The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Fall 1991, Volume 37, Number 4
Richard W. Crawford, Editor

Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe

The Mexican Catholic Experience in San Diego

by Alberto López Pulido
Professor of Sociology, University of Utah
Winner of the Ecumenical Conference Award for Religious History in the 1991 San Diego History Center Institute of History

Images from the Article

In 1939, Bishop Charles F. Buddy of the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese elected to remove the Spanish-speaking priests from the two predominantly Mexican parishes in his diocese. Little did he know that such a decision would be met with great resistance from the Mexican laity who perceived their priests as guideposts to the sacred. This essay offers a historical account of the ensuing conflict that occurred between the Mexican laity and the non-Mexican hierarchy. It presents important implications for the Mexican/Mexican American community and the Roman Catholic Church of the United States.1

The origins of a collective religious expression of Mexican Catholics at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Diego, began prior to the establishment of the San Diego Catholic Diocese, in 1917, with the establishment of "La Purisima" mission, under the direction of Our Lady of Angeles parish. This small chapel was located on the northeast corner of Kearney Avenue at Sigsby and 19th Street, and was staffed by Fathers Lynch and McMahon, from nearby parishes. In 1921, Father Juan Coma was appointed rector of La Purisima, and was responsible for the construction of "Our Lady of Guadalupe" parish located at 1704 Kearney Avenue. Construction of this small church was completed around September 5, 1922. A larger church and rectory was built up the street from the old Church, at its present location (1770 Kearney), under the direction of the Spanish Augustinian Recollects, and was dedicated on December 13, 1931, by Bishop John Cantwell.

On July 11, 1936, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego California was created out of the Los Angeles-San Diego diocese. The new diocese comprised the Southern California counties of San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, and San Diego, with Charles Francis Buddy being named as its founding bishop. Bishop Charles F. Buddy, formally chancellor of the Diocese of Saint Joseph, Missouri, was installed as Bishop of the San Diego Catholic Diocese on February 3, 1937, at St. Joseph's Cathedral. Described as "visionary," and as "a man possessed of a dream," Charles Buddy executed a principal role in developing a major metropolitan diocese during his thirty year tenure.2 However, to reach this point, he would have to grapple with a newly formed diocese described by many as "a poor missionary field", in which 63 percent of the flock were Mexican.3 In 1938, the bishop estimated some 90,000 Mexicans in his diocese that had over 141,000 Catholics, at the time of its inception.4 The spiritual vision of Charles Buddy was to transform his financially poor diocese, which he described as being on the "Rim of Christendom," into a viable and thriving Roman Catholic diocese in Southern California.5

As a result, he confronted, and actively worked to resolve two major "problems" involving Mexican Catholics in his diocese. He sought to: 1) relieve the burden of having to minister to a large Mexican Catholic community; and 2) work to change the "ineffective" ministries of missionary priests working among the Mexican population. Such changes would have a lasting impact on the lives of Mexican/Mexican American Catholic communities at both Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe parishes in San Diego, and San Bernardino, California.

Mexican Catholics were defined by the new bishop as a "burden" for his newly established diocese, due to their low economic status, and their lack of religious instruction in the Catholic faith. Since Mexicans were too poor to support their own priests, the cost of supporting more than thirty priests to work with the Mexicans rested on the diocese.6 He described the Mexican situation as "taxing" the slender resources of the diocese, as twenty-eight catechists were working with over 50,000 Mexican children, to instruct them in the ways of the faith. This was necessary since "tens of thousands of Mexicans [were] lost to the faith for lack of instruction."7 For Bishop Buddy, all these characteristics were those of a missionary diocese which he contended required the immediate attention and support of the Catholic Extension Society.8

The Extension Society was established in 1905 by Father Francis Clements Kelley with the goal of alleviating the struggle of home missions. With the assistance of Father William D. O'Brien, Extension magazine was established in 1906, and was instrumental in bringing the cause of the home mission to the American Catholic community.9 By 1934, Father O'Brien, who by this date was Monsignor O'Brien, was appointed President of Extension, and elevated to Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago.10

