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OBLATE FATHERS TRAIL. The Oblate Fathers Trail, designated by road markers in 1949 by the Brownsville Historical Association, was the route traveled in 1849 and through the 1850s by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in their parish and missionary work. Bishop Jean Marie Odin of the Diocese of Galveston had called upon this priestly order to assist him in the organization of the Catholic Church in the Rio Grande valley. The trail began at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church at Port Isabel, proceeded to Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville and to Villa Maria Chapel, and angled up the river to San Pedro, Encantada, Las Rusias, San Benito, Santa Maria, Mercedes, Hidalgo, McAllen, La Lomita, Mission, Habana, Grulla, Rio Grande City, Roma, Zapata, San Ignacio, and Laredo. The octagonal bronze plaques were placed on the property of each early church.


Brownsville Historical Association, Minutes, 1949. Bernard Doyon, The Cavalry of Christ on the Rio Grande, 1849–1883 (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1956).

Grace Edman


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Grace Edman, "OBLATE FATHERS TRAIL," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.