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Sacred Heart/Guadalupe Cathedral
The beautiful building now known as Guadalupe Cathedral was dedicated in 1902 as Sacred Heart Cathedral for the Diocese of Dallas.[i] It had required a long struggle by many very devoted Roman Catholics to finally arrive at this glorious day. Two of the Dallas papers in 1902 covered the dedication event in great detail. One article stated there were over one hundred prelates, some from other out of state dioceses, who came to town the day before (October 25, 1902) to attend the elaborate ceremonies. The papers had pictures of the Bishop, and other clergy as well as pictures and descriptions of the structure itself. Much was said about the number (between 2000 and 3000) light bulbs used and that this was probably the “best lighted” church in America![ii]
The first Catholics in the village called Dallas were few in number and either had to travel to Nacogdoches or to Galveston, where the only Diocese in Texas was, or wait in the tiny village until a member of the clergy trying to serve the scattered community could travel the hundreds of miles by horseback. In what is now Collin County at a village called St. Paul, there were a few settlers who joined together to form a church about this same time as the ones in Dallas.. The first record of one of these missionary priests in Dallas was in 1859 when Reverend Father Sebastian Augagneur came from Nacogdoches and said the first mass in Dallas at the home of Maxime Guillot. [iii] Augagneur and others then came twice a year to bring consolation to the few families, including the De Vescondres, the Archenauds and the Dessaints. Another missionary priest mentioned was Father Thomas Hennessey, who came into Holy Orders after the death of his wife, a daughter of a Baptist minister and a Baptist herself, and a Father Chamudut.[iv]
French native Maxime Guillot (1824-1889), who was also the first manufacturer in the area, came to Dallas in 1850. [v] Guillot was also active in the buying and selling of land in Dallas County. The deed records reflect many transactions around the county. During the Civil War Guillot spent time in Lancaster, Texas working for the Confederate causes. After the Civil War, Guillot again built and sold carriages at his own company on the corner of Elm and Record in Dallas. This is the site where Father Claude Augagneur met with the few Catholics in the area. [vi]
With the coming of the railroads in 1872 and 1873 the population of the town of Dallas rapidly increased. The number of Catholics had increased sufficiently that a parish could be organized. Reverend Mathurin Perrier (1822-1888), a French missionary priest, was sent to Dallas and became the first resident priest here. He oversaw construction of the first Catholic Church that was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1872.[vii] This small frame parish church was built in the Bullington Addition on one-half block of land purchased for $500.00 on the northeast corner of Bryan and Ervay.[viii] Reverend Perrier has been described as being so obese that he could not ride horseback - so he had to ride in a springless wagon. By 1874 he was again on the road for several years settling in San Antonio where he died in 1888.[ix]
Reverend Joseph Martiniere was assigned by the Bishop in Galveston to be pastor of the Sacred Heart in Dallas in 1873.[x] Joseph Martiniere was born in Lyon, France in 1841 and attended the Ecclesiastical College of l’Argentiere for nine years. After that a three-year course of theology in Lyons prepared him for the ministry. In 1862 at the invitation of Bishop Claud Marie Dubuis of Galveston, Joseph Martiniere came to America with twelve other seminarians and remained fourteen months in New Orleans, there receiving Holy Orders under Bishop J.M. Odin at the Cathedral in New Orleans. After his ordination he was sent as an assistant to Reverend F. Forest in Hallettsville, Texas. Hallettsville had a large settlement of German and Polish Catholics. He traveled over this large territory for nine years. During this time, Indians attacked a wagon train he was traveling with near Weatherford. From this start his field was extended to Jefferson, Denison, St. Paul, Weatherford and Dallas.[xi]
1855 the Reunion Colonists, many from France and led by a socialist, came to Dallas County. Although the Colony on the Western side of Dallas County lasted only three years and some colonists returned to their old homes in Europe, many of these people stayed in Dallas County. Reunion Colonists were thought to be or accused of being agnostics or atheists, but that proved not to be true. When the colony broke up in 1858, a few who stayed went to the area now known as Irving on the far West side of Dallas County. They joined together by 1860 to practice their Catholic religion in their homes.[xii] St. Luke was established as a parish and in 1902 on the site of on one of the three lots donated by the founders of the original townsite of Irving - a church was built.[xiii]
In 1870s another Catholic Church was being started in the far East side of Dallas County in Rowlett, where Irish natives Patrick and Mary McEntee came in 1874. The McEntees decided it was too far to travel 20 miles to the city of Dallas to attend the church of their choice, or try and cross the East Fort of the Trinity to meet with the Catholics at St. Paul, so this family joined by the Burkhards, Herberts, and Conners, along with the Sperling and Fischer families who lived in this vicinity met in their homes. Father Daniel Harrington rode to Rowlett every month for years to meet with these families on this side of Dallas County. By 1890 they were able to form their own parish and build a church. Bishop Dunne dedicated this small frame church, the second Catholic Church in Dallas County, in 1900 on land donated by the McEntees, and named it Sacred Heart.[xiv]
In 1873, Bishop Dubuis now the Bishop of Galveston, recognizing the need for a school for women in North Texas and insisting that the financial depression in Galveston could not support a large Convent, asked the Mother Superior, Reverend Mother St. Augustine de Lassaulz, to staff a school in Dallas. The Ursuline Chapter voted approval in December 1873 and they agreed to furnish $150.00 to fund the proposal. The Reverend Mother then selected the six nuns who would come and she also requested the Bishop to appoint Reverend Joseph Martiniere as Confessor and Chaplain. Thus Bishop Dubuis established a Dallas branch of the Ursuline Monastery in Dallas. This order is written in the Bishop’s own elaborate script, all in French. This group of sisters traveled from Galveston to Dallas by train accompanied by the Bishop. They arrived on January 18, 1874 and Mass was said at Rev. Martiniere’s church before they went to the convent. No preparation had been made, as the small house was bare. Several people met the group and a couple who lived nearby prepared breakfast at their home for the sisters and the Bishop. The generous couple insisted they all stay as their guests until the house could be made livable.[xv] In the history of the Ursulines in Dallas documented by the Mother Superior, she mentions that the Bishop worked in his shirtsleeves to improve the conditions in the cabin for the sisters.