A significant relationship, and ensuing friendship, developed between Charles Buddy and William O'Brien, lasting throughout the entire episcopate of Charles Buddy. In the eyes of Bishop O'Brien, Charles Buddy was a "missionary bishop with missionary priests", and consequently provided the new bishop with the financial incentives necessary for building and preserving a "successful" diocese.11

As a result of this friendship, Bishop Buddy was seldom refused any request for money, and frequently reminded by Bishop O'Brien that other bishops might overreact to the recurrent contributions made by the Extension Society.12 Furthermore, as a "poor missionary diocese" having to struggle with the burden of poor Mexican Catholics, the environment was ideal for major financial assistance from the Extension Society. By 1941, the San Diego diocese was receiving over $11,000 a year primarily for the construction and reparation of churches, and the subsidizing of missionary priests.13 Within a ten year period (1939-1949), the Catholic diocese of San Diego was successful in receiving over $184,000 in financial assistance for the construction of mission churches, and subsidies to missionary priests.14

Prior to the formation of the San Diego Catholic diocese, Bishop John Cantwell (Los Angeles-San Diego diocese), in 1929, recruited several Spanish-speaking priests from the Spanish Augustinian Recollects (SAR) religious order to the southern regions of the Los Angeles-San Diego Catholic diocese to minister to the large Mexican population in the counties of San Bernardino and San Diego. Fathers Luis Buldain and Benito Dorca were appointed to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe parish in San Diego, and Fathers Gabriel Perez and Agustín Cuartero were appointed to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Bernardino. The priests were a welcomed addition for the Mexican Catholic community.

In San Bernardino, for example, the appointment of the SAR priests was the result of numerous complaints from Mexican parishioners, regarding the lack of Spanish-speaking priests to minister to Mexican Catholics. A Father Rossi, for example, was described as a priest who treated the Mexican colony with much "cruelty" because "he is of a distinct race, [and has a] very violent temperament (geñio)" and is viewed with contempt by the Mexican congregation.15 Overtime, the SAR priests had become the "leaders" to the "souls" of the Mexican people and important centers of community for Mexican Catholics; but with the formation of the San Diego Catholic Diocese, their ministry would be rendered ineffective by the newly appointed bishop.

Bishop Buddy was not very fond of missionary priests who in his opinion were synonymous with "problem priests." In confessing his "tale of woe" to Bishop O'Brien four years after the hierarchical-lay conflict, Bishop Buddy reflected that his infant diocese, prior to its formation, was used as a "dumping ground" for the whole United States, because of its delightful climate. This, for him, helped explain the present weakness of the Catholic faith in his diocese. In this letter, he reflected:

"It has been hard, uphill work to rid the place of many a problem [priest] both secular and regular. Some of them took me to Rome for putting them out. But so far, thanks be to God, we have succeeded. But it is no wonder why the faith is weak in Southern California."16

It was this outlook which had challenged and transformed the established Mexican congregations of San Diego and San Bernardino.

On September 17, 1939, Father Cuartero announced to the Holy Name Society of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Bernardino that he was being removed from the parish, and being replaced by an Irish priest. The Officers of the Holy Name Society responded with disbelief and unanimously agreed that something needed to be done.

The plan for action was that a memorandum would be forwarded to the bishop asking that the SARs should not be removed from their parish. It was also made known by the President of the Holy Name Society that a detective would be consulted in order to "apprehend" those individuals in the parish who were "creating problems."17

The memorandum forwarded by the Holy Name Society to the bishop expressed the society's confusion regarding his recent decision. They asked, why their Spanish-speaking priests were being removed from a diocese which contained 85,000 Mexicans, and a shortage of Spanish-speaking priests? They expressed concern that other priests, with disregard towards the Mexican, would serve as replacements, and their disbelief was compounded by the fact that they were good Mexican Catholics. "They were a race which has been honored by the Mother of God and the first race in the continent to shed blood for Christ."

