Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church had its beginning in 1940 as a mission of Sacred Heart parish with Father Louie Ordner as pastor. The first church, under the supervision of Father Ordner and his brother Father Charlie Ordner, was constructed with lumber from the old Sacred Heart Church; built by the railroad tracks on the 400 block of Avenue F. The first church was built twice as large as the old Sacred Heart Church.
In 1954, Our Lady of Guadalupe became a parish, independent of Sacred Heart. Father William Bogart, a young priest from Holland, was named as the first pastor of the new parish. An old house was bought and moved to the church site to be used as the pastor’s rectory. Father Bogart began plans to build a new church on the Sodville property.
In 1958, the new church building, with a seating capacity of 750 persons, was formally dedicated and blessed by the late Most Rev. Mariano S. Garriga, bishop of Corpus Christi. The rectory was moved from the old church site and, with a few rooms added, served as the priests’ living quarters until the new rectory was built in 1975. The parish hall was constructed in 1967 under the leadership of the new pastor, Father Pascual Bergin.
In 1970, Hurricane Celia struck with her great fury. It fell upon the next pastor, Father Pietro Romanato, to begin the work of reconstruction. Incidentally, the old rectory was the only building on the church grounds that was not heavily damaged by the hurricane!
In 1974, through the generosity of Tony Kunitz and the leadership of Father Marcos Martinez, more land was purchased adjacent to the church property on Sodville Ave. to serve for much needed parking space.
Father Domingo de Llano became pastor in 1974 and began the construction of a new rectory which was completed and blessed by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Drury in 1975. The old rectory was again moved (for the third time!) to new land bought on Maldonado Street. After extensive remodeling work, this house was to serve as living quarters for the Sisters who were coming that year from Mexico City to work in the parish.
The fountain, erected in front of our church, was contributed by our parishioners to the community in appreciation of our culture and heritage, and in commemoration of our country’s bicentennial. The fountain is make of quarry stone which was imported from Mexico and put together by our parishioners. In the presence of federal, state and local officials, it was dedicated and blessed on April 9, 1978. On the pinnacle of the fountain, stands a statue of our patroness saint of our parish.
Priests who have served at Our Lady of Guadalupe:
|1940 – 1944||Rev. Father Louie Ordner|
|1944 – 1954||Rev. Father Albert H. Schmitt|
|1954 – 1966||Rev. Father William Bogart|
|1967 – 1968||Rev. Father Pascual Bergin|
|1968 – 1969||Rev. Father Lawrence O’Dwyer|
|1969 – 1973||Rev. Father Pietro Romanato|
|1973 – 1974||Rev. Monsignor Marcos Martinez|
|1974 – 1987||Rev. Father Domingo de Llano|
|1987 – 1987||Rev. Father Jesus M. Madariaga|
|1987 – 1991||Rev. Monsignor Tom McGettrick|
|1991 – 2007||Rev. Father David G. Taurasi|
|2007 – 2012||Rev. Father Shaji Varghese|
|2012 – 2017||Rev. Father J. Patrick Serna|
|2017 – Present||Rev. Father Glen Mullan|