003). In the spring of 2013, Rev. Alberto Borruel was appointed pastor of San Jose Parish. On July 6, 2018, Rev. Alberto Borruel was appointed pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Taylor and Rev. Jairo Sandoval-Pliego was appointed pastor at San Jose in Austin (Catholic Spirit, June 2018). Rev. Tom Frank, Rev. Borruel and Rev. Sandoval all spoke Spanish.
A Quinceañera is the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday. In Austin, it is sometimes called a "sweet sixteen". It is a religious as well as a social event. It begins with a Mass and is followed by an elaborate reception with food, music and dancing. At the reception, the girl and her damas (maids of honor) and chambelanes (chamberlains) perform a ritual dance replete with symbolic actions to show that the celebrant is giving up her childhood and is ready for womanhood. The participants practice the dance and rehearse the performance for months prior to the event.
In December 1978, the Sunday Bulletin advised girls planning a Quinceañera or a sweet sixteen to talk with the pastor at least four months ahead of time. The girl must be registered with the church and attending junior or senior high school (223:03/12/78).
In January 1979, Sister Gloria Rodriguez hosted a workshop in the school for all girls thinking of having a Quinceañera or sweet sixteen during the coming year. The pastor said that attendance at the workshop was not required but it was designed to help them and their parents decide whether or not to have a Quinceañera. The girl's parents were expected to attend (223:07/01/79). The girls were also expected to attend the junior high school retreat along with those planning to be confirmed the next year (in the eighth grade) (223:28/01/79).
In 1981 and 1982, the girls were advised that they must attend the monthly CCD retreats in order to have a Quinceañera Mass in San José Church (223:07/06/1981) (223:28/03/82). In 1982, an all-day workshop (9:00AM to 5:00PM) for girls ages 14-16 explored the religious aspects of a Quinceañera. Sister Mary Navarro was the instructor (223:05/12/82).
The requirements to have a Quinceañera in the church became stricter with each passing year. In July 1983, the pastor listed six rules the girls and their parents had to follow, including attendance at Sunday Mass (223:10/07/83). An insert in the Sunday Bulletin in July 1984 listed nine guidelines for a Quinceañera including: the family must be registered and attending Mass at San José Parish, the parents must attend an Adult Renewal at San José, the girl must be Confirmed, attend Mass and Religious Education Classes and attend a Youth Renewal at San José (223:22/07/84).
The Quinceañera program at San José was a ministry. The task of the ministry was to conduct a 4-hour workshop for the girls and their parents and assist in the rehearsal. Training for this ministry was on-the-job. Someone in the church office was designated as the contact for the ministry. For the first six months of 1989, the contact was Katherine Reina, the Director of Religious Education Department (223:14/05/89). After Anna Singleton took over the job of Director of Religious Education, Liz Aldaco, the Office Manager, took on this responsibility. It eventually became the responsibility of either Angie Hernandez or Martina Davila or Stella Trevino, receptionists in the church office.
Veronica Casarez and Cecilia Martinez rehearsed the Quinceañeras in 1983 (223:29/05/83). In 1992, the parish was seeking a volunteer to prepare young women and their parents for Quinceañeras (223:06/09/1992).
When Rev. Underwood was the pastor, he regularly held day-long retreats that he called "renewals". He strongly urged parishioners to attend at least one renewal each year. In October 1990, he announced that couples preparing for marriage, parents of children to receive confirmation, etc. and youth making their Quinceañeras were all required to attend the Family Spiritual Renewal on November 3, 1990 (223:28/10/1990).
In 1992, the parish revised the Parish Policies and Guidelines for Quinceañeras and parents were advised to read the new policy. The pastor said that, "Major changes were made" (223:12/01/1992).
For many years, Religious Sisters worked for San José Parish either as volunteers or employees. The very first Sisters to work in the parish came to Austin from New Mexico in February 1940 and stayed until July 1940. Sister Blanche Marie Richardson and Sister Mary Salome Dorawa (OLVMS) drove around rural Travis County looking for the shacks where Mexican Catholics who worked picking cotton lived. The shacks were located on the ranches where the family worked. The Sisters recorded the names of the family and the Sacraments they had received and marked the location on a pencil-drawn map so that Rev. James Donahue, the associate pastor of the parish, could find the family later (4). Fr. Donahue was charged with administering whatever sacraments the family lacked.