In 1888 Thomas Marsalis offered a desirable location in Oak Cliff. With the permission of Bishop N.A. Gallagher who was now the Bishop of Galveston, this location is where Martiniere established St. Joseph’s orphanage on Park (Page) between Adams and Jackson (Llewellyn).[xvi].
In July 1890 Pope Leo XIII created the new Diocese of Dallas. The Dallas Diocese took in forty percent of the State of Texas spreading through 121 counties from Louisiana to
In April 1891 the Pope sent the Most Reverend Thomas Francis Brennan of Erie, Pennsylvania to be the first Catholic Bishop for the new Dallas Diocese. Bishop Brennan did not last but eighteen months in Dallas. Although very energetic and well educated he lacked tact and prudence and was not well liked by the Ursulines and priests in the diocese who wrote letters to the Pope. When Brennan went to Rome in 1892 it seems he was unaware of the complaints and when confronted by Rome, he resigned. While only in Dallas a short time one of Brennan’’s accomplishments was to establish Texas’ first Catholic newspaper. When the Diocese was formed there were 20 churches and missions, 15 active priests and 15,000 Catholics about 1 percent of the population. In the short time Bishop Brennan was in the large territory in the new Diocese of Dallas, many churches, a hospital, and several small schools were established. [xvii]
Fourteen months after the resignation of Brennan the second Bishop for the Dallas Diocese was named. Tthe Most Reverend Edward J. Dunne was installed in January 1894. He was a native of Ireland and had been brought to America when he was less than two years old. He grew up in Chicago, was ordained in Baltimore in 1871 and returned to Chicago. Rev. Dunne served at several churches in Chicago and was most concerned with education. He studied the Chicago public school system and tried to make the parochial school at All Saints superior to those in the system.[xviii] Year after year the students at All Saints easily passed the examination given by the Public Board of Education. For this endeavor he received a congratulatory letter from the Chicago Public Schools that was displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. [xix]
When Edward J. Dunne was consecrated Bishop several thousand dollars had been given to him by the people and priests of Chicago where he had served for nearly twenty years. Dunne brought this gift with him to be used for the needs of the new Dallas Diocese. Arriving in Dallas, Bishop Dunne found an expanding Catholic population with many opportunities that was in the midst of a depression. Over this large territory there were now twenty-eight churches and the need was great.
During this time Bishop Dunne was listed as living at 182 Ervay. His residence was described as one room in a corner of the small frame church’s rectory. He chose to live in this small room rather than spend the money on a lavish Episcopal rectory. From the beginning of his time in Dallas, Bishop Dunne to the detriment of his health spent the next eight years planning and directing all efforts to raise the money to build a Cathedral. In a short history on the origins of the Catholic Church in Dallas prepared by Bishop Joseph P. Lynch, the Cathedral was described as “that great monument of his energy and zeal” and attributed it to Bishop Dunne.
