Texas Catholic Historical Society honors Lisa May, other archivists of Harvey-stricken dioceses

April 11, 2018

SAN MARCOS — The Texas Catholic Historical Society (TCHS) honored archdioceses and dioceses affected by Hurricane Harvey the FitzSimmon Award at the annual Texas State Historical Society conference March 8 - 10 in San Marcos.

The award, which recognizes outstanding pastoral service by a Catholic archivist, was given to Lisa May of Galveston-Houston; Janet Fontenette of Austin; Sister Esther Dunegan of Beaumont; Patricia Roeser of Corpus Christi; and Father Gary Janak of Victoria.

Also during the conference, the TCHS sponsored a panel of historians discussing “Viva Cristo Rey!: The Cristero War and Texas Catholicism,” which featured a paper by Bishop Emeritus Placido Rodriguez, CMF of Lubbock, in which he described his own family’s participation in the resistance. A number of other experts discussed perspectives of American clergy, laity and diplomats on the conflict in Mexico.

Sister Madeleine Grace, C.V.I. of Houston, who is president of the society, presided over the event. The society also named two new fellows, Gilbert Cruz, who was elected posthumously; and Gilberto Hinojosa, for their outstanding service to the society to foster the study of Texas history.

Cruz was a consulting editor of Catholic Southwest, a member of the faculty at Our Lady of the Lake University and Pan Am University, a National Park Service historian for the San Antonio missions and an author. Hinojosa is a history professor at the University of the Incarnate Word, has served as both president and vice president of the society.

Sister Grace also paid tribute to two distinguished members of the society who died in 2017. Cruz passed away in October and Father James Talmadge Moore, who died in September, was a past president of the society and was named a fellow in 2001. At the meeting Felix Almaraz, Jr., a history professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, also discussed the Cristero War, focusing on the “Texas before the Alamo” documentary project which will be telecast on Univision in 2018.