A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3



Endnotes

7Kelly, River of Lost Dreams, op. cit., p. 19.

8Houston, Andrew Jackson. Texas Independence. Houston: The Anson Jones Press, 1938. pp.46-Si.

9 Henson, Margaret Swett. Juan Davis Bradburn. oø. cit.. pp. 38-39. 10 lid., pp. 72-78.


11Ibid., pp A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3.13-14.

13 Hatcher, Mattie Austin. Letters of an Early American Traveller -- Mary Austin


Bulky, Her Life and Her Works, 1784-1846. Dallas: Southwest Press, 1933, P. 190.

14 Hatcher, op. cit., pp. 198-201.

15 Webb, Walter Prescott. Op. cit. p. 43, p A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. 203.

17 Henson, op.cit., pp. 116-124.

18 Pierce, Frank Cushman. Texas’ Last Frontier, A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menosha, WT,The Collegiate Press, George Banta Printing Co., 1917. Fr 122-3: “There is no authentic data A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of any boats plying the Rio Grande until Taylor’s arrival in 1946, although the archives in Mexico show that the Mexican congress on April28, 1828, granted a concession to John David Bradburn and Stephen A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 H. C. L. Staples to introduce on the Rio Grande boats propelled by steam or horse-power. This Bradburn is the same who afterwards was accused of oppressing the Texas Colonists to A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 a degree which caused them to rise in rebellion and make the effort for independence. Bradburn is buried on the hill three miles south of Mission on which is now A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 built the Oblate Fathers’ Theological Seminary.” Frank Cushman Pierce was 51 on April 2, 1910 when he so swore by affidavit, so he was born about I 858/9(p. 27-8, Abstract of Title to Lands out of the A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 West Addition to Sharyland in porciones Nos. 53,54,55,56, and 57 in Hidalgo County, Texas, published by the Mission Times, Mission, TX c. 1920.218 pp.) He had come to the Rio Grande and Brownsville as a A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 crewman on the Rio Bravo about 1875 while quite young. (pp. 84, 78, River of Lost Dreams, Navigtion on the Rio Grande, by Pat Kelley, University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, 1986; this was taken A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 from Michael G. Webster, “Intrigue on the Rio Grande: The Rio Bravo Affair, 1875,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 74:2 (October l970):149-164.)

19 Hidalgo and Starr Counties Abstract Company. Abstract to Title to Lands out of the West Addition to A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Sharyland in porciones Nos. 53, 54,55,56, and 57 in Hidalgo County, Texas. Edinburg: Mission Times, 1919. p.34- 37.

by Dick D. HelIer, Jr., 3103 Granite Dr., Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 Aug. 13,2003


24


BIBLIOGRAPHY


Bancroft, Hubert Howe. History of the Mexican A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 People. New York: Bancroft Co., 1914.


Barker,Eugene C.. ed. The Austin Papers - October, 1834--January, 1837. Austin: The University of Texas, 1926.

Berlandier, Jean Louis. Journey to Mexico in the Years 1828 to 1834. Trans. by A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Sheila M. Ohlendorf, Josette M. Bigelow, and Mary M. Standifer. 2 Vols. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1980.

Casteneda, Carlos E. trans. The Mexican Side of the Texan Revolution. Austin, Dallas:Graphic Ideas, Incorporated, 1970.

Coker, Caleb A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. Ed. The News from Brownsville - - Helen Chapman’s Letters from the Texas Military Frontier, 1848-1852. Austin: Texas State Historical Society for the Barker Texas History Center, 1992.

Cruz, Gilberto Rafael and Irby, James Arthur. Texas A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Bibliography - A Manual on History Research Materials. Austin: Eakin Press, 1982.

Fehrenbach, T. R. Lone Star. A History of Texas and the Texans. New York: Collier Books, A Division of Macmillian A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Publishing Company, 1980.

Filósila, Vicente. Memoirs for the history of the war in Texas. Wallace Woolsey, translator. Austin: The Eakin Press, 1985.

Gambrell,Herbert. Anson Jones, The Last President of Texas. Austin: University of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Texas Press, 2d ed., paperback, 1988.

Hatcher, Mattie Austin. Letters of an Early American Traveller-- Mary Austin Holley, Her Life and Her Works, 1784-1846. Dallas: Southwest Press, 1933. Henson, Margaret Swett. Juan Davis Bradburn. College A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1982.

