First Catholic Mass in Texas celebrated
On this day in 1680, the first Catholic Mass on soil that eventually became a part of Texas was celebrated at a site near that of present Ysleta. The service took place at one of the three camps in the area established by Spaniards and Indians fleeing New Mexico in the wake of the Pueblo Revolt of August 1680. New Mexico governor Antonio de Otermín, with the assistance of Fray Francisco de Ayeta, took charge of the almost 2,000 refugees and decided not to attempt the reconquest of New Mexico until receiving further aid from the viceroy. Otermín's unsuccessful entrada in November 1681 convinced the Spanish that the reconquest would take much longer than originally expected, and that therefore the temporary settlements at the pass should be given a much greater degree of permanence. At least five communities in the area--Ysleta, El Paso del Norte, San Lorenzo, Senecú, and Socorro--remained for the rest of the Spanish colonial period.