Forty-three year-old Irish native Bishop Dunne was well equipped to pursue an active course in this new Diocese. He had been involved as Rector of All Saints Church in Chicago and had finally managed to build a large facility through his efforts in 1880. Bishop Dunne, traveled throughout the large Dallas Diocese and in April 1894, assisted by Prussia native Reverend Joseph Blum, the Rector of the Pro-cathedral, called a meeting of interested persons around the area. Through Father Blum’s energy the Bishop stated, “That all debt of the Parish had been arranged so that it could be distributed over the next twenty years and that now was the time to proceed with the building of a Cathedral.” Bishop Dunne stated that everywhere he went people were asking,”When are you going to have a Cathedral in Dallas?”[xx]
He also noted other religious edifices had been built and it remains for “us to put ourselves on an equality.” The group was urged to put their hands in their pockets and furnish the means to put up this structure. [xxi]Speeches were made by prominent members of the Parish, money was subscribed, every one was enthusiastic and it was determined to begin the work without delay. Before Christmas in 1894, ground was broken for the Cathedral at the corner of Ross and Pearl Street.[xxii]
The money that was given to Bishop Dunne when he came to Dallas was approximately $35,000.00. He planned to use this for the needs of the new diocese. Eventually this money was used toward the $100,000.00 that was required to build the Cathedral.[xxiii] To escape the heat in Texas, Dunne spent many summers traveling to northern states, lecturing and receiving donations for the Cathedral.
The land that had been purchased at the northeast corner of Ross and Pearl was lot 530 in the corporate limits of City of Dallas. The city had expanded the limits in 1890 and much of the city was built on the over four thousand acres of land known as the Grigsby League. William H. Gaston had purchased ten acres of this land for $100.00 an acre soon after arriving in Dallas in 1868. [xxiv] Gaston built his own first house on the southwest corner of Ross and Pearl. By 1888, he had built a much larger home on White Rock Road (Swiss Ave.) and sold the Ross Avenue site to Alfred Horatio Belo.
Gaston also sold three-quarter acres of vacant property on the northeast corner of Ross and Pearl first to L.M. and Eliza F. Martin in 1885.[xxv] By 1887 the Martins sold to S.M. and Bobbie McDaniel Welch.[xxvi] In 1890 the Welchs sold to Bishop Gallagher in Galveston.[xxvii] Bishop Gallagher transferred the title to Bishop E.J. Dunne on October 1, 1895. [xxviii] There were other sites conveyed at this same time.
Father Joseph Blum, who had succeeded Father Martiniere as Rector of the Pro-cathedral when Martiniere became the chaplain of Ursuline, was involved in the selection of the land at the corner of Ross and Pearl Street for the Cathedral. Father Blum made an excellent choice.[xxix] The law and custom of the Church require that the expense of building a Cathedral be born by the entire Diocese and not the Cathedral parish alone. Bishop Dunne traveled to other Dioceses around the United States making speeches, requesting funds as well as local requests. Memorials and donations were being sought.
Ross Avenue, first named Carondelet, had become one of the more choice places to live in Dallas. It was one of the first streets in Dallas that was paved, which was a new process. Macadam paving was first used in 1885 and Ross Avenue between Ervay and the H&TC tracks had been completed.[xxx] Ross was re-named for two brothers who had immigrated to Texas in 1854. William settled in Smith County where he planted an orchard and a vineyard. His wines became known for their delicacy and purity. Andrew J. Ross served in the Civil War and came to Dallas in 1866 to join his brother who had moved to Dallas by this time. They both became involved in the Real Estate Business in Dallas. [xxxi]
Many mansions around the turn of the century were being built on Ross Ave. Some of the more prominent men in Dallas history lived on this paved street. Jules Schneider’s home was built in 1879 on the corner of Ross and Ervay. James Flanders, one of Dallas’ first architects had designed his High Victorian Italianate mansion. Schneider was president of a wholesale grocery store and the Consolidated Street Railway Company.[xxxii]
Across Pearl Street from the Cathedral property, Colonel Alfred Horatio Belo who came to Dallas from Galveston in 1885 acquired the property from W.H. Gaston. Belo had this small frame house on the property removed and constructed the beautiful Georgian Colonial designed by Herbert Greene that is still standing. Belo acquired the Galveston News and later the Dallas Morning News. After Belo died in April 1901 the family stayed in the home a few more years. Alfred Jr. died in 1907 and eventually this facility was leased to the Loudermilk/Sparkman Funeral Home. Currently the Belo mansion is the home of the Dallas Bar Association.[xxxiii]
Across Ross Avenue from the Cathedral property, was the home of John S. Armstrong, president of Armstrong Packing Company and the founder of Highland Park. His Queen Anne mansion was completed in 1891 but like so many other beautiful structures was torn down in the 1927.[xxxiv]
Another massive home was that of John C. Conway,[xxxv] on the corner of Ross and Harwood. Built in 1902, it became the Dallas Academy of Music and School of Opera, before it was destroyed in 1930 for a tire store.[xxxvi]
Ross Avenue was also the choice of several magnificent churches. The corner of Ross and Harwood was chosen in the 1920s, after several other locations had been considered, for the First Methodist Church. This corner had been the site of the Miranda Morrill home that was demolished in the 1920s.[xxxvii]
The Ross Avenue Baptist Church was built in 1915 near the easternmost end of Ross, that at one time was the longest street in Dallas. This site had been a portion of the dairy operated by Anna and Cristian Moser. After Christain died, Anna divided some the land into the Moser Addition and arranged for the corner land to be used by the church.[xxxviii]
Episcopal Bishop Alexander C. Garrett who came to Dallas in 1874 had acquired twenty acres of land at the far end of Ross Avenue to establish St. Mary’s Institute in 1889 for the education of girls and young women. The Chapel built for this school is now St. Matthews Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas.[xxxix]
Reverend Jeffrey Aloysious Hartnett was one of twelve children who came with his family from Ireland to America in 1863. He was educated in Kansas and Ohio. He came to Dallas and was he first priest ordained in Dallas in 1891. He was sent as an assistant to the Pro-cathedral Sacred Heart of Jesus in Dallas. After two months he was made Rector of St. Patricks, a small frame church established in the southern section of Dallas. Hartnett was familiar with the building trade as his father had built railroads and Hartnett had worked with him. The new brick church completed in South Dallas on Harwood and Eakins was an attribute to him. [xl] About this time there were 5000 Catholics in this church and the Cathedral parish. Reverend Joseph Blum became disillusioned with the progress of the fund raising and construction and resigned to go to the church in Muenster, Texas where there was a colonization project of German speaking settlers. A beautiful church was built there with a steeple seventy feet tall!