Hidalgo and Starr Counties Abstract Company. Abstract to Title to Lands out of the West Addition to Sharyland in porciones Nos. 53, 54, 55, 56, and 57 in Hidalgo A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 County, Texas. Edinburg: Mission Times, 1919.

Holley, Mrs. Mary Austin. Texas. Austin: The Texas State Historical Association in Cooperation with the Center for Studies in Texas History, The University of Texas at Austin, 1985.


Hollon A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, W. Eugene and Butler, Ruth Lapham. William Bollaert’s Texas. Norman:

University of Oklahoma Press, and the Newberry Library, Chicago, 1956. Houston, Andrew Jackson. Texas Independence. Houston: The Anson Jones Press, 1938.

James, Marquis A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. The Raven, A Biography of Sam Houston. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1929. pp. 193-5. University of Texas Press, Austin: 1988.

Jenkins, John H. General Editor. The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836. Vol. 1 Austin: Presidial A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Press, 1973.

Kelley, Pat. River of Lost Dreams: Navigation on the Rio Grande, University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, 1986.

Loft, Virgil and Fenwick, Virginia M. People and Plots on the Rio Grande. San A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Antonio:

by Dick D, HeIler, Jr., 3103 Granite Dr., Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 Aug. 13,2003


25


The Naylor Company, 1957.

McComb, David G. Texas: A Modern History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989.


Morton, Ohland. ^ Terán and Texas(1948)

Pearson, P A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. E. “Reminiscences of Judge Edwin Wailer”. Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, IV (1900-1901).

Perrigo, Lynn I. Texas and Our Spanish Southwest. Dallas: Banks Upshow and Company,


Pierce, Frank Cushman. Texas A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3’ Last Frontier, A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Menosha, WI. The Collegiate Press, George Banta Printing Co., 1917.

Rowe, Edna. “The disturbances at Anahuac in 1832”, Quarterly of the Texas State A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Historical Association, VI (1902-1903).

Webb, Walter Prescott. The Handbook of Texas. 3 vols. Austin: The Texas State Historical Association, 1952.

Wooten, Dudley G. A Comprehensive History of Texas 1685-1897. Austin: The Texas State Historical Association in A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Cooperation with the Center for Studies in Texas History, The University of Texas at Austin, 1986.

Wortham, Louis J., LL.D. Vol. 1 & 2. A History of Texas from Wilderness to Commonwealth. Fort Worth A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3: Wortham-Molyneaux Company, 1924.

Zuber, William Physick. My Eighty Years in Texas. Mayfield, Janis Boyle, editor. Austin & London: University of Texas Press, 1971

by Dick D. Helter, Jr., 3103 Granite Dr., Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 Aug. 13.2003


26

Chapter A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 4


The La Lomita Mission’


I. Introduction


To explain the role of the seemingly minor Oblate chapel of la Lomita on the Rio Grande and to illustrate its importance to the people of that area A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, it is necessary to understand the state of the Catholic Church in Texas before the arrival of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1849, and the church’s total absence from A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the 17 counties of south Texas which had been part of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas until 1848.


IA. The 19th Century Catholic Church in Texas-Tamaulipas


To prevent French intrusion into Spanish territory and to convert and A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 control the Indians, the Spanish Government established missions in Texas during the late 16th century. Spain had hoped to make loyal citizens of the Indians, who would thus help consolidate Spain’s A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 claim to the area. While Spain’s policies, combined with international diplomacy, were successful in keeping the French out of what we now call Texas, they were not as successful in Christianizing A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 and “civilizing” the Indians. The missionary effort was counteracted by the rough frontier conditions, and lack of interest back in Spain, which caused intervals of abandonment. Also the influx A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of migratory Indian tribes who were pushed south by the American frontier, and the insufficient military protection from Indians who harassed the settlements contributed to the failure of the missions in Christianizing A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 very many of the natives.2

The transferral of the mission stations to a secular clergy in the late eighteenth century, which occurred in most of Spain’s vast dominions, was very harmful A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 in this remote area of the Spanish Empire. When the Franciscans left, there were not enough secular priests to replace them. By 1823 there were only two Franciscans and probably not more than three secular priests A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 left in central

1This entire work is based on, and uses, Robert Hickl O.M.I.’s “The Oblate Chapel of Rancho La Lomita”, Prepared for History 4348, Senior Research Project, Fall Semester A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, 1974. This work was entered in the computer, edited and rearranged by Heller. A series of

interpolations were мейд, based on newspaper stories, books, etc., not included in the original, which was primarily based on A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 two documents from the Oblate Archives in San Antonio.


