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History of Our Church

For almost a century, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish has stood proudly, as a beacon of hope, faith and love for the residents of Houston's Historic 2nd Ward. Founded in 1912, the Church was established as a Mission church to the Immaculate Conception to administer the Sacraments of the Catholic faith for the great influx of Mexicans emigrating from Mexico. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church has long been considered the "Mother Church" for the Hispanic population in Houston. Our members are composed of 5th generation descendants of immigrants who came to Houston in the 1900's and those who have made their way here more recently. The Oblates of Mary Immaculate were sent to open Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrating the first mass on August 18, 1912 with Father Robert Chatillon, OMI, as the first celebrant. The mass was held in a two-story, frame-building that was erected that same year as a gift from the Catholic Church Extension Society. Mass services were celebrated on the 2nd floor while the first floor was reserved for what was to become the first Catholic grade school in Houston. The new church was built in 1923 and the old building was remodeled and used for school and social activities. After many years serving the parish, the Oblate priests left Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Priests of the Sacred Heart assumed responsibility for the Parish community in 1973. The school, originally run by the Sisters of Divine Providence, opened on September 8, 1912 to serve the children of the families of the parish. Today, the Sisters no longer run the school, however, there has always been at least one Sister assigned as Director of Religious Education. Original enrollment in 1912 – 1913 was 30 pupils, currently, there are over 500 students with waiting lists for many of the elementary classes with pupils from over 30 plus zip codes in the Houston Metropolitan Area. Our Lady of Guadalupe School has the distinction as being the oldest Catholic grade school in the City of Houston. In 1991, the Historical Society held a ceremony at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish to establish its historical status with the dedication of a State Historical Land Marker attesting to the role the church has played in the development of the Mexican-American community in Houston. It notes that the spirit of this community has always been one of welcoming. To that end, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Community welcomes anyone who is seeking an extended family full of faith, hope and love. Our doors are open to all, Nuestra Casa es Su Casa!

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