Hartnett returned to the Pro-cathedral in 1896. It was from here in 1899 during a small pox epidemic that he walked to “the pest house” as Parkland Hospital was called, on a cold February night to give last rites to a patient dying of smallpox and contracted the disease himself and died a short time later. He was described as a Christian folk hero of the time, a “martyr on duty” and an inspiration for numerous poems and devotional stories. There is a Memorial for this martyr at Calvary Cemetery among other pioneer priests, and friends. Rev. Hartnett’s sister, Augustine, was a nun at Ursuline. One of the events on the day of the dedication of the Cathedral, October 26, 1902, Marie Charlotte Resch was baptized. This baby was the grandniece of Joseph Hartnett.[xli] One of the stained glass windows in the Cathedral has the likeness of Reverend Hartness depicted in it. Father James Hays was appointed to fill Hartnett’s position.
Nicholas Joseph Clayton(1840-1916), an esteemed Catholic architect who lived in Galveston had designed many magnificent structures in Texas and was chosen to design the Cathedral building.[xlii] The collection of 19th century Victorian buildings in Galveston designed by Clayton is one of the finest in America today. Clayton born in Cork, Ireland in 1840 arrived in Galveston in 1872, and was the supervising architect of the First Presbyterian Church and the Treemont Hotel. He started to build St. Patrick’s and was called upon to build St. Mary’s Infirmary. In 1876 he started working on St. Mary’s Cathedral in Galveston and built the Santa Fe Building in 1881. This same year he was also called to Palestine, Texas to start a project for the railroad and built the Masonic Temple and Opera House. He designed the Walter Gresham House (now Bishop’s Palace) in Galveston in 1886. He designed St. Edward’s College main building and dormitory in Austin. He was heartbroken when so many of his structures were destroyed or heavily damaged by the 1900 Hurricane that devastated Galveston. [xliii]
It was not known for sure that Clayton was the architect for the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Dallas until, John Hyatt and other officials at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston started to collect Clayton’s drawings in the 1970s. This collection was funded in part by a grant from the Moody Foundation, the National Foundation for the Arts, and the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission.[xliv] The records in Dallas had not been preserved and it was thought by some for many years that the architect was Bishop Dunne. Another name often mentioned in other publications was that of J.E. Overbeck who was given credit for the design.[xlv] After Clayton’s widow died in 1944, Clayton’s children decided to sell the family home in Galveston. The roof of the home had been damaged in a Hurricane in 1943, making a mildewed mess of the papers and drawings stored in the attic. A draftsman, Lawrence Rehm and his wife, who lived nearby and who were friends of the family were asked if they wanted any of the trash they were discarding from the house. The Rehm’s sorted the drawings and gave many of them to the current owners of the Clayton designed buildings. They donated the rest of the collection to the Rosenberg Library. Fortunately many of the original drawings and papers of Nicholas Clayton are now available as part of the Rosenberg Collection.
As for Sacred Heart Cathedral, these drawings reflect the towers or steeples originally planned that had to be eliminated from the Cathedral because the funding was not there to provide for them. Articles in the two Dallas papers on October 26, 1902 both mentioned that plans for two towers, one large and one smaller were contemplated, when the cathedral was finished. The first drawings that were submitted for the Cathedral in Dallas would have been too expensive, so revised drawings were submitted two different times. Bishop Dunne authorized construction to begin in 1896 with the approved, revised plans.[xlvi] Five years later, still disappointed, Mr. Clayton was writing letters to the Bishop about eliminating the towers. Nicholas Clayton died in December 9, 1916 from pneumonia brought on by the November 22, 1916 accident at his home where he was badly burned. He was never compensated for all of his drawing for Sacred Heart Cathedral.[xlvii]
Although the ground was broken in 1894 on the corner of Ross and Pearl, after two years some of the public was becoming concerned as only the foundation had been completed. Progress was being made and in June of 1898 the cornerstone was laid.[xlviii] The Bishop sent a letter to each parish giving them the privilege of donating a window. By 1901 the Bishop sent a list of names of twenty-eight parishes and the amounts they had contributed.[xlix] There were also other individual and collective amounts listed. These donations for windows came from as far away as El Paso, Abilene, Clarksville and Corsicana, all within the area of the Diocese at that time.
