The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 437
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which the author modestly claims. It begins in 1795, with the
removal of Refugio Mission to its third and final site. The
troublous story of its re-establishment "along side a stream,
on a high point in the middle of a vast prairie" and the pleasanter
one of the mission's rise to usefulness and glory between 1803
and 1817 under Father Manuel Gaitan, followed by its rapid
decline thereafter until, in 1824, it was discontinued as a
mission, are effectively retold.
The author then relates in nervous, crisp, fast moving sen-
tences such little known events as the temporary use of the
abandoned "Church of the Mission," as a chapel by McMullen
and McGloin's Irish colonists in 1829; its revival, as a parish
church, by Power and Hewetson's cholera-stricken Irish in
1834; the destruction of the Irish settlement as one of the
tragedies of the Texan Revolution in 1836; the return of the
Irish, following the Revolution, retarded by the raids of Agaton
in September, 1841, and of De los Santos in 1842; the revival
of Catholic worship in the old church at Refugio, beginning
under Father Timon in 1838, continuing under Father Eusebius
Estany through bitter years, and climaxed by final re-establish-
ment of the old mission as a parish church, as a phase of the
labors of the truly great Catholic Bishop of Texas, Reverend
Father John M. Odin. Then follows the story of the parish of
Our Lady of Refugio, under a succession of competent ministers
to and including the author, whose own ministry is spanning
Refugio's more prosperous years.
The story of the mission and church of Our Lady of Refugio
is the story of mid-coastal Texas, and many of the events
narrated have had an important bearing on the history of the
state. For the most part, Father Oberste has followed un-
trodden paths; and for some of the events related, such as his
well written account of some of the manifold activities of
Bishop Odin, he has made a direct contribution to the larger
history of Texas as a state.
Better still, this interesting but unpretentious volume is an
earnest of a more important one to come. "The Story of the
Irish Colonists," says Father Oberste, "will be published, God
willing, in 1945." No unwritten chapter of Texas history
more needs telling; and no one is better qualified to tell it,
than the historian-pastor of the Refugio parish church.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/481/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.