This was indicative of a Mexican Catholic laity, faithfully aligned with the Mexican Catholic Church, and directly influenced by the Catholic ideals of the Cristero Revolts. To the cries of "¡Viva Cristo Rey!" Mexican Catholic leaders had organized the masses, during the late twenties, in order to resist the government of Mexico.18 It is important to note that during this period, the Los Angeles-San Diego diocese, under the direction of Bishop Cantwell, became a major center for Cristero activity. As a major supporter of the Cristero revolts, John Cantwell attracted numerous Mexican nationals to the diocese, and organized a Cristero procession, considered the largest demonstration in the history of Los Angeles with 40,000 participants.19

The Holy Name Society concluded their memorandum with an ultimatum informing the bishop that if he did not respond to the group within a week, they would proceed with the following actions: 1) Go to the Apostolic Delegate; 2) Canvass the entire diocese of Mexican parishes to join in the case; 3) Use of their individual right of picketing the rectory to see that their priests do not leave the house, and prevent any new priests to come in.20

The memorandum was met with great anger by Bishop Buddy. In order to contain the dissention coming from the Mexican laity, Bishop Buddy entreated the support of the Catholic hierarchy. He wrote to Father Francis Ott, a local priest in San Bernardino, asking that he devote time to the situation unfolding at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe parish. He stressed: "These misguided people must be taught their place", and asked Father Ott to "...kindly send [him] the name of a first-class, honest, energetic Catholic lawyer in San Bernardino...", as well as "...the service of the sheriff or some good Catholic detective."21 He confided in Father Ott stating:

"It does seem to me that most of the trouble has been caused by the lack of judgment of these two Spanish padres who apparently have blah-blahed our plans to the people. Above all we must take every precaution to avoid any possible bloodshed."22

That same day, the bishop wrote to the Auditor of the Apostolic Delegation,23 to inform him that a "faction" had surfaced at "Our Lady of Guadalupe" in San Bernardino, which had been in existence for ten years. He concluded his remarks with his recommendation that: "the whole situation suggest[ed] the advisability of a change of pastor in charge of this parish."24

By November of this year, Bishop Buddy sought the assistance of a Mexican priest for purposes of removing all members of the Holy Name Society. The bishop presented Father José Nuñez with specific instructions: "You can explain to them that their usefulness is at an end and their office terminated."25 The bishop's actions to remove the SARs in San Bernardino would impact on the SAR priests in San Diego.

By early October, Bishop Buddy had made plans for the SARs in San Diego. On October 20th, the Bishop informed Father Damian Gobeo, who had been at the parish since 1932, that he was being removed as pastor of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Diego. His last day at the parish would be October 31, and was being replaced by Father Matthew Thompson, an Irish priest from the Imperial Valley. The bishop expressed his utmost respect and esteem for Father Gobeo informing him that he had been a good priest. As in the case of San Bernardino, the Mexican laity were discouraged and frustrated with the bishop's decision and decided to take action.

One day before the arrival of Father Thompson, a Mexican attorney by the name of Guillermo Rosas wrote to the bishop expressing his concern regarding the removal of Father Damian. Rosas, a practicing attorney in Los Angeles, was made aware of the situation through a mutual friend, who's wife attended Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe. As a "spokesperson" for the Mexican colony, Rosas stated that it was the unanimous opinion of the faithful that an injustice had occurred, with the removal of Father Damian. The "faithful," he stated, cannot help but feel that the removal of the priests will result in "disorienting and confusing" Mexican Catholics.26

Like in the case of San Bernardino, his letter was met unfavorably by the bishop, who in response, consulted with prominent Catholic attorneys in both Los Angeles and San Diego. This resulted in an investigation conducted through the District Attorney's office in San Diego in which it was discovered that Mr. Rosas was secretary to President Porfirio Díaz of Mexico, and was very close to the Archbishop of Mexico between 1914 to 1927. Mr. Rosas had fled Mexico in 1927 to escape persecution from the Calles regime.27 With the completion of this initial investigation, the bishop continued with an FBI and INS probe, as he was convinced that it was necessary "...to teach this man a lesson not to interfere with the Church authorities in this country as pretentious Mexicans have done in Mexico."28 Such convictions would eventually place Rosa's U.S. immigration status in jeopardy.29