The Ladies of the Altar Society were having a set of vestments completed for a Pontifical High Mass following the dedication. The vestments had been ordered from France. The Altar Society also provided the green carpet for the Sanctuary.[l]
The Bishop’s throne was presented by Rev. S.P. McDonnell of Chicago. Rev. McDonnell was among the visiting prelates at the dedication ceremony.[li] The Altar Rail was donated by the Ancient order of Hibernians of the Diocese. K.J. Kivlen was the president of this organization as well as the president of St. Patrick’s branch of Catholic Knights of America. The organ was a gift from the Bishop of Boston.
Donations for other items were a beautifully carved main altar from Swiss native Michael Coerver, who was the general manager of the Dallas Show Case and Manufacturing Company. [lii] This Altar was moved out after Vatican II by the Carmelite Priests when Sacred Heart Parish was combined with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in 1966.[liii] The altar of the Blessed Virgin was being made in Italy of marble with a marble statue. It was given by a Mr. and Mrs. Young in memory of Mr. J.P. Heintz. A massive Sanctuary Lamp was the gift of Mrs. William J. Kain (Kane), whose husband was in the real estate business. Some of these original gifts are still in evidence in the Sanctuary.
William G. Crush donated the Stations of the Cross that were described as being exceptionally beautiful. Mr. Crush was the passenger traffic manager for the Katy Lines. He is still recognized as the person who planned the “Crash at Crush” in 1896 as a publicity stunt. The wreck was staged by having two aging locomotives, drawing six empty passenger cars behind, moving toward each other at full throttle. By the time they crashed they were moving at a mile a minute and exploded hurling a shower of iron and steel several hundred yards around “injuring five persons, two seriously, and two perhaps fatally.”[liv]
In 1911 there was a slight mix-up concerning a bell. For a generous donation, but not known about by the Cathedral Staff, a bell had been ordered by Mrs. Mattie Leonard from a Troy, New York bell manufacturer. When it arrived by freight, the company contacted the Cathedral. It took several letters back and forth to ascertain what the bell was doing in Dallas. At one time it was stored in a garage. [lv]
While Dunne was Bishop the Catholic population grew to over 62,000 in the Diocese and additional churches were constantly being built. During his tenure in the city of Dallas alone there were seven churches. They were the Cathedral of Sacred Heart, Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Church of our Lady of Guadalupe, Holy Trinity, St. Edwards, St. Joseph’s (German), St. Patricks, and three Chapels, St. Joseph’s Orphanage, St. Paul’s (in connection with the sanitarium), and Ursuline. Some of these did not have rectors but were attended from the University of Dallas.
After the completion of the Cathedral, the population continued to expand as the suburbs of Dallas County changed from villages to cities. The separate town of East Dallas had been annexed to the city and in 1890, the census figures reflect that Dallas was the largest city in the state – the only time that has happened. Oak Lawn was developed in the 1890s, Oak Cliff was annexed in 1903, Munger Place was developed in 1905, and Highland Park was incorporated in 1913. All of this expansion called for new churches to built closer to the homes of the population. There were other problems that arose, not every Catholic spoke the same language! As each new parish developed, economic, cultural, language and other challenges were considered.
A group, of Dallas physicians were convinced that better hospital facilities were needed in Dallas and approached Bishop Dunne, later going to New Orleans to confer with church officials there. As a result of these negotiations, St. Paul Sanitarium was founded by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who came to Dallas in 1896 from the Catholic Diocese of Emmitsburg, Maryland. Sister Mary Bernard came to the city and helped raise $10,000.00 and ground was purchased on Bryan Street in Old East Dallas. This was Dallas’ first modern hospital and was completed in 1898. A temporary baby hospital was erected on Hall Street. In 1900 a nurses’ training school was established and the name was changed to St. Paul’s Hospital in 1927.[lvi]
Through his entire tenure Bishop Dunne continued his concerns for education. Through his efforts Holy Trinity College and Academy, was founded by the Vincentian Fathers in 1905. A large structure designed by H.A. Overbeck was constructed on Oak Lawn and Gilbert Street in 1907. After eighteen years of extremely progressive work, Bishop Dunne died of a heart attack while visiting a friend in Green Bay, Wisconsin on August 4, 1910.[lvii] He is buried in Chicago at the request of his brother who was also a priest.
