Our Mission - Collect, Preserve, and Make Available

The Mission of the Catholic Archives of Texas is to collect, preserve, and make available for research those records of individuals and organizations engaged in work reflecting the goals of the Catholic Church in Texas.
Saint John's Bible PDF Print E-mail


stjohnbibleTexas Catholic Herald  The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston had a rare opportunity to see a magnificent piece of art and Scripture at a special introduction to the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible. The original version of The St. John’s Bible is the first handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible to be created since the invention of the printing press more than 500 years ago. In 1998, the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn., commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce the Bible. 

Divided into seven volumes, each two feet tall by three feet wide when open, the Bible displays a mixture of techniques used in the creation of ancient illuminated manuscripts (handwritten with quills on calf-skin vellum, featuring gold and platinum leaf and hand-ground pigments) and modern technology: computer software was utilized to plan the layout of the Bible and line-breaks for the text.

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San José Restoration Award Is Eighth For Old Spanish Missions PDF Print E-mail

MissionSanJose awardToday's Catholic  The Old Spanish Missions have added another award to their growing list of recent honors — a San Antonio Conservation Society (SACS) 2014 Preservation Award for restoration of Mission San José's façade. It marks the eighth award the missions have received over the past few years and will be presented at the SACS Award Dinner on Thursday, March 27, at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

Only 10 such awards are given annually by SACS to recognize significant accomplishment in accordance with its purpose "... to preserve and to encourage the preservation of historic buildings, objects, places and customs relating to the history of Texas, its natural beauty and all that is admirably distinctive to our State; and by such physical and cultural preservation, to keep the history of Texas legible and intact to educate the public, especially the youth of today and tomorrow, with knowledge of our inherited regional values."

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Catholic Southwest Latest Issue PDF Print E-mail

photo-3The Texas Catholic Historical Society has released the latest issue of its journal, Catholic Southwest, Volume 24 (2013). The journal features on the cover the unfortunate event of October 23, 1970 in which, according to news reports, a non-denominational preacher and retired school teacher intentionally flew a small airplane into the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, located in the Diocese of Brownsville in South Texas. 

Subscribe here to the Catholic Southwest to read the full story.]

In the lead article, Fr. Robert E. Wright, O.M.I., Associate Professor at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, relates the history of the shrine, which has drawn countless pilgrims during its long life. "Over the decades its most fundamental religious motivations have remained constant, but its ethnic and sociopolitical implications have shifted along with the social identity of the Virgin's devotees and of the shrine clergy," writes Fr. Wright.

Titles and brief abstracts of articles found in Volume 24:  


 The Virgin of San Juan Del Valle: Shifting Perceptions in the Borderlands. By Robert E. Wright, O.M.I.
This comprehensive examination of a Marian devotion in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is the history of a shrine to Nuestra Señora de San Juan del Valle (Our Lady of San Juan of the Valley)…

“To Make All Your People Saints”: Mother Katharine's Schools in Rural Louisiana. By Amanda Bresie.
During the 1920s and 1930s, rural African-American children in southern Louisiana had few if any educational opportunities. Many of these children were Catholic. St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS) created a centrally organized rural school system…

“Every Day Is A New Beginning”: Lela Gordon Mouton and St. Katharine Drexel’s Rural School At Prairie Basse, Louisiana. By Richard Fossey and Nancy Autin.
St. Katharine Drexel established two dozen small schools in South Louisiana to serve rural communities of African-American Catholics during the 1920s and 1930s...

The Diocese of Durango and the Rise of the Mexican Church: The Last Decade of Spanish El Paso, 1811-1821. 
By Rick Hendricks.

One of the most important aspects of the rise of the local Mexican Church in the period of the war for independence from Spain was the move toward secularization (which in effect was also Mexicanization) of the missions of New Mexico, beginning with El Paso...