That same evening, parishioners from Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe organized and gathered at the diocesan offices for the Catholic Church in San Diego, to protest the removal of Father Gobeo. A total of 300 Mexican Catholics presented Bishop Buddy with a petition signed by 1,500 "faithful" asking that Father Gobeo be retained as their pastor.

The Mexican parishioners expressed a great deal of passion for their priest whom they considered the founder of the Mexican colony, and who had built the church from which he was being dismissed. He was for them: "the leader of our souls"; "the one who christianized our children." Father Gobeo was described as "the one who fostered and maintained the devotion of Our Lady of Guadalupe, he speaks our language and leads us through the right path."30 The bishop informed the crowd that this change was part of a larger program involving eighteen priests in the diocese and could not be altered without creating mass confusion.31 The actions taken by the Mexican Catholic community did not sit well with the bishop. In due time, Bishop Buddy exercised his power and once again sought the assistance of the District Attorney's Office in San Diego to investigate, what in the words of the bishop, was a "...rebellion among the Mexicans of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish."32 In his report, detective Nat McHorney discussed the main objective of the investigation:

"The investigation was carried out with the thought that it is our desire to learn who the ringleaders of the movement were and whether or not there were any persons exercising a subversive influence upon these people."33

From his estimation, Mrs. Lupe Piña, and Paula Espinoza were identified as major ringleaders, with Mrs. Espinoza described as an active instigator who "kept the pot boiling."34 In addition to identifying the ringleaders of the protest, the investigators interrogated Guillermo Rosas, and inquired into "furnishings," missing from the parish house.

Unsatisfied with the bishop's inaction regarding the re-instatement of the SAR priests, the Mexican laity moved to petition assistance from the Catholic hierarchy. They appealed to Pope Pius XII, asking him to please countermand the order involving the removal of Father Gobeo. The Pope received several letters from the Mexican community, including a cablegram signed by the presidents of seven church societies who represented the "Mexican colony of San Diego."35 The outcry and protest from the Mexican laity moved the Apostolic Delegate to request a report from Bishop Buddy accounting for the events that had transpired at both parishes in San Diego, and San Bernardino.

Faced with dissention from the Mexican laity in his diocese, Bishop Buddy organized a counter-movement against the "dissenters." With the help of a few priests, namely Fathers McAstocker and Nuñez in San Bernardino, a manifesto was to be drafted, and signed by "intelligent people" acknowledging their recognition for "episcopal authority." The bishop instructed:

"...these individuals should put in writing their regrets and also express what has been done for them. They should manifest their loyalty and satisfaction with their new Pastor."36

He concluded:

"We have no obligation to indulge the Mexicans. We must try to educate them and kindly point out to them when they make serious mistakes."37

As a result, a "Comité Espontáneo" in San Bernardino was formed in late November. The role of this spontaneous committee was to compose an open letter, signed by Mexican clergy and laity, and distributed to Mexican Catholics in both San Diego and San Bernardino counties. The "manifesto" expressed its disagreement with the recent action taken by those "ignorant Mexicans... [who] without authority or appointment of any kind,...misrepresent[ed] the majority of self-respecting Catholic Mexicans of San Diego."38 They expressed their sorrow to the bishop and hoped that the "agitators" would "...recognize their error, repent, and ask thee for forgiveness."39 The so-called "agitators" responded with their own "Open letter to Bishop Charles Buddy" in which they expressed their "frustration" regarding the removal of the Spanish-speaking priests. In their estimation, the "discontented" were a total of 85,000 Catholics who felt it was their "religious right" to protest the removal of their priests. They stated: "We are not asking for a prerogative outside of our religion, but just for Spanish Speaking priests."40

Having vocalized their dissention with the Catholic hierarchy, the expressed "frustration" from the Mexican laity would continue. In particular, Ms. Paula Espinoza was determined to have her voice heard regarding the removal of the SARs. Ms. Espinoza, a strong and articulate woman, was an active member of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Diego. She was instrumental in establishing the Congregation of Christian Mothers, and served as President of the Society of Perpetual Light.41 Ms. Espinoza was persistent in expressing her disapproval of the bishop's actions to the Pope.

