St. Francis de Paula celebrated 75th anniversary in 1942 with new altar

Altar at St. Francis de Paula was dedicated in September 1942. It was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Adolfo B. Cuellar. Emilio Cadena donated the statute of Jesus.

In September 1942 parishioners at St. Francis de Paula in San Diego celebrated the church’s 75th anniversary in style. The three–day celebration included the unveiling of a marble statute of San Francisco de Paula, the parish’s patron saint, over the main door outside of the building, donated by the Duval Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Mr. and Mrs. Adolfo B. Cuellar donated a new main altar made by Bernardo Reyes of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Emilio Cadena, father of the late Eliseo A. Cadena, donated the central statue of Jesus. On either side of Jesus were smaller statutes of St. Dominic and St. Francis de Paula bought with donations from parishioners.

The first day was dedicated to the Altar Society, the Rosary Society and the Catholic Mothers Club. The resident Dominican priests celebrated a solemn Mass, followed by the dedication of the new altar.

On the second day, services by the Franciscan fathers from Hebbronville were dedicated to the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Mutual Society and the Holy Name of Jesus. In addition to a solemn Mass, the Franciscans prayed a rosary, gave the sermon and performed the benediction.

On the final day, Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina and Coadjutor Bishop Mariano Garriga concelebrated a Pontifical Mass.

St. Francis de Paula was named after an Italian born in 1416 who founded the Order of Minims. “They observed perpetual abstinence and lived in great poverty, but the distinguishing mark of the order was humility. They were to seek to live unknown and hidden from the world.” ( He died in France in 1507. He was known for performing many miracles and was canonized in 1519.