 
Mission San Juan and Our Lady of the Lake University Garner Preservation Awards PDF Print E-mail

November 2013
PreservationAwardsSAN ANTONIO • Mission San Juan Capistrano and Our Lady of the Lake University’s Main Building are recipients of Preservation Texas awards for 2013. These awards recognize outstanding and inspiring accomplishments in historic preservation throughout Texas, with this year’s winners chosen from more than 32 projects nominated in seven different categories. “We’re very excited about it,” said Father David Garcia, director of Old Spanish Missions, Inc., who noted Mission San Juan’s Preservation Texas restoration award has added an unprecedented seven awards for the mission churches in the past two years. “I’m very happy and proud that the kind of work we are doing is receiving awards from professional people who are both architects and preservationists,” he said.
 
Awards in 2012 included Mission Concepción’s interior restoration receiving the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians’ (SESAH) Best of the South: Preserving Southern Architecture Award of Excellence and a San Antonio Conservation Society Historic Preservation Award. That same year, a Historic Restoration Award from Preservation Texas went to both Mission Concepción and Mission San José for interior restorations. Earlier this year, The Texas Historical Commission awarded the Old Spanish Missions Inc. (OSM), the prestigious Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for the year 2012 in recognition of OSM’s fundraising and preservation efforts for missions Espada, San Juan, San José and Concepción. It was presented at the capitol building in Austin by Governor Rick Perry.
 
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Things are ‘Coming Up Roses’ for San José’s Rose Window

May 17, 2013
SA RoseWindowSAN ANTONIO--Things are looking rosier for Mission San José’s famed Rose Window due to the skilled hands of stone conservators Ivan Myjer and Miroslav Maler of Building and Monument Conservation (BMC). The duo began work on Phase 1 of the two-phase project in mid-February, wrapping up stabilization of the window and wall surrounding it in early May.

“There’s been a problem over the last 100 years,” explained Myjer, “of water getting in through the top of the wall through the open pores in the tufa stone and migrating downward with gravity.” Cement mortars used to repair the wall, starting in the early 1900s, trapped the water, resulting in deterioration of the stones.

“One of our goals,” Myjer related, “is to keep water flowing over the window in a way that it was intended to, by closing in areas where stone has been lost where water was getting trapped in the walls.” This meant removing the Portland cement-based mortars and replacing them with a mortar close to the original in composition — a feebly hydraulic lime mortar containing small pieces of stone to prevent shrinkage. Numerous test samples were made and studied to come up with best mortar possible for the job. 

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Catholic Archives of Texas receives blessing and welcome at new location
October 29, 2012
By Texas Catholic Conference

Austin Bishop Joe S. Vásquez celebrated the Catholic Archives of Texas relocation to the Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center with a warm welcome and blessing on October 26, 2012. Bishop Vásquez emphasized the importance of preserving the history of Catholicism in the state and passing on the tradition of faith to the next generation.

“Tradition is about continuity, it is something that is passed on from one generation to the next,” said Bishop Vásquez. “It has been given to us and we preserve it because we want to pass it on to those who come next.” 

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Council restored ancient tradition of the diaconate
December 19, 2012 
By Geraldine McGloin, Correspondent, South Texas Catholic

Following the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council, in 1967 Pope Paul VI restored the ancient practice of ordaining to the diaconate men who were not candidates for priestly ordination. Ten years later, in May-August 1977, Bishop Thomas J. Drury ordained the first permanent deacons in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

On May 22, 1977, Bishop Drury ordained eight men at the Cathedral, including Armando Bolaños, Noel Breland, José Cantú, E. Robert Cantwell, Linard R. Harper, William F. Oliver, Fernando G. Rodríguez and Pedro Ybarra. The following Saturday, May 28, 1977, the bishop ordained Bruce Aycock, Jorge Garza and Larry Sandlin at Blessed Sacrament Church in Laredo. The final ordination for Antonio Castillo took place at Sacred Heart Parish in Corpus Christi on Aug. 27, 1977.

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Bishop Drury met challenges of Church in south Texas
December 19, 2012
By Msgr. Michael Howell, Contributor, South Texas Catholic

As the Second Vatican Council concluded in 1965, the Diocese of Corpus Christi faced a new era. The implementation of the reforms of Vatican II preoccupied the next decades of the Church in south Texas under the administration of Bishop Thomas J. Drury.

The new bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi responded to the challenges and opportunities of those years with new programs and diocesan departments composed of clergy, religious and laity to work with him in a spirit of collaboration.  His motto was “Deo Servire Regnare” (to Serve God is to Reign). 

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