The third Bishop, Joseph Patrick Lynch, was consecrated in July of 1911 and for the next forty-three years he was head of the Dallas Diocese. In 1911 Holy Trinity College and Academy closed and became part of Dallas University. This too, subsequently closed, but the facilities on Oak Lawn and Gilbert were used for twenty years by Jesuit High School.[lviii] In the 1920s a school was built along the Flora Street side of the Cathedral property. It was a two-story brick building plus a basement cafeteria. In 1927 a rectory was built on the Crockett Street side of the property. This was the last construction in the parish for 68 years.
During the 1936 Texas Centennial in Dallas a major exhibit was built with elaborate displays and art work to compliment the large Catholic population in the area. A book was published to preserve this bit of history, as there had been Catholic missions in Texas for over 400 years.[lix]
When Bishop Lynch died in 1954 the position of fourth Bishop for the Dallas Diocese was filled by Thomas Keily Gorman, who had been coajudator since 1952. As the fourth Bishop of the Dallas Diocese, he was involved in the revival of the Texas Catholic newspaper and the University of Dallas was reopened. St Jude’s Chapel was opened in downtown Dallas to serve the public who would find it difficult to attend services during the week otherwise.[lx] New neighborhoods were being developed all around the City and new Catholic churches were being built close to the new homes. The Cathedral parish experienced a slow downhill slide. The facilities were in need of repair and adequate funding was difficult to achieve and the parish boundaries had not been changed.
For many years, Sunday masses were attended by standing room only crowds, truly great days for the Cathedral. World War I and II, The Great Depression following the War and other challenges made for many trials and tribulation for the Mother Church of the large Diocese. [lxi]
The Diocese tried to keep abreast of all these needs by changing the boundaries of some of the parishes. The congregation at the Cathedral Parish in downtown Dallas had dwindled to a handful. The new suburbs were more desirable places to live and raise families. New Catholic Churches were available nearer their homes. Schools were associated with the churches in several instances.
By 1965, the Hispanic congregation attending Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been serving Mexican immigrants since 1904, continued to increase. This small poorly constructed church at 2501 Harwood near the western edge of downtown Dallas needed many repairs. The loyal people of this small church were saving money to repair their site. Bishop Gorman conferred with them and they said they wanted a new church. Knowing that could cost as much as $1,000,000, Bishop Gorman told them if they could raise $500,000 he could find the other money. A fund drive was held and they raised $17,000.00. The Bishop then explained to this group that here was the Cathedral Church, twice as large as they had planned on building and that he could combine the two parish congregations. The Bishop and his staff devised a method that they concluded could accommodate both problems. This congregation of priests and parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe, were joined to the diminishing numbers at Sacred Heart and the money that had been saved by that parish could be used to repair the Cathedral.[lxii] The contract signed on August 11, 1965 between the two parishes and Bishop Gorman stated that the Mexican people could come to the Cathedral from all over the Diocese, no matter where they lived because of the language problems.
Many feel this move saved the building from the wrecking ball. For many years the Cathedral had been segregated and the Hispanics were not allowed to attend services there.[lxiii] There was a severe shortage of priests and the Carmelite Order was serving both Churches. This move by the Bishop was not well received by many of the Catholics in Dallas.
Gorman resigned in 1969 shortly before his 75th birthday and was succeeded by Thomas Tschoepe. Gorman’s retirement at age 75 had been expected and arrangements had been made to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the Diocese. Tschoepe was a native Texan, having been born in Pilot Point, Texas. After retirement he served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph’s Parish in Waxahachie, Texas. Bishop Tschoepe is quoted as saying he never wanted to be anything but an assistant parish priest and that the burden of being a bishop was not something he wanted.[lxiv]
In 1977 the Cathedral’s name was changed from Sacred Heart to Cathedral Sanctuario de Guadalupe. This is the only Cathedral named for “Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God and Mother of the Americas” in the United States.
During this same period Vatican II was introduced in the Dallas Diocese and many changes transpired not only with the liturgy, but with the design of the sacristy and other measures presumably to reflect the needs of the now predominately Hispanic congregation. The original high altar that had been donated by Coerver at the turn of the century and the communion rail were removed and a new configuration was introduced.[lxv] The priest would now face the congregation rather than have his back to them during Mass. The new altar was built of plywood and covered with a cloth.
In the Dallas Diocese was a talented priest that was noted for his many artistic endeavors. Father B.G. Eads was requested to be in charge of a needlepoint tapestry of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be hung on the wall behind the free standing altar. There are over 500 shades of yarn in this piece. Where large blocks used the same color, others were allowed to do the handwork, but the blending of colors was done by Father Eads, himself.[lxvi]
In the 1970s the sanctuary was remodeled. Architect for the Diocese was Raymond Feinberg. The long leaf yellow pine ceiling beams and hand stenciled coffers were painted a monotone color. Acoustical wall tiles were installed. The gold leaf in the frieze and column capitals was painted over.
