While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Ann Graham Gaines

PELLICER, ANTHONY DOMINIC AMBROSE (1824–1880). Anthony Dominic Pellicer, first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of San Antonio (see SAN ANTONIO, CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF), was born on December 7, 1824, in St. Augustine, Florida, the son of Francisco and Margarita (Juanada) Pellicer. He was of Minorcan descent. Because his mother died when he and his twin brother were born, he was raised by Pedro and Maria Manucy, the parents of his third cousin, Dominic Manucy, later bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.

As children, Pellicer and Manucy studied at an academy in St. Augustine. In 1837 they left St. Augustine to study at Spring Hill College near Mobile, Alabama. Pellicer also taught at Spring Hill and studied at a seminary in New Orleans. The two were ordained in 1850. After ordination Pellicer was assigned to St. Peter's Church in Montgomery, Alabama. While he was there, a new church was erected for his congregation. During the Civil War he served as a Confederate chaplain. In 1865 he was assigned to the cathedral at Mobile. From 1867 to 1874 he served as rector of the cathedral and vicar general of his diocese.

When the Diocese of San Antonio was formed in 1874, Pellicer was named its first bishop. He and Manucy were consecrated as bishops in the Mobile cathedral by Napoleon Joseph Perché, archbishop of New Orleans, on December 8, 1874. Pellicer was installed in San Antonio on December 27, 1874. As bishop, he visited many of the parishes and missions in his diocese, which then extended from the Colorado to the Nueces and from the Gulf of Mexico to El Paso County. During his tenure at least twenty-five Catholic churches and twenty-seven Catholic schools were established in his diocese. As bishop, Pellicer lived in poverty and gave away most of his income. In 1876 he visited Rome.

In his later years Pellicer suffered from diabetes. On April 14, 1880, he died at his home in San Antonio, partly from exhaustion. He is buried under the floor of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio.

Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–58; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). A. D. A. Pellicer Papers, Catholic Archives, Archdiocese of San Antonio. Jane Quinn, Minorcans in Florida: Their History and Heritage (San Augustine, Florida: Mission, 1975).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Ann Graham Gaines, "PELLICER, ANTHONY DOMINIC AMBROSE," accessed May 26, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpe19.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...