Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: The History of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Amarillo | KAMR
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR / KCIT) – In 2018, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Amarillo celebrated the centennial.
In order for this milestone to be reached, however, many families and individuals had to put in long hours and hard work to build the shrine, brick by brick.
The historic Catholic Church on the corner of 11th and Houston streets has been in existence since 1918.
Current church member Vickie Rosas Martinez said, “At that time it was Father Rodriguez, and he bought a brick making machine in Puerto Rico. So they made the bricks, and during their lunch hours and so forth, they worked in the church. Que- my mother was a teenager at the time.
However, Martinez is not the only member with family ties at the start of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
Guadalupana President Gloria Alonzo Carlile said: “In fact, my family has seven generations here. “
Gloria Valdez, a Guadalupane at the church, recalled that her grandfather was good friends with a former priest at the church. “I know my grandfather, Jesus Flores, was diligent in helping to build this church together,” Valdez said.
Families like these were instrumental in laying the groundwork for what would be a safe place and a second home for many.
“Our church would help people come, settle here,” Valdez said.
“My parents, my two grandparents, my two grandparents worked for the railroad and that’s actually the church, a lot of the church had ties to the Santa railroad. Fe, ”explained Carlile.
Valdez shared that since the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been in existence since 1918, it was initially for the purpose of serving Spanish-speaking Catholics settling in Amarillo due to work on the railroad.
Since then, Our Lady of Guadalupe has served as a safe and welcoming place not only for the Hispanic community, but for all.
“Even people who do not belong to this church, they come to our meals. Back then, whenever there was bad weather everyone knew they had to come to the basement of the school, ”Martinez said.
In addition, the church “helps guide children through religious education and preparation for taking their sacraments. Our Lady of Guadalupe builds community and fellowship with groups of adults such as the Knights of Columbus, Guadalupanas and prayer groups, ”shared Valdez.
Reflecting on how far the church has come, Valdez said, “The family and the church. This is where it all begins and it is important that things continue because they have worked so hard to keep this church going, and I want that to continue too.
The ladies shared that fundraisers, such as the food plates, helped raise funds to help pay for the construction of the church over 100 years ago.
As for one of the church’s annual events, Las Fiestas de Amarillo is an event sponsored by Our Lady of Guadalupe that invites and brings together the community.