Mexican Religious Question collection
Scope and Contents
The Mexican Religious Question collection includes correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and manuscript drafts regarding the temporary establishment of a seminary for Mexican Catholic exiles during the Cristero War. Arrangement includes three series - the first series includes comprehensive materials from the Cristero War, and the following two series contain items from their respective seminaries. Publications detailing the situation in Mexico and a call to action by the American Catholic hierarchy and the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal lay Catholic men's organization, comprise the Mexican Religious Crisis series. The Castroville Seminary series includes correspondence from Archbishop Drossaerts of San Antonio's attempts to secure a seminary space for Mexican seminarians to use as a temporary seminary. Reports, photographs, manuscript drafts, and publications constitute the Montezuma Seminary series.
- Creation: 1906 - 1984
- Catholic Archives of Texas (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.
Conditions Governing Use
Gloves must be worn while handling photographs. Photographic sleeves may not be removed by researchers.
Due to the incurred violence of the Mexican Revolution, many Mexican families emigrated to the United States, with some settling permanently in Texas. For those that remained in Mexico, life was dramatically altered - particularly for actively practicing Catholics. Under the 1917 Constitution of Mexico, a wave of anticlericalism swept Mexico. Eventually, minor clashes between the government and Catholics led to a widespread uprising. The rebellion, known as the Cristero War or La Cristiada, initially received little support. However, the American Catholic hierarchy desired to support the Mexican Catholic hierarchy, clergy, and families with the necessary resources to mediate long-term damage to the Church in Mexico.
Bishop Francis Kelley of Oklahoma City and the Catholic Extension Society, Archbishop Jerome Drossaerts of San Antonio, Bishop John Gannon of Erie, and countless others gathered resources to provide a safe place for Mexican seminarians to continue their education. Several American dioceses and the Knights of Columbus raised funds to open a temporary seminary in Castroville, Texas. The Seminary of St. Philip Neri for Mexican Students (Mexican Seminary) operated between 1915-1930. During its operation, the Mexican Seminary closed as it became safe for students to return to Mexico and reopened as Catholic persecution increased. Between 1937-1972, Montezuma Seminary operated in Las Vegas, New Mexico to continue the tradition of international cooperation and education.
1 linear foot
Language of Materials
The Mexican Religious Question collection includes correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and manuscript drafts regarding the temporary establishment of a seminary for Mexican Catholic exiles during the Cristero War.
The collection is arranged chronologically within the following three series:
I. Mexican Religious Crisis, 1906-1984 and undated: Publications from Extension Magazine, Southern Messenger, and conferences of American Bishops regarding anticlericalism in Mexico.
II. Castroville Seminary, 1916-1935: Photographs and correspondence regarding purchase of a seminary in Castroville, Texas for exiled Mexican clergy.
III. Montezuma Seminary, 1937-1955 and undated: Photographs, correspondence, seminary history manuscripts, and publications from the Montezuma Seminary in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection has an unknown provenance.
Moore, James T. “A Refuge in Texas.” In Acts of Faith: The Catholic Church in Texas, 1900-1950. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2002.
This collection was processed by Selena Aleman, March 2019.
- FitzSimon, Laurence J. (Laurence Julius), 1895-1958 (Person)
- Drossaerts, Arthur J. (Arthur Jerome), 1862-1940 (Person)
- Knights of Columbus (Organization)
- Gannon, John Mark, 1877-1968 (Person)
- Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States of America (Organization)
- Kelley, Francis Clement, 1870-1948 (Person)
- A Guide to the Mexican Religious Question Collection
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Catholic Archives of Texas Repository
6225 E US 290 HWY EB SVRD
Austin TX 78723 United States