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  On The Cover: Celebrating Spring
 By Alissa Reinhard
the COVID-19 tunnel. The COVID-19 vaccine is here, and it’s slowly but surely rolling out to more and more individuals.
Although the pandemic is not over, there are signs that a new beginning for all is in the not-to-distant future. Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth. A fresh start. Something we all are probably yearning for.
Did You Know?
BOy Cynthia Leal Massey
ur Lady of Guadalupe Catholic
Church is celebrating its 125th
anniversary as a parish this year. Catholic missionary priests began coming to Helotes in 1896 to offer Mass and administer the sacraments in private homes. Father Moulin, of Mt. Carmel, Von Army Station, was the first missionary priest to minister to Helotes Catholics. Missionary priests from San Fernando Cathedral, assisted by those from Boerne and Sacred Heart Parish in San Antonio, served the Catholic population from 1897 until 1915.
In 1908, the community gathered together to build a wood frame chapel on land donated by Pedro and Manuela Treviño. Among those who helped build the church were Juan Torres, Modesto Treviño, Max Martinez Sr., Lorenzo R. Morales, Joe and Frank Woller, and five Madla brothers: Juan, Manuel, Felix, Jesse, and Chris.
Named Our Lady of Guadalupe, after the patron saint of Mexico, because many of the original parishioners were Mexican ranchers, the church had no resident priests. A parishioner would meet a priest at the end of San Pedro Street line and bring him to the little chapel for Masses and other special
Take in the signs of spring all around you – the blooming bluebonnets, the longer, sunny days, and the still slightly-cool evenings. Be grateful for the life you’ve been given, this new season that is now upon us, and hope for what’s to come.
people attended. Construction continued until the next summer, and in June 1944, lights, wiring, and fixtures were installed in the church built for 250 people. In 1950, a bell tower, which included a vestibule, was added.
In 1990, an 800-seat sanctuary was constructed after a battle with conservationists, who succeeded in saving a portion of the original chapel. By 2000, there were 10,000 registered parishioners and, with landlocked property, no place to grow. In 2008, the church purchased a 20- acre property on FM 1560 N that included a large ranch-style home and a few other buildings that were renovated for church activities. By 2020, the church served 6,000 registered households (more than 24,000 parishioners), many who participated in the capital campaign to fund the new property and proposed community center.
On March 2, 2021, a blessing and groundbreaking for a 26,000 sq. ft., three- story family center building was held, with new parish priest, Fr. Scott Janysek, and Bishop Gustavo García-Siller presiding. Special guests included descendants of Lorenzo Morales and Howard Schott who were instrumental in the effort to build the first and second churches, respectively.
The new family center will house catechism classrooms on the first and second floors and the third floor will accommodate a 3,250 sq. ft. hall that seats
“Spring adds new life and new beauty to all that is.” – Jessica
With every season comes a reason to
celebrate and this spring might be one for the record books! After an incredibly challenging year, there is a light at the end of
The church served the Catholic
community for 16 years, until 1924, when according to the late John Igo, “For reasons never explained, the Catholic bishop sold the building to a Protestant church in San Antonio... The building was jacked up and some sort of rollers installed... ready for trailers and oxen or mules to move it.”
The night before it was to be moved, the church mysteriously burned to the ground. The Catholic parishioners, according to Igo, were “openly grateful,” calling it an act of God, although everyone knew it was really arson.
A local newspaper article years later indicated that the church had “stood idle” for several years before it was destroyed. The land where the church once stood is now used for the Helotes Catholic Cemetery.
Another 19 years would go by before the Catholic Church on Riggs Road was built on land once owned by Kathryn and Fernando Antonio. The first service, officiated by Fr. Alfred H. Rabe, S.M., was held in the unfinished limestone chapel on December 12, 1943, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Approximately 125
Father Alfred Rabe, OLG’s first priest, stands in front of the church in January 1952, after the bell tower and vestibule were added. A new sanctuary built in 1990 incorporated a portion of the original 1943 rock church as a day chapel. OLG archives.
225 and a warming kitchen. The hall will include a balcony that faces southeast, with a view towards downtown San Antonio.
Cynthia Leal Massey is the author of two books on the history of Helotes. Visit
    MarketPlace At Old Town Helotes Returning This Spring
ABy Alissa Reinhard
beloved Helotes tradition, The MarketPlace at Old Town Helotes, will soon return to its home in the
heart of the City of Helotes after a yearlong hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the weekend of March 6 & 7, the arts and crafts fair kicked-off in a scaled down manner, welcoming back shoppers in a soft-opening, private setting. However, businessowners like Debbie James, owner of Cheetahlish, a boutique in Old Town, still experienced a great turnout.
“We were busy,” James stated. “Businesses located in the area of Old Town are certainly glad MarketPlace is back.”
On Saturday, April 10, from 10 am-5 pm, MarketPlace will return as a city-sponsored event open to the public. Visitors can enjoy food and specialty shopping at the outdoor market and visit local shops in the area for even more great finds.
 and shoppers alike, MarketPlace will include a limited number of vendors, signage to encourage masks and social distancing, and numerous hand sanitizing stations.
To learn more about MarketPlace at Old Town Helotes, visit their newly redesigned website at
Photos By: David Scepansky
   To ensure the health of safety of vendors
April 2021

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