Concern for space and funds to maintain the Cathedral were foremost when in 1985 the Catholic Diocese negotiated a long-term lease on property next to the Cathedral with King Laughlin Co. and Bright Realty Corp. Both Bright Banc and the Catholic Diocese were to be major tenants of a skyscraper and parking garage planned for the land.[lxvii] Known only to a few people before the date, the rectory built in 1927 was demolished in 1986 to make room for the potential skyscraper. Then the two-story school building built in 1917 was demolished in 1989 to make way for the Myerson Symphony Hall that was to be built by the City of Dallas. It was thought that the parking garage could be used by both the Cathedral and the Symphony.
The developers were anxious to start the new multi-story building in the area becoming known as the Arts District. After the foundation work was started Bright Banc’s financial problems stalled the project for months and eventually RTC took over the remaining assets. The hole that had been dug for the foundation of the projected bank building was not shored up correctly and there was standing water causing the ground to shift. It is interesting to see the response of the people involved when large cracks appeared in the sanctuary and the Cathedral suffered damage.[lxviii] A thorough study was performed to ascertain the damages to the Cathedral.[lxix]
July 15, 1990 was the date of Bishop Charles V. Grahmann’s ascension to the post. He had been coadjutor bishop since February. Before coming to Dallas, the new bishop had served in Victoria, Texas for eight years and before that for 26 years the archdiocese of San Antonio. Bishop Grahmann, who was born in Hallettsville, Texas speaks fluent Spanish. Two people were added to Grahmann’s staff to implement a plan for the Hispanic ministry. At this time, the Diocese had 64 parishes and missions, 159 active priests, and 213,000 members or 8 percent of the population. Forty percent of the parishioners in the Dallas Diocese were Hispanic.
In 1994 a tax dispute with the city was uncovered when application for a building permit was made. Going back to 1987, the tax statements had been sent to the company that had planned to build the thirty-story building. But, the taxes had not been paid. The attorney’s for the Diocese and the City are working together while the case is still in court.[lxx] It could have been as much as $500,000.00 with penalties and interest.[lxxi]
In February 1995, ground was broken for a $4 million dollar parish center that was planned for the area next to the Cathedral where the rectory had been. The architect was Downing Thomas and the center was designed to complement the Cathedral with the same basic red brick and white accented stone. The windows have Gothic arches, but in a contemporary way. It was constructed atop the underground seven-story parking garage built by Bright Laughlin Office Partners in 1990. Due to the long delay, costs had risen but a much needed scaled down facility was completed next to the Cathedral in 1995. [lxxii]
In 1997 some work was done on the building and a new tile roof was completed. By 2001, still only the parking garage has been built. In the year 2001 there are over 11,000 attending Sunday Mass with separate services conducted in both English and Spanish.[lxxiii]
There is no way the people responsible for the selection of the site of the Cathedral could have known that a century later the Arts District of Dallas would have surrounded this special spot. The Dallas Museum of Art and the Meyerson Symphony Center are already in place. The Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School, one of the most successful high schools in Dallas has been upgraded and expanded. The Trammell Crow Building and other magnificent skyscrapers are seen from every direction. Freeways to other sections of the Metroplex intersect nearby, but the Cathedral, is still the center of attraction.
[i] Souvenir Program of the Dedication Ceremonies, October 26, 1902 copies available in the Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. in the Mesquite Public Library, Dallas Public Library.
[ii] Use of electricity in Dallas was very new and sometimes not dependable, yet. The flood in Dallas in 1908 inundated the power plant and caused a shut down of all usage for days.
`[iii] Information in the short history of the origins of the Catholic Church in Dallas compiled by Bishop Joseph P. Lynch in 1908. Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. Also see Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County page 321.
[iv] Handbook of Texas Online – This information from the Catholic Archives of Texas files compiled by Mark Woodruff. Also see Lusty Texans of Dallas page 297.
[vi] Several sources - Bishop Lynch included this in his short history of Dallas Catholics.
Father Sebastian Augagneur later died in Corpus Christi of yellow fever.
[vii] Handbook of Texas Online – Perrier’s name is spelled several ways, Perry and Pairier.The information from Catholic Archives of Texas files compiled by Mark Woodruff.
[viii] Present site of the U.S. Post Office – Lot No. 241 is a portion of the Grigsby League. Dallas County Deed Records Volume 39 page 134 transfer from Jacob Wagner to Bishop Claude Dubuis in Galveston.
[xiii] Dallas County Deed Records – Plat Book No. 1 page 12.
[xiv] Texas Historical Marker dedicated for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rowlett, Texas in January 1977.
[xv] Information from application for a Texas Historical Marker for Ursuline Academy prepared by Sister Lois Bannon from the Annuls of the Ursuline Convent in the archives of the Academy. Marker dedicated in 1990.
