History of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church - Page 2

Second Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Father Balzola O.M.I, was well liked for the simple reason that all his efforts were directed toward the glory of God and the welfare of souls.  In July, 1927, he was called back to Spain.  He was replaced by Rev. Father Gerard Mongeau O.M.I., now Bishop in the Philippine Islands, who was pastor for three years.  When he left, the financial condition of the parish was very critical with a dept of $34,000.  There was little hope of paying it because those were the years of the depression.  Within the next two years he was succeeded by Father Joseph Dwan O.M.I., and Father Francis Guenneguis O.M.I.

Father Jose Aurelio Prieto O.M.I., a brother of the first pastor, became the ninth pastor, taking over on the 15th of June 1932.  Under him improvements were made, such as the enlarging of the auditorium under the Church, the filling and leveling of the low parts of the yard, and changing the heating system in the school.  But the years of the depression continued all over the nation and the financial condition of the parish was still desperate.

Father Jose Arratibel O.M.I. who came to this parish at the end of September 1939 deserves great credit for somehow having paid the heavy debt, and also leaving $24,000 in the Church fund.  During the last four years as pastor he enlarged the mission Church of Christ the King.  He was succeeded by Father Telesforo Cuevas O.M.I., who stayed only five months.  He was replaced by Father Nicolas Diaz O.M.I., on December 30th, 1946, who stayed until 1956.  During his pastorate, the second parish church of Our Lady of Guadalupe was becoming inadequate in size to care for the increasing number of Catholics who came to make their homes in East Austin.  So it was judged necessary to construct a larger and a more commodious Our Lady Guadalupe Church.