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First black Texas Catholic bishop installed

February
19
1988

On this day in 1988, Louisiana native Curtis Guillory, the first black Catholic bishop in Texas, was installed as auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston.The first blacks to arrive in what is now the United States came with the Spaniards and were Spanish-speaking members of the Catholic Church. Estevanico, the first known black Catholic in Texas, was a guide and interpreter for Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. In more recent times Louisiana, with its French Catholic heritage, contributed many black Catholics to Texas, first as refugee slaves during the Civil War and later as migrants to Texas cities. In 1993, of the two million black Catholics nationwide, approximately 54,000 lived in Texas. The largest number resided in the Houston-Galveston Area. After his service as auxiliary of Galveston-Houston, Bishop Guillory became ordinary of the diocese of Beaumont.

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