[xvii] Handbook of Texas Online, Dallas Catholic Diocese, compiled by Sister Lois Bannon. Catholic Diocese archives.
[xxi] Copy of check written by Thomas F. McEnnis dated May 9, 1990 to purchase ground for the Cathedral at Ross Avenue and Pearl. Note on check says there were three others of like amounts.
[xxv] Dallas County Deed Records Volume 72 page 270. There was a lien carried by Texas Land and Mortgage Company Limited of London England.
[xxvii] Dallas County Deed Records Volume 134 page 37. This sale was with $5000.00 cash and a balance of $11, 000.00 with 10% interest.
[xxviii] Dallas County Deed Records Volume 190 page 193. A second deed was restricted to only the Cathedral site.
[xxxv] A History of Greater Dallas, page 248. Also see City of the Hour. Armstrong’s home was designed by H.A. Overbeck.
[xxxviii] Dallas County Deed Records Volume 702 page 192 and Volume 704 page 1. Deeds relating to the Ross Avenue Baptist Church.
[xxxix] Dallas Rediscovered page 148. The Belo family donated the Chapel as a memorial to their son, A.H. Belo, Jr. who had died in 1907.
[xl] A History of Greater Dallas page 248. H. A. Overbeck was the architect for St. Patricks. A storm in January 1891 blew the small frame church off of its foundation, thus causing the new brick church to be built. St. Patrick’s parish was formed in 1882. For biographical details concerning Rev. Jeffrey Aloysius Hartnett see Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County page 373.
[xli] Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald microfilm October 25, 26, 27, 1902 information on the dedication of the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
[xlii] The Legend of Nicholas Clayton by Robert Nesbitt, David Dillon Dallas Morning News, Stephen Fox architectural historian at Rice University in Houston, original drawings in the Rosenberg Library in Galveston.
[xliii] Texas Catholic Historical Society, Stephan Fox article Copyright 1991.
[xliv] Texas Architect, March-April 1986 article by Jim Steeley – The Fall and Rise of Nicholas Clayton.
[xlv] J.E. Overbeck is listed as an Architect in the 1915 Dallas City Directory, it is possible he worked with Nicholas Clayton on the construction of the Cathedral. He had worked with Sanguinett and Staats architects of Ft. Worth on the construction of some buildings there. His biography mentions that he came to Dallas in 1902.
[xlvi] The files concerning Sacred Heart in the Rosenberg Library in Galveston reveal that Rev, Martinere contacted Nicholas Clayton in 1887 to submit drawings for a Cathedral. These renderings were later modified several times. The page of the architectural drawings dated 10-1-1896 and the words Modified Design show the two steeples.
[liii] Memo dated June 6, 1990 on file in archives at the Diocese referring to inquiry by Sophie Coerver Flusche, daughter of Mike Coerver, as to the Memorial Plaque that was to have been placed when the altar was removed..
[lv] Letters in file at the Dallas Diocese archives.
[lvi] The WPA Dallas Guide and History pages 79, 90, 176, 249,251,254. Dallas Rediscovered pages 76,85,155,156,158.
[lvii] Handbook of Texas – Online. Catholic Archives of Texas and Archives of the Dallas Diocese.
[lviii] Dallas Rediscovered page 207.
[lix] Information on 1936 Texas Centennial Exhibit in archives. Article in the Texas Catholic dated January 21, 2000 by Steve Landregan.
[lx] Handbook of Texas – Online Dallas Catholic Diocese, compiled by Sister Lois Bannon
[lxi] Letters in the Archives of the Diocese attest to the parishioners who wished to stay with the Cathedral parish rather than transfer to a parish closer to their place of residence.
[lxii] Due to a severe shortage of priests the Carmelite Order was staffing Sacred Heart and Guadalupe. Interview with Bishop Tschoepe preserved on video.
[lxiii] Dallas Morning News clippings dated May 25, 1986 and June 14, 1998.
[lxiv] Dallas Times Herald undated clipping, interview with retiring Bishop Thomas Tschoepe at the time of the 100th Anniversary of the Dallas Diocese.
[lxv] There are several explanations as to what happened to the beautiful altar – (1) it had been damaged by termites (2) it was sent to Mexico never to be seem again (3) some pieces remain. Memo dated June 6, 1990 regarding telephone call from Sophie Coerver Flusche checking on memorial plaque to show the donor’s name - in the Cathedral’s file.
[lxvi] Information contained in a video prepared during this period. Father B.G. Eads is pictured at his loom.
[lxviii] Letters in this regard in the personal file of Frances James – letter dated October 22, 1986 from Cook Consultants and letter dated November 21, 1986 from Director of Public Works for the City of Dallas.
[lxxi] Dallas Morning News clipping dated March 25, 1994.
[lxxii] Oral Interview with Aaron Farmer of Boosiotis and Company the architural firm that was in charge of the addition.
[lxxiii] Parish records. Program for April 8. 2001 included.