Project Canterbury

Mexico: A Handbook on the Missions of the Episcopal Church.

By Frank Whittington Creighton, S.T.D.
Suffragan Bishop of Long Island
Sometime Missionary Bishop of Mexico

New York: The National Council of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1936.

Chapter II. The Episcopal Church in Mexico.

THE Episcopal Church occupies a unique position among non-Roman religious bodies ministering to Mexican people. It did not go into Mexico to evangelize Mexicans. Insofar as the Mexican work is concerned, it is a continuation of an evangelical-catholic movement whose beginning dates back to the presidency of Benito Juarez. It is a direct result of the effort of the Constitution of 1857 to separate Church and State and to clear the way for religious liberty.

Immediately upon the adoption of the Juarez Constitution there was a decided movement toward greater liberty in religious expression. There was open preaching of the Gospel in the streets of the capital and open distribution of the Bible in Spanish. Congregations were formed with the approval of the Government and some abandoned colonial churches were assigned them for their use. The popularity of the movement may be judged from the records of the period which indicate that when Manuel Aguas, one of the leaders, preached in the Church of San Jose de Gracia, not only was the church filled to capacity but throngs blocked the streets outside, hoping to hear his message. The movement was disorganized and entirely lacking iii coherence and contact with the universal Church. When it came time to choose a Bishop the choice naturally fell upon Manuel Aguas, and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America was petitioned to grant him episcopal orders. Unfortunately for the future of the movement, Manuel Aguas died before he could be consecrated.

The attention of the leaders of the new movement known as the Church of Jesus in Mexico was then attracted to the [27/28] Rev. Henry Chauncey Riley, an American priest reared in Chile, and thoroughly conversant with the Spanish language and Latin point of view. In 1869, Mr. Riley was invited to Mexico City and by his great gift of eloquence, his extreme generosity, and his ability to secure funds from wealthy friends in the United States, rapidly commended himself to the clergy of the new Church and its people. It is not surprising that a memorial was presented to the House of Bishops of the Church in America, in 1874, asking for his consecration as Bishop of an autonomous Church in Mexico.

Meanwhile conflicting rumors as to the size and permanence of the organization were reaching the friends of Mexico in the United States, and it was hard for the House of Bishops to decide whether there really was a Church or if it merely existed in the minds of those who wanted it. Moreover the liturgy being used was regarded as most unsatisfactory by many who studied it. In order to become conversant with the facts, Bishop Lee of Delaware was sent to Mexico as a representative of a commission appointed by the House of Bishops to study the whole situation. He was so charmed by Mexican hospitality, and so convinced of the worth-whileness of the movement, that upon his own initiative he confirmed over a hundred candidates and ordained five deacons and two priests, thus practically committing the Church in America to responsibility for the autonomous Church in Mexico.

For five years the authorities of the Church in the United States wrestled with the problem, and then decided to consecrate Mr. Riley. Friends of the movement in the United States and the ordained priests in Mexico, felt that with his consecration in 1879 they were embarking upon a stable and assured career. Unfortunately, however, after his consecration, instead of returning to Mexico to take up his work, Bishop Riley started on a tour of the world which lasted for two years. When he returned to Mexico he found the Church in a deplorable condition. Lacking administrative [28/29] powers and making innumerable errors of judgment, the movement under his leadership almost passed out of existence. The great Church of San Francisco was lost and San Jose de Gracia was only saved by the indefatigable efforts of Mrs. Mary Josephine Hooker, who was just beginning her work in Mexico City. After five years, at the request of the Commission of Bishops. Bishop Riley resigned his jurisdiction and the care of the Church passed into the hands of the Presiding Bishop. Bishop Riley died in great poverty in Tacubava. His remains rest in the peaceful little British cemetery at Tlaxpana, near the western limits of the city.

Dining Bishop Riley's time practically the entire support of the Mexican Church came from friends in the United States. After his resignation it was wracked by schism and conditions were so bad that it seemed almost impossible to save it. Members fell away and many of the clergy returned to secular work. During many years following, and while it was still in charge of the Presiding Bishop, the details of administration and oversight were in the hands of resident commissioners. Two of these, the Rev. William B. Gordon and the Rev. Henry Forrester, were men of exceptional administrative ability and spiritual power. They were able to bring order out of chaos, and put the movement somewhat in line with Church tradition, discipline, and custom.

At the end of Mr. Forrester's administration, La Iglesia de Jesus felt itself stung enough once more to apply to the Church in America for episcopal orders. At a convention of the clergy and laity Mr. Forrester was elected Bishop of the Valley of Mexico, and all the friends of the movement looked forward with hope to its strengthening under his wise administration and to substantial increase in members and support.

At the same convention two Mexican priests were nominated for the episcopate and request for their consecration accompanied that for the consecration of Mr. Forrester. [29/30] One was the Rev. J. A. Carrion, who had early joined the Reform Movement under the influence of the Rev. J. L. Perez, one of its leaders. Both Mr. Carrion and Mr. Perez grew old in the service of the Church.

The other nominee, the Rev. Fausto Orihuela, was a son of one of the first priests of the Church of Jesus. He had been ordained by Bishop Kendrick and at the time of his designation was prefect of the Dean Gray School, an instructor in the seminary, and editor of La Buena Lