Crusading "padrecito" dies

July 13th, 1956

On this day in 1956, crusading San Antonio priest Carmelo Antonio Tranchese, known as "El Padrecito," died of a heart attack. Tranchese was born in Italy in 1880, entered the Jesuit order in 1896, and came to the United States in 1911. He became pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on the West Side of San Antonio, which was home for the majority of the city's 82,000 Mexican Americans, in 1932. Most worked as unskilled laborers for area companies, particularly the local pecan-shelling industry. Working conditions and wages were poor, and the living environment consisted of dilapidated housing and disease-infested neighborhoods. Tranchese immediately championed programs that brought improvements. He supported local strikes and was particularly active in soliciting provisions and establishing breadlines for pecan workers who struck in 1935 and 1938. Tranchese's most noted accomplishment, however, was his role in bringing a federal housing project, the Alazan-Apache Courts, to San Antonio.

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Crusading "padrecito" dies

July 13th, 1956

On this day in 1956, crusading San Antonio priest Carmelo Antonio Tranchese, known as "El Padrecito," died of a heart attack. Tranchese was born in Italy in 1880, entered the Jesuit order in 1896, and came to the United States in 1911. He became pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on the West Side of San Antonio, which was home for the majority of the city's 82,000 Mexican Americans, in 1932. Most worked as unskilled laborers for area companies, particularly the local pecan-shelling industry. Working conditions and wages were poor, and the living environment consisted of dilapidated housing and disease-infested neighborhoods. Tranchese immediately championed programs that brought improvements. He supported local strikes and was particularly active in soliciting provisions and establishing breadlines for pecan workers who struck in 1935 and 1938. Tranchese's most noted accomplishment, however, was his role in bringing a federal housing project, the Alazan-Apache Courts, to San Antonio.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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