The two Catechists stayed temporarily with the Sisters of Holy Cross who taught school at St. Mary's Academy. The school was attached to St. Mary's Church. Three Sisters from St. Mary's Academy also volunteered to help Rev. Mendez and Fr. Donahue with the Mexican mission. They provided religious instruction to the children of the Missions after the two Missionary Catechists had returned to New Mexico (1). The earliest records of First Communions in the San José Church Registers date from March 1941. A photograph taken in 1941 (and subsequently published in the diocesan newspaper) shows Holy Cross Sisters posing with children at San Jose Church who had just received their First Communion. Holy Cross Sisters continued to teach the Catechism at the various missions established by Mendez.
In September 1957, San José Parish School opened with 67 Kindergarten students and 17 first grade students (12) (86) (120) in one surplus barrack (235). The teachers were Mrs. Elizabeth Garcia and Miss Kay Loera (235). The next fall, a second barrack was added to the San Jose School and Miss Mary Hipolito hired to teach second grade (235).
When the San José Parish School opened in September 1959 for its third year of operation, three Sacred Heart Sisters from San Antonio, led by Sister Magdalen of the Cross, SSCJ, were hired to teach in the San José school (12). The other teachers were Sister Bernadine Joseph, SSCJ and Sister Rose Therese, SSCJ (235). The next year, two new Sisters joined San Jose school staff, one Sister left and a new lay teacher took over the kindergarten (235).
In September 1961, four teaching sisters from Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Siervas del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús SSCJ) were hired to teach at the school. Two local women, Miss Yolanda Sanchez and Mrs. Gloria Ramirez were also hired to teach in the school (235). The four Sisters were Sister Rose Therese, SSCJ; Sister Mary Frances, SSCJ; Sister Anne of the Eucharist, SSCJ and Sister Magdalen of the Cross, SSCJ (223:08/27/61). Sister Magdalen was the principal (223:09/03/61).
In 1967, the Parish Council voted to pay the teachers $60 per week with a possible $10 per week raise if money was available. But money was not available, even to pay the promised salaries. In 1970, when the San José School employed four full-time teachers, one secretary and three Sisters, the four teachers and the secretary were paid $300 per month while the three Sisters were paid $175, $85 and $50 per month (213). The Bishop increased the salary of the priests in July 1969 from $175 per month to $225 (213). The Sister's pay was not even close to the minimum wage in 1970.
Two years later in July 1962, of the four original Sisters, only one remained. Sister Rose Therese, the 1st grade teacher, was still on the job. The other teachers (Sister Louise Margaret, Sister Cecilia of the Blessed Sacrament and Sister Elias Conception) were new (235) (223:07/29/62).
When Austin schools opened September 3, 1963, San José School offered Kindergarten and seven grades with four Sisters and two Lay Teachers (223:08/11/63). The teachers were: Sister Louise Marguerite, Superior and Principal; Sister Maurice Maria; Sister Elias Concepcion; Sister Lucille Agnes; Mrs. Alfonso Ramirez, Miss Yolanda Sanchez (223:08/25/63). Two of the Religious Sisters (Sister Louise Marguerite and Sister Lucille Agnes) agreed to stay for the 1964/1965 school year and Miss Yolanda Sanchez stayed on as the Kindergarten teacher (223:08/30/64). The two new teachers were Sister Claude-Etienne SSCJ and Sister Dominic Savio SSCJ (235). In January 1965, Mother Louise Marguerite was transferred to San Antonio and replaced by Sister Mary Patricia. Mother Louise taught 7th and 8th grade (235).
By the end of the school year in July 1967, only three Sisters worked in the school, Sister Mary Angelina Álvarez (the principal and sister superior), Sister Stella and Sister Mary Edward (213). The Sisters lived in the convent on the church grounds. The convent was one of the wooden barracks that was converted into a residence for their use. In 1970, Sister Rosario and Sister Angelina were both living in the convent. Sister Rosario was in charge of preparing children for their First Communion and Sister Angelina was in charge of the school (223:10/20/68) (223:05/17/70). When school started in September 1970, they were joined by two other teaching Sisters, one of who was Sister Benedict (or Bernadette) who helped part-time as a teacher (213). She left in May 1971 to work as a nurse in a hospital in Peru (223:05/23/71).
