The Catholic Mutual Society by Homero Vera

The Catholic Mutual Society which exists in upper South Texas today was founded by Father Juan Zavala in San Diego, Texas during the Lenten season of 1934. Fr. Zavala spoke to a small group of men about the great importance of their religion in their life then and after death.

These men, led by Juan Sauceda, made some uniforms to keep vigil before the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday night. Noting their strong conviction, Fr. Zavala urged them to form a Society for mutual material aid and spiritual encouragement. The initial group was of eight to ten men which soon numbered to more than forty in a few weeks.

Being ten to twelve miles away from San Diego, the ranching communities of Los Reyes and La Rosita formed their own centers although they were affiliated with the center in San Diego.

Fr. Zavala and the governing board wrote the first Constitution which has since served as the basic rule of this Society. Besides paying their annual dues, members would contribute to a death fund. This fund was used to help out a member’s family when that person passed away. The first contribution to the death fund in 1934 was .50 per member.

Soon other centers were established in other communities in the area. The first center away from San Diego was formed in Falfurrias in August of 1934. In 1936, the San José center in Alice was established as well as the San Martin in Kingsville, San José in Premont, and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Hebbronville. In 1938 Santo Niño in Amargoso, Santa Rosa de Lima in 1944 in Benavides, Santa Maria in Freer in 1945, Sagrado Corazon in 1953 in Alice, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in 1954 in Alice. Other cities with centers were Ben Bolt, Palito Blanco, Bishop, Mathis, Realitos, Oilton, and Mirando City. Kingsville also added two other centers, San José and Señora de Buen Consejo in later years.

Through the years some of these centers have closed for some reason or another and at the present time there are: four in Alice, three in Kingsvilie, one each in Benavides, Freer, Hebbronville, Premont, and San Diego.

May this Catholic Mutual Society continue to maintain its religious and civil objectives through the new millinium.

The following is Article 1 of the constitution and bylaws in Chapter 1.

Article 1 - The nature and purpose of this society.
This organization shall be called the Catholic Mutual Society. The Catholic Mutual Society has two main objectives.

1. To encourage its members to faithfully and loyally fulfill their religious and civil obligations to the best of their ability, and furthermore, to defend, protect, and advocate our Catholic religion.
2. To give mutual help, both spiritual and material, to one another in case of sickness or other serious need, and to help the family of the member in case of his death.

These noble goals can be best achieved if we live and practice our motto:


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