In a telegram, dated late November, she informed the Pope that "the flock is scattered," and that a paralytic by the name of Maria de la Luz Ortega, "has not received the sacraments due to the absence of the Augustinian Recollects who speak Spanish."42

In a second telegram, dated late December, she pleaded with the Pope, stating:

"O my Father, my most loving Father, hear the prayers of an unfortunate woman who beseeches you on behalf of the members of her race."43

The only crime of the Mexican parishioners, she stated, are that they are Mexican, whose "only two loves were to fill their heart with religion, and their native land." For the both of these she concludes, "...we will die in spite of all the torture that may be inflicted upon us."44

Her letters were given little attention, as was evident in the response offered by the representative for the Propagation of the Faith to Bishop Buddy. He stated that the charges made against the bishop "...were too ridiculous to be taken seriously."45

Another response by the Community of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Diego was to actively seek out Spanish-Speaking clergy in order to adjust to the changes brought about by the bishop's actions. By February of 1940, Mexican Catholics in San Diego were crossing the border into Mexico, for marriages, baptisms, and confirmations. For the Vicar Apostolic for Baja California, Monsignor Felipe Torres Hurtado, this phenomena was a direct result of the Spanish-Speaking priests being removed from Guadalupe, and being replaced with Irish priests.46

Monsignor Torres alerted the representative for the Congregation to the Propagation of the Faith, informing him that the bishop of San Diego was neglecting the welfare of the Mexican laity. Felipe Torres expressed his concern that "Mexican Catholics may be in danger of losing their faith through the Protestants who speak Spanish."47

When the representative for the Congregation to the Propagation of the Faith informed Bishop Buddy of Monsignor Torres' letter, the bishop was outraged, and immediately wrote to Felipe Torres, instructing him to confine his future activities to Baja California, and to put an end to his visits to the diocese of San Diego. He concluded by informing Felipe Torres that the San Diego diocese explicitly forbids subjects to receive the sacraments of confirmation outside of the diocese.48 This scuffle was resolved officially, between the bishop of San Diego and Rome, as it was concluded that Felipe Torres had been listening to the misguided and misinformed sector of the Church.

From Bishop Buddy's perspective, the SAR priests were a failure in working with the Mexican people, from both a material and spiritual standpoint. After the major conflict between the hierarchy and laity subsided, the bishop justified why the SAR priests had been asked to resign, in a letter to the Council of the Sacred Congregation in Rome. He reflected:

1) They held no written contract, ("Beneplacitum") granting them the parish.

 

2) They failed to cooperate with the Bishop in the religious instruction of the children.

 

3) They failed to instruct the people in the fundamentals of our Holy Religion.

 

4) The financial affairs of the parish were in a serious condition.49

The SAR priests did not fit in the "institutional mold" that Bishop Buddy was "casting" for his burgeoning Catholic diocese in San Diego.