In June 1972, Sister Angelina (Mary Angelina Álvarez) and Sister Rose were traveling to San Antonio when they were involved in a car crash. They were hospitalized and spent some time in intensive care in Bexar County Hospital in San Antonio (223:11/06/72). Sister Angelina had been actively involved in trying to save the school (223:03/21/71), but, in 1973, facing falling enrollment and increasing costs, the Parish Council voted to close the San José Elementary School due to lack of funds (12). In 1973, enrollment had dropped to 81 students (86). The 7th and 8th grades had already closed in 1970 (12) (86). Sister Mary Angelina Álvarez was the school principal when it closed (12). After the teaching Sisters left, the convent was converted to other uses (249: 30/09/73). It later became the Youth Center (223: 16/06/1985).
In May 1975, two Sisters (Sister Theresa Noel and Sister Carmen Leal) were among the officers of CCD (237). In August 1975, Sister Teresa Noel MCDP, Sister Angela Elizabeth MCDP and Sister Angela Reyes MCDP were hired by San José Parish to run the CCD program (223:10/08/75). (Elsewhere, the Sisters were referred to as Theresa Noel and Angela Elizabeth (223:31/08/75)).
Sister Theresa Noel left San José in January 1976 to continue her education (223:11/01/76). Sister Elizabeth continued to work as the CCD Coordinator. When she returned to school, a Sister from Misioneras de Jesús, María and José (also called Missionary Catechist Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph) (MJMJ) took her place. The new Sister lived at Guadalupe Church where her order had a convent (223:25/07/76) (223: 01/04/79).
In April 1978, Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ, was the Religious Education Director (223: 04/09/78) (223:10/09/78). Sister Gloria also sang in the 12:00AM choir (240). In July, she made her profession of perpetual vows as a Missionary Sister of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in El Paso, Texas, her home town (223:07/16/78). Sister Gloria worked at San José for six years (223:06/06/82).
In 1980 teachers of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) program included Sister Rosalita Houser and Sister Rita House of the Sisters of Holy Cross, Sister Magdalen of the Cross of the Sacred Heart Sisters of San Antonio (SSCJ), Dominican Sisters and Missionary Catechist Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (MJMJ) including Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ (12) (42). Sister Magdalen of the Cross, SSCJ, had previously worked at San José as the first principal of the San José School (223:09/03/61).
Sister María Navarro, MJMJ, who already worked as a Pastoral Associate at San José, replaced Sister Gloria Rodriguez when she left in June 1982 (223:06/06/82). Sister María lived at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Convent. She attended UT in 1981 and worked at San José developing lay ministries (223:11/07/82). Sister María Cabrialez MJMJ was also hired as a Pastoral Associate (223:22/08/82). Sister María Cabrialez was in charge of youth groups along with Eddie Reyes (who lived in the rectory) (223:27/03/83). In May, two couples helped her move (223:22/05/83).
Sister Eva Walsh, RSM, began working at San José in September 1983 (223:28/08/83). Sister Eva Walsh was CCD Coordinator and Youth Director while Sister Mary Cabrialez coordinated home visits and Quinceañeras (223:10/14/84) (223:17/02/1985).
In December 1985, Sister Mary Cabrialez took her Final Vows in Corpus Christi. She sent a message to her friends at San Jose Church that was printed in the December 29, 1985 Sunday Bulletin (223:29/12/1985).
In August 1987, Sister Eva Walsh celebrated her 25th Anniversary of her Profession of Vows to the Sisters of Mercy. She asked that no one give her a present (223:02/08/1987). A year later, Sister Eva took a leave of absence to care for her sick mother who lived in Ireland. Katherine Reina and Guillermo Gomez ran the Youth Ministry and Religious Education programs in her absence (223:21/08/1988). Sister Eva returned to San José in November for a visit and was welcomed at a reception in the parish hall. She said she planned to return to work at San José the next summer (223:06/11/1988).
In the spring of 1989, Sister Eva was the Religious Education Director for the Children and the Youth and Youth Activities. She said she would not be returning for the 1990 schoolyear. She was credited with establishing the Religious Education Program for the Youth. She directed the Youth Renewals, trained teachers and grew the youth program to over 1,000 persons. She was also the Youth Director (223:30/04/89).
After Sister Eva departed, John Nira became the Director of Religious Education. In October 1990, his sister entered the Franciscan Sisters of Mercy (223:07/10/1990). John Nira may have been related to Deacon Oswaldo Nira, who served at San Jose as a deacon in 1991-1993 (223).