Houston church a beacon for faithful after 100 years

It might be hard to image what Houston looked like 100 years ago, but in one east Houston neighborhood, the changes of the last century are not so evident.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is celebrating its centennial this year, and it is still considered a beacon for Houston’s faithful.

It’s a tradition 90-year-old parishioner Petra Guillen cherishes and has carried out nearly all of her life.

“To me, it means everything. That’s why I’ve been here all my life,” she said.

Guillen was married in this church and raised her 13 children here as well.

Every Sunday for as long as she can remember, Guillen has sold religious artifacts outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

The church has survived and thrived for 100 years at the corner of Navigation and Jenson in Houston’s Second Ward, inspiring fierce loyalty among many of the faithful like Guillen and her longtime friend, Carmen Castro Ramirez.

“I was baptized here when I was three months old. I’m 92 years,” Castro Ramirez said. “I have had many, many, many miracles. This is my second home.”

Kids have played in this courtyard everyday for the past century. The Catholic school next door was built at the same time as the church. The property also includes a historic cemetery — connection between past and present that’s kept generations of families united in their faith. [More]