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"Despedida": Jesuits Depart San Antonio Parish

Dec. 11, 2018 - After 86 years of service to the People of God at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Shrine in San Antonio, the Jesuits are turning the parish over to the Archdiocese of San Antonio, effective January 1, 2019.  

Our Lady of Guadalupe has been a Jesuit parish since 1932. This Wednesday, Dec. 12, the Jesuit community at the Shrine will formally depart in a Despedida celebration in the parish's Brother Gus Hall following the 6:30 p.m. Mass. December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for whom the parish is named. 

The Archdiocesan celebration of the legacy of the Jesuits will be their official send-off from the parish. Jesuit pastor Michael Bouzigard said, “The Despedida celebration will be a simple gathering of parishioners, Jesuits of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Archbishop of San Antonio Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., and other archdiocesan clergy.”

Despedida means farewell in Spanish. Many of the parish's members are Hispanic, and a despedida celebration is a tradition in many Hispanic cultures. 

This was a difficult decision, made necessary by the availability of fewer Jesuits qualified to lead a Spanish-speaking parish. 

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was founded in 1911 to serve San Antonio’s population, many of whom were refugees of the 1910 revolution in Mexico. Today, the Shrine remains a vibrant center of Hispanic-American Catholicism in central Texas, with a living legacy of God’s mercy in celebration, ministry, social outreach and advocacy.

For a full schedule of Wednesday’s Feast Day events, visit the Shrine’s calendar.





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Situated on 900 acres of farmland, the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Grand Coteau provides a quiet environment for those seeking God through the Spiritual Exercises.