2 See p. 2, Sister Mary A. Fitzmorris, Four Decades of Catholocism in Texas, Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 1926.


Edited by A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Dick D. Heller, Jr., 3103 Granite Drive, Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 ddheIIer@aol.com


27


Texas.3 But of course the Rio Grande Valley is not a part of what is now central Texas.

The 17 counties of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 present-day Texas south of San Antonio were organized much later than Texas, and by a different method. Instead of Army posts and a few Catholic clergy, Tamaulipas was settled in the mid-18th Century A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 by a number of criollos, or Mexican-born Hispanics, under the leadership of José de Escandón, the Count of Cerra Gorda. Escandón arranged for seven columns of settlers A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, totalling several thousand persons-men, women, and children-and all their belongings, plus cattle, horses, goats, sheep, chickens, etc., to invade what had been known as the Seno Mexicano, but which was re A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3-named Nuevo Santander after Escandon’s home province in Spain. Eseandón brought Franciscan monks from Mexico City and Zacatecas,4 and tried to station one at each village. In the north A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, the villages of Mier and Laredo were served by the Franciscan at Revilla, later renamed Cd. Guerrero. Camargo and Reynosa had their own churches.

The Anglo colonization of Texas begun in 1820 by A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Stephen F. Austin when Spain’s dominions became independent, brought in many people, a minority of whom were actually Catholic, despite the Mexican laws requiring all those children born in Texas to be raised A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 as Catholics. The scarcity of priests and the impossibility of officials in Mexico to send priests and soldiers to care for the colonists led to greater religious diversity, and the A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 arrival of Protestant clergy. When in 1821 Mexico became officially independent from Spain, many of the loyalist bishops who were loyal to the Monarchy were exiled and therefore the province of Coahuila-Texas A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 was without a bishop for ten years, until 1831. During this time many efforts were мейд by the new Mexican government to limit the power of the Church by legislation prohibiting the construction of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 new church buildings, large donations to the Church, and ecclesiastical intervention in civil affairs. The declaration of Independence of Texas from Mexico in 1836 practically ended ecclesiastical activity in Texas until the arrival A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of Father John Timon C .M. in 1838. Meanwhile, the declaration had little effect in the 17 counties then in Tamaulipas, although some ranchers moved back south of the Rio Grande, just A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 in case.

Fr. Timon found the Spanish-speaking Texans to be very devout and “willing to die for their religion”,5 He also sensed they had received very little training in the teachings A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of the Church. The old abandoned mission churches were in very poor condition, and they would have to be rebuilt in order to restructure the Church. Also the establishment of a college for the training A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of priests would be of first priority in the reorganization of the Church in Texas.

In 1840, Texas was raised to the status of Prefecture and Fr. Timon was given almost all A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the power of a bishop in order to care for the needs of the few priests who were working with him at the time. Due to his inability to remain in Texas A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, he appointed Rev, Jean Marie Odin as Vice - Prefect -


3Seep. 4,Ibid.


4See p. 13, Hubert J. Miller, Jose de Escandon- Colonizer of Nuevo Santander. Edinburg, TX: The New Santander Press, 1980.


5Sce p. 27, Carlos A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 B. Castafieda, ^ Our Catholic Heritage in Texas. Austin: Von Boeckmann--Jones Co., 1958.


Edited by Dick D. Heller, Jr., 3103 Granite Drive, Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 ddheller@aoI.com


28


Apostolic, who immediately preceded him to San Antonio in A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 order to restore religious services there. The greatest problems facing the new Bishop Odin were the lack of funds for repairing the dilapidated churches, and the scarcity of priests to A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 care for the long neglected Catholics. In 1841 there were only six priests in Texas, including Bishop Odin, to tend to the approximately 10,000 Catholics scattered throughout the vast area. By 1847, the Catholic population due to A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 increased U.S. immigration had reached more than 25,000. By this time the energetic Bishop Odin had ten churches in repair, and twenty Mass stations scattered around Central and East Texas A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, where his twelve priests could devoutly celebrate the Eucharist, and instruct the faithful in morals and virtue. He also had several seminarians preparing to serve the need of the faithful.6 In A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 1845 Bishop Odin traveled to Europe where he was able to enlist fifteen priests to work in his newly established Prelate of the U.S. Catholic Church. Bishop Odin had laid the groundwork but there was A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 still much to be done in establishing a well organized Church in Texas.