A final act of resistance toward the SAR removal, by the Mexican Catholic community at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Diego, was the removal of furnishing and household items from the parish house. To his surprise, Father Matthew Thompson was greeted by an empty house, devoid of kitchen utensils, linen, and dishes, a dining room carpet, wall tapestries, drapes and bedding. Father Thompson immediately notified the bishop that the parish house had been "stripped" of many items. The bishop referred the matter to the Deputy District Attorney of San Diego, as discussed above. It was determined that, from the perspective of the Mexican community, several of the "missing items" had been loaned to Father Damian Gobeo, or were gifts they had given to him personally, and not to the Church. Mrs. Barbachano, a member of the parish stated: "I gave the rug to Father Damian and not to the Church."50

The overt conflict between the hierarchy of the San Diego Catholic diocese, and the Mexican Catholic laity in San Diego and San Bernardino, ended with little fanfare, and with very little change coming from the Catholic hierarchy. And, although in the end, the bishop would exercise his privilege of power and successfully removed the Spanish-speaking priests, it did not occur without the interaction and conflict of the Mexican Catholic community. Some took it upon themselves to directly confront the bishop, while others wrote letters to the Pope. Some sought out Spanish-speaking priests across the border to baptize their children, while other left the Church altogether.51

The conflict at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe offers important implications for Mexican/Mexican American Catholics and the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States. It is representative of a larger historical pattern of insensitivity by a predominantly non-Mexican Catholic hierarchy in their relations with the Mexican laity. The history of the North American Catholic Church is one of a foreign clergy and hierarchy, (predominantly Irish and French) that has relegated Mexican religious beliefs to "meaningless" and "peculiar"52 traditions and practices, resulting in their alienation, marginalization, and exodus out of this religious institution. Recent figures indicate that Latino(a) Catholics are leaving the Catholic Church at the rate of approximately 60,000 people a year53. If the goal of this religious institution is to maintain legitimacy with the ethnic group that comprises it largest membership, then its leaders will have to construct a vision that will embrace their Latino brothers and sisters in the years to come.


NOTES

1. I am indebted to Dr. R. Bruce Harley, Sister Catherine Louise LaCoste, Velia Pulido, Rev. Jaime Rasura, and Isabel Valdez for their assistance in compiling the photographs which appear in this article.

2. From 1936 to 1966 Charles Buddy established over 150 new parishes, 30 new missions, 75 new elementary schools, a diocesan newspaper, a seminary, and the University of San Diego. See Steve Dunleavy, "The Church in San Diego", unpublished paper, 1981, pp. 8-9, Diocesan Archives, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties, San Diego, California.

3. William O'Brien to Charles Buddy, 30 January 1941, Extension Society File, 1941-42, San Diego Catholic Archives. See also: Charles Buddy to William O'Brien, 19 December 1941, Extension Society File, 1941-42, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

4. See Charles Buddy to William O'Brien, 29 November 1938, Extension Society file 1917-40, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties; Rev. Francis J. Weber, "Catholicity in the Diocese of San Diego" unpublished paper, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

5. Frederick W. Slater, "Holy Maverick We Sent to San Diego," Timely Observer, editorial, 22 March 1986, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

6. Charles Buddy to William O'Brien, 29 November 1938, Extension Society files, 1917-40, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

7. Ibid.

8. The Catholic Extension Society is a church organization whose goal is to preserve and extend the Roman Catholic faith in the United States through the collection and disbursement of funds for missions. Mission funds are used in five major areas: 1. To help build and repair churches. 2. To provide furnishings for mission churches. 3. To subsidize missionary priests with monthly donations as designated by the bishop. 4. Provide subsidies for the education of impoverished boys who aspire to become missionary priests. 5. To provide finances for home missionaries through the solicitation of surplus mass intentions from both clergy and the laity. See: Sister Catherine Louise LaCoste, "Church Extension Society-I" Southern Cross, 26 April 1984, Vol. 73, No. 17.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. William O'Brien to Charles Buddy, 30 January 1941, Extension Society File, 1941-42, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

