Site of Old St. Mary’s – San Antonio, Texas

Its odd that my home is in San Antonio but I have few markers collected here. I just happened to be attending a Conference here at the beginning of August so I took some time to learn more about my city. As I was visiting downtown San Antonio, I took a short walk and came across marker after marker. I only walked about 3 blocks and collected about 5 historical markers. So I cannot wait to write about them.

This Historical Marker is located at 202 N St. Mary’s Street in Downtown San Antonio. St. Mary’s Catholic Church has been around since the mid 1800’s. The original church was damaged by flooding in 1921. In 1922 it was decided that a new church would be built.

history

Photo of Original Church

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Front of St. Mary’ Church

 

This is a beautiful church. It was an incredible feeling entering this church. I had to pause a  moment to take in the beautiful sight around me. 018

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Beautiful stained glass picture windows throughout

022023024Its hard to believe but this church can seat a large number of people. The rear of the church has a  200 capacity choir loft. There is seating capacity of 1000 people in the church.025

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This bench is located next to the church.

“Homeless Jesus”, In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me, Matthew 25:40028030

St. Mary’s Gift Shop033

Historical Marker reads:

Site of Old St. Mary’s

After the Texas War for Independence, numerous immigrants, notably from Ireland, German, and the Eastern United States, arrived in San Antonio. The need to minister to these non-Hispanic Catholics prompted the Rt. Rev. John M. Odin, First Bishop of Galveston, to establish a separate church for them.

In 1852 land at this site was purchased from his heirs of Ambrocio Rodriguez, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto. In 1855 Bishop Odin authorized a building project, undertaken by the Rev. J.M. Dubuis, who became first pastor of St. Mary’s Parish and later second Bishop of Galveston. A stately Gothic church building was constructed and opened for worship in mid-1857, serving both English and German-speaking congregations. (In 1869 St.Joseph’s Church assumed the ministry for the German Catholics.) On July 1, 1884, the oblates of Mary Immaculate accepted responsibility for St. Mary’s, with the Rev. Richard J. Maloney as first oblate Pastor.

The old church building was also the site of a seminary, an early free Parochial School, the publication of a major Catholic newspaper, and the founding of the St. Vincent De Paul Society.

The 1921 flood irreparably damaged the church building. This Neo-Romanesque structure was dedicated in 1924.

Recorded Marker Year 1985

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