^ IB. The Oblates Come to Texas


In 1849 Bishop Odin attended the seventh Provincial Council of Baltimore, with the second A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 thought of seeking material assistance and more priests to work in his newly formed Diocese of Galveston in Texas. After all, the 17-county area south of San Antonio had just been A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 added officially to Texas, and almost all of its residents, fromerly citizens of Tamaulipas, were Catholics. It was his good fortune to meet Father Adrien Pierre Telmon O.M.I. who was visiting A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 at the Sulpician house in Quebec at the same time. Bishop’s stirring appeal for laborers aroused Fr. Telmon’s zeal for the spreading of the Faith, and with quick deliberation A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, he accepted the mission of Brownsville, Texas in the name of his superior Msgr. Eugene de Mazenod O.M.I. in France. Fr. Telmon convinced four of his associates-- Frs. Alexander Soulerin 0.M. I A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3., August Guadet O.M.I., Bro. Henry Menthe, and Sub-deacon Paul Gelot, to accompany him to the new apostolate.

The little band accompanied Bishop Odin, leaving Canada in October of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 1849, and traveled by way of New Orleans, where they rested for ten days. Fr. Telmon, Fr. Soulerin, and Bro. Menthe sailed directly for the mouth of the Rio Grande, while Bishop Odin, Fr A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. Gaudet and Sub-deacon Gelot proceeded to Galveston a few days later. The Oblates reached Point Isabel on December 2 of the same year. After two days, Lt. Garesché of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the U.S. Army took the zealous missionaries to Brownsville, twenty-five miles away. They received a warm welcome there as the whole town turned out to greet the new missionaries, and then A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 provided them with a residence which was an old shed, previously used to store cotton. A local merchant also let the Oblates use an old unoccupied store building, which they immediately transformed into a A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 chapel.7 On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, they formally inaugurated the mission on the Rio Grande with a High Mass in honor of Mary Immaculate. The young A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 town of Brownsville on the North Bank of the Rio Grande, had grown out of a U.S. Military Installation set up during the war with Mexico in 1849.

6Seep. 108,Thid.


7See p. 209, Ibid.


Edited A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 by Dick D. Heller, Jr., 3103 Granite Drive, Mission, TX 18574-9743 (956) 581-9445 ddheIler@aol.com


29


It had a population of about four thousand inhabitants of various cultural backgrounds, many of whom were nominally Catholics. In A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Brownsville the good Fathers found themselves in a very harassing situation. All kinds of difficulties confronted them. There was no church, rectory, or revenue of any kind, and they could not A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 speak the language of a majority of the people. By their courage, they rose above these difficulties.

The god of these people was the dollar, and their lax morals left no room for religion A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. Counting upon help from Heaven, and using their energy to the utmost, they determined to spend themselves among the swarms of indifferent people, and even the Free Masons of the city.8 The Oblate A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 missionaries therefore had their work cut out for them, as they set about getting acquainted with the townspeople, and those living in the nearby ranches. After overcoming the basic A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 problems of room and board, the Oblates proceeded to care for the spiritual needs of their flock. The people gathered for Mass out of curiosity at first, but attendance soon dwindled to two or three A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of the faithful. The Hispanic Catholics at first distrusted the Oblates, thinking them to be in league with the Americans because they only spoke in English. This was a great handicap A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, and so learning Spanish was of primary importance in gaining the confidence of these stray souls and attracting them to the church and to classes of religious instruction. Other problems which A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 plagued the missionaries were the upkeep of the chapel, and securing a permanent residence, as they had moved from one place to another because the others would always find more profitable uses A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 for their buildings than housing the clergy.