12. LaCoste, "Catholic Church Extension Society-I". The importance of this relationship went beyond acquiring funds from the American Extension Society. In 1945, Bishop O'Brien played a key role in the formation of the Bishop's Committee for the Spanish Speaking (BCSS) whose focus was to deal with the "Mexican problem" in American Catholic dioceses. In a letter to Bishop Buddy, Bishop O'Brien explains that the initial idea behind BCSS was to work on solving the "Mexican problem" solely in San Antonio, Texas. But as Bishop O'Brien writes: "...Bishop Metzger and myself convinced the committee that something should be done for the other Missionary Dioceses which have the Mexican problem and not all for San Antonio!" He goes on to explain that American bishops who secure membership in BCSS will be allocated $15,000 a year to build "Mexican Centers" (combination school, clinic, meeting house) in their diocese. He convinces Charles Buddy to join BCSS, and as result, he receives $15,000 from BCSS in 1945, and an additional $15,000 in 1946. See: William O'Brien to Charles Buddy, 25 July 1945, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties; Charles Buddy to William O'Brien, 19 September 1945, San Diego Catholic Archiv ; Charles Buddy to William O'Brien, 10 September 1946, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego- Imperial Counties.

13. William O'Brien to Charles Buddy, 28 May 1941, Extension Society Files, 1941-42, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

14. LaCoste, "Catholic Extension Society-I", Sister Catherine Louise LaCoste, "Extension Society-II," Southern Cross, 31 May 1984, Vol. 73, No. 22, p.2

15. Ambrosio Cabrera to Bishop of Los Angeles/San Diego Catholic Diocese, February 1926, Our Lady of Guadalupe File, 1920-42, Office of Archives, Diocese of San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California.

16. Charles Buddy to William O'Brien, 20 February 1943, Extension Society File, 43-5, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

17. Archival materials reveal that a Mr. W. H. Becker of Von Wittenberg Investigation Bureau was hired by the Holy Name Society. At one point, Mr. Becker forwarded a letter to Bishop Buddy to inform him that he was making a "grave mistake" by removing the SARs. He stated that the Mexicans have formed various committees in the various counties where there existed Mexican parishes to join them in their cause to keep the SARs. See: W. H. Becker to Charles Buddy, 19 September 1939, Apostolic Delegation re: Mexican Question File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

18. Michael C. Meyer and William L. Sherman, The Course of Mexican History (New York: Oxford, 1979), 588. In 1926, President Plutarco Calles chose to enforce the anticlerical articles of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, leading to all-out conflict, known as the Cristero revolts (1926-1929), between Mexican Catholics and the new government. This is an important topic in need of additional research to offer a full assessment of its influence on American Catholicism. See: Jean Meyer, La Crisitada (México: Siglo veintiuno, 1985).

19. Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (London: Verso, 1990), 331.

20. Holy Name Society to Charles Buddy, 17 September 1939, Our Lady of Guadalupe File, 1939, Office of Archives, Diocese of San Bernardino.

21. Charles Buddy to Very Rev. Francis C. Ott, 21 September 1939, Apostolic Delegation re: Mexican Question File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego- Imperial Counties.

22. Charles Buddy to Very Rev. Francis C. Ott, 21 September 1939, Apostolic Delegation re: Mexican Question File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego- Imperial Counties.

23. An Apostolic Delegate is a Vatican representative who supervises ecclesiastical business within a designated country.

24. Charles Buddy to Msgr. Egidio Vagnozzi, Auditor Apostolic Delegation, 21 September 1939, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mexican Troubles File, Office of Archives, Diocese of San Bernardino.

25. Charles Buddy to Rev. José Nuñez, 4 November 1939, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mexican Troubles File, Office of Archives, Diocese of San Bernardino.

26. Guillermo Rosas Jr., Attorney at Law, to Charles Buddy, 30 October 1939, Mexican Case re: Guillermo Rosas File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego- Imperial Counties.

27. James B. Abbey, District Attorney, to Charles Buddy, 7 December 1939, Mexican Case re: Guillermo Rosas, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego- Imperial Counties.

28. Charles Buddy to Harold Cashin, 27 February 1940, Mexican Case re: Guillermo Rosas File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

29. As of May 1940, Rosas had returned to Mexico, and in April of 1941, he sought readmittance into the United States. Through a prominent Catholic attorney in Los Angeles, Bishop Buddy voiced his opposition regarding the admittance of Rosas. According to the bishop, Rosas was "...an undesirable citizen and should not be readmitted to the United States" based on the following: 1. He wrote an insulting letter to the bishop. 2. He joined a group of trouble makers who were agitating the Mexican people to rebel against lawful authority. 3. He is an ungrateful foreigner who came to these shores and extracts money from the poor, unsuspecting people. The archival materials do not reveal if the bishop's actions were successful in blocking the entrance of Rosas into the United States. The information presented by Bishop Buddy to his attorney was turned over to the District Attorney William Mahedy in San Diego. See: Charles Buddy to Joseph Scott, 16 April 1941, Mexican Case re: Guillermo Rosas File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

30. "1500 Protest Loss of Pastor," San Diego Union, 31 October 1939, p.1, col.6.

31. Ibid.

32. Charles Buddy to William P. Mahedy, Deputy District Attorney, 15 December 1939, Mexican Case Re: Guillermo Rosas 1939-1941, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

33. James B. Abbey, District Attorney, to Charles Buddy, 7 December 1939, Mexican Case re: Guillermo Rosas File, 1939-1941, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

34. Ibid.

35. "Retain Pastor, S.D. Catholics Appeal to Pope." San Diego Union, 3 November 1939, p.1, col.4.

36. Charles Buddy to Laurence Forristal, Chancellor, Diocese of San Diego, 11 November 1939, Our Lady of Guadalupe File, 1936-67 Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

37. Ibid.

38. Manifesto to Charles Buddy, undated, Fumasoni-Biondi File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

39. "Contestación de los Católicos Mexicanos de la Diocesis de San Diego, A una carta Abierta al Ilmo. Sr. Obispo Carlos F. Buddy." December 1939, Our Lady of Guadalupe File: Mexican Troubles, 1939, Office of Archives, Diocese of San Bernardino.

40. Ibid.

41. Josepha Najera, interview by author, 27 June 1986.

42. Paula Espinoza, telegram to Pope Pius XII, 29 November 1939, Apostolic Delegation re: Mexican Question File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego- Imperial Counties.

43. Paula Espinoza to Pope Pius XII, 29 December 1939, Our Lady of Guadalupe File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

44. Ibid. This here is another example of how the Cristero Revolts influenced the Mexican Catholic world-view.

45. Cardinal Fumasoni Biondi, Perfect of the Sacred Congregation de Propagation Fide, to Charles Buddy, 6 May 1940, Fumasoni-Biondi re: Msgr. Torres File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

46 Fumasoni-Biondi to Charles Buddy, 27 February 1940, Fumasoni Biondi File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

47. Ibid.

48. Charles Buddy to Felipe de Jesus Torres, 5 April 1940, Mexican Question: Msgr. Torres File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

49. Charles Buddy to His Eminence Aloysious Cardinal Maglione, 24 February 1940, Sacred Congregation of the Council re: Mexican Question File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

50. James B. Abbey, District Attorney, to Charles Buddy, 7 December 1939, Mexican Case re: Guillermo Rosas File 1939-1941, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

51. Josefa Najera, interview by author, 27 June 1986.

52. In a letter to Cardinal Fumasoni-Bondi, Bishop Buddy referred to a custom of dances in church before a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the custom of women dancing before a procession of the "Blessed Sacrament" as a "peculiar custom" that need not be tolerated. See: Charles Buddy to His Eminence Pietro Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi, 10 April 1940, Mexican Question: Msgr. Torres File, Diocesan Archives, Diocese of San Diego-Imperial Counties.

53. Andrew M. Greeley, The Catholic Myth: The Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1990), 120.


Alberto López Pulido is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he has taught since the fall of 1990. After earning a B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Pulido completed his Ph.D. degree studies at the University of Notre Dame in 1989. He has spent the past six years exploring the role of religion in the Mexican and Chicano community, and particularly the impact of the American Catholic Church on the Latino community. His future research plans include the impact of Protestantism on the Mexican/Chicano community.