Because of Fr. Telmon’ s fame as a preacher, he was slowly able to attract the people back to the church, and even the ministers A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of other denominations would slip in among the Catholic congregation. Because of the increased attendance, one of their first projects was the acquisition of several lots in the town, and the A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 gathering of materials for the construction of a new and larger church, more suitable for the celebration of the Mass. The new church was completed on June 29, 1850. Their main labor however was A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the instruction of the long neglected Catholics, and preparing them for First Communion, and for Confirmation upon the return of Bishop Odin on August 15, 1850. Bishop Odin was very happy with the work A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of the Oblates in this most difficult area, as he wrote to the founder of the Oblate congregation, Eugene de Mazenod, on March 18, 1850:

“I deem myself very fortunate that Providence has sent me these good A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Fathers for that part of my diocese. More than zealous and exemplary laborers, I needed trained and solidly virtuous men. The Rio Grande separates Texas from Mexico and the A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 clergy on the south side of that unhappy border are very lax, not to say vicious and dissolute. The exemplary conduct of the two missionaries is such a contrast with the life A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of the priest from the opposite side that it has already produced a most favorable reaction in public opinion. I hope they will succeed in establishing a permanent residence, and that later their influence A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 will start a salutary reform among the Mexican clergy, and instruct that people so ignorant and coarse in spite of its


8See p. 141, ^ Mary Immaculate Magazine, May, 1932, “The Founder of the Oblate Missions A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 in Texas”


Edited by Dick D. Hiller, Jr., 3103 Granite Drive, Mission, TX 78574-9743 ~956) 581-9445 ddheller@aol.com


30


Faith.9

The work in this area was indeed fruitful and was to set a pattern for further activity in A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Brownsville. The Catholic population had grown to be larger than that in and around San Antonio. In the latter part of 1850, Bishop Odin мейд a pastoral visit along the A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Rio Grande, including the south side with permission of the ordinary of Monterrey, and confirmed 11,000 people on both sides of the river between the cities of Laredo and Brownsville. He estimated that A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 there were approximately 9,000 Catholics in the Lower Texas Valley, which was under Oblate care.

It was Fr. Soulerin who first started to visit the ranches along the river and in the inland areas away A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 from Brownsville. On Thursdays he would visit the Ranch of Santa Rita, some ten miles from Brownsville, where he was always warmly welcomed by the devout Catholics, who would kiss his A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 хэнд “as a testimony of their respect for the priest of God”° and address him as Santo Padre. There were many difficulties which slowed the zeal of the missionaries, but never dampened theft A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 enthusiasm. In their letters to their brother Oblates, they wrote mostly of their problems and hardships, but the records of Immaculate Conception Church at Brownsville give good evidence of many early results A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 from their labors. The Fathers were beginning to make progress until the summer of their first year, when the tropic heat and poor living conditions began to take their toll on A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the already overworked missionaries. Worry and anxiety began to tax theft health. Bishop de Mazenod finally heard about the new work at Brownsville, the sickness there, and the wild nature of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the city. He decided to withdraw the Oblates from Texas. The main reason for the recall of the Oblates may be found in the character of the Texas venture. There is no mention A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 of the appointment in the official documents of the Oblate general administration, of Fr. Telmon as superior of the establishment in Texas. Indeed, the mission was taken up without the Bishop’s foreknowledge. On A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 January 14 of 1850, Msgr. De Mazenod wrote to Fr. Braudrant:


“This mission upon which Fr. Telmon has launched himself is but a foolhardy undertaking comparable only to the naivete which the others showed A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 in co-operating in a project which had no sanction. Do you have any information about this whole affair about which I am completely in ignorance? As far as I am A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 concerned the only thing I know is that it has .been undertaken.”


Fr. Telmon returned to directly to France, where he remained in poor health the rest of his life, deeply A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 disappointed with the apparent failure of his South Texas venture.

The decision to withdraw the Oblates from Texas had serious consequences on Bishop Odin’s plans. He had decided to broaden the A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 work of the Oblates to include the foundation of a


9See p. 25, Bernard Doyan O.M.I. ^ The Cavalry of Christ on the Rio Grande. Milwaukee:

Bruce Press, 1956.


10See p. 26, Ibid


11See p. 29, Ibid


Edited by Dick A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 D. Heller, Jr., 3103 Granite Drive, Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 ddheller@aol.com


31


seminary, and a day-school for boys. After hearing the regrettable news, Bishop Odin planned to speak personally with Bishop de Mazenod A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 during his visit to Europe in 1851.

The plight of Bishop Odin’s work in Texas is well expressed in a remark by the secretary of the Lyons “Council of Propagation A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3” after his visit there in 1851:

“In the past ten years, the Bishop of Galveston has introduced thirty-five priests to his mission. Of these, ten have succumbed to the fatigues and privations; eleven others A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, Vincentians and Oblates, have been recalled by their major superiors; two have returned to their diocese. Therefore the Bishop has only twelve collaborators for a population of forty thousand Catholics. In A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the Rio Grande district there are twenty thousand scattered Catholics, only three priests and no school.12

Bishop Odin’s plea to Bishop de Mazenod was not in vain, for after he A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 told the founder of the Oblates of all the good that the first five missionaries had done, and of the real need for zealous priests in that part of God’s Creation, Bishop A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Mazenod selected six other priests and one lay brother to continue the work started by the first five, to help Bishop Odin in beginning a seminary college at Galveston, and a parish with A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 a school at Brownsville. Bishop Odin also spoke with other religious orders of priests and nuns, and was able to gather a total of thirty-five missionaries to work in various A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 parts of his diocese.

The seven Oblates assigned to Texas were Fathers Jean Marie Casimir Verdet (Superior),

Rigomer Oliver, Etienne Vignolle Pierre Fourrier Parisot, Pierre Ives Keralum, Jean Marie Gaye, and

Coadjutor Brother A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Pierre Jean Rene Roudet. This second group of Oblates arrived at Galveston on

May 22, 1852, and remained there for awhile, before Frs. Verdet, Gaye, Oliver, Keralum, and Br.

Roudet continued overland to Brownsville, where A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 they arrived on October 14, of the same year.

There was plenty of work to be done throughout the area, especially in visiting the ranches along the river between Brownsville and Laredo. In March of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 1853, Fr. Gaye traveled to Laredo and back, and visited many of the small settlements along the way, where he baptized hundreds of children and heard thousands of confessions. Father Verdet A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 in turn visited the ranches along the coast. The Fathers soon decided that their’s must be a dual apostolate, the one parochial in the city, and the other rural in order A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 to reach the people of the outer limits of the huge territory.


^ IC. The Oblates along the Rio Grande in the late 19th Century


Missionary life on the Rio Grande in those days was anything A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 but enjoyable. They lived among both Mexicans and North Americans. They lived among revolutionaries and outlaws who caused disturbances along the border.

The district was мейд up of immense A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 farms and ranches, some as large as a quarter of a million acres. Widely scattered over these tracts were the little settlements of the laborers, containing fifteen or twenty families each. The settlements were A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 more thickly placed along the Rio Grande, due to its rich and fertile soil.

Bishop Odin requested that the Oblates establish another residence in 1854 at Roma, boated

12See page 34, Ibid


^ Edited by Dick A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 D. Heller, Jr., 3103 Granite Drive, Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 ddheller@aol.com


32


halfway between Laredo and Brownsville, where there were about a thousand inhabitants. From this point, they could more easily visit the distant ranches A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3.

From the time that the Oblates arrived in Galveston, Bishop Odin began to organize construction of his college-seminary. In May of 1853, Father Jean Marie Boudrand O.M.I. arrived from A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Canada to head the college and supervise the construction; however, he was soon to die of the plague along with four other newly arrived secular priests and three hundred and thirty other people of Galveston A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. This great grief caused the good Bishop to think of postponing the project once again, but despite the hard times and lack of money, the Oblates decided to continue the construction. Fr A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. Parisot мейд two trips to the wealthy plantations of Louisiana to raise funds, and to students for the new institution. Due to his self-sacrificing efforts, the college opened A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 on January 1, 1855 with sixty-eight students, only five of whom were seminarians and Fr. Julien Baudre as its superior and president.13

The college soon gained wide acclaim and on July 26,1856 an act of the Texas A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 State Legislature conferred on the college the tide of St. Mary’s University, with full power to confer diplomas and degrees. Despite the great need for this first accredited college A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 in Texas, and its growing good reputation, the Oblate staff soon became disillusioned and dissatisfied with this type of work. A letter of Bishop de Mazenod to


Bishop Odin on June 20, 1857 summarizes their A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 feelings:


“The difficulty lies entirely in the very nature of the work the Oblates are doing in your episcopal city. It seems the Galveston College is and shall. be for a very long A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 time nothing but a commercial school, where the students of Latin and especially those destined to the clerical state, are in very small number. To tech ordinary classes in such a school, there A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 is not a need to employ priests, whose zeal could be better used for the service of souls, in a country where there is a lack of laborers in A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 the Lord’s Vineyard.””


Bishop Odin knew that the Oblates were missionaries first and foremost, therefore he did not try to deter them from their vocation. He had sincerely tried to form a seminary A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3, but because of the sparse Catholic population, it developed into a business college. In the fall of 1857, the oblates were again united in Brownsville. As the conversions were steadily increasing, the A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Oblates began the construction of a larger church of brick, in Gothic style, designed by Fr. Keralum OMI, a former architect. This church was completed in 1859, and stood out as a A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 landmark in the valley.

Most of their work was in and around Brownsville, but on occasions of great need, and to help out the pastor of Matamoros on weekends, they would cross over into Mexico A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3. Later, they preached missions in the larger terms across the border, and

13See pp. 39-40, Ibid


14See p. 56, Ibid


Dick D. Heller, Jr., 3103 Granite Dr., Mission, TX 78574-9743 (956) 581-9445 ddheller@aol.com Aug. 13,2003


33


finally accepted the parish of A historic Lower Rio Grande Valley City - 3 Ciudad Victoria, and later on, that of Matamoros until 1866 when they were forced out by the revolutionaries living along the border.
  • oldrussian.ru/2013-god-tretya-mirovaya-vojna-za-neft-sbornik-statej-i-intervyu-2009g-v126.html
  • oldrussian.ru/programa-kursu-psiho-dagnostika-dlya-studentv-drugogo-kursu-psihologchnogo-vddlennya-flosofskogo-fakultetu.html
  • oldrussian.ru/during-your-stay-in-provo-ut-we-want-you-to-feel-as-comfortable-as-possible-the-following-information-is-to-better-acquaint-you-with-surrounding-resources-so.html
  • oldrussian.ru/razdel-3-novij-vitok-demontazha-rossii-vizov-bednosti-i-otveti-vlasti-vtoroe-preduprezhdenie-nepoladki-v-russkom-dome.html
  • oldrussian.ru/sistema-rejtingovih-balv-kriter-ocnki-perezatverdzhennya-robocho-navchalno-programi.html
  • oldrussian.ru/or-parish-life-in-the-north-of-scotland-14.html
  • oldrussian.ru/500-science-items-without-dewey-classification-240.html
  • oldrussian.ru/199102-passage-37-3763-100.html
  • oldrussian.ru/aspects-of-african-philosophy-the-invention-of-africa.html
  • oldrussian.ru/27svoboda-sovesti-i-veroispovedaniya-v-rf-osnovi-pravovogo-statusa-religioznih-obedinenij-shpargalka-po-konstitucionnomu-gosudarstvennomu-pravu-rossii.html
  • oldrussian.ru/15analiz-kreditosposobnosti-predpriyatiya-shpargalka-po-finansovomu-menedzhmentu.html
  • oldrussian.ru/2002-j-lvv-stalnskij-1946-1953-9.html
  • oldrussian.ru/chapter-one-brief-introduction-to-british-and-american-poetry.html
  • oldrussian.ru/poster-4community-mental-health-providers-ability-to-response-to-community-needs.html
  • oldrussian.ru/hathor1-oszlop-s-szeretnd-hogy-tovbbra-is-bvljn-krlek-tmogasd-munkm.html
  • oldrussian.ru/kniga-bude-korisnoyu-usm-hto-ckavitsya-lteraturoznavstvom-poltologyu-ta-nshimi-dotichnimi-disciplnami-vona-stane-vdkrittyam-dlya-tih-hto-shanu-svzh-poglyadi-na-zdavalosya-b-davno-znan-rech-stornka-12.html
  • oldrussian.ru/third-schedule-of-model-rrbs-officers-and-employees-service-regulation-2000.html
  • oldrussian.ru/first-ladies-of-irish-song-workshop-and-talk.html
  • oldrussian.ru/bolonskij-proces-zblizhennya-a-ne-unfkacya-stornka-8.html
  • oldrussian.ru/chapter-xvi-a-pair-of-handcuffs-author-of-down-dartmoor-way-some-everyday-folks-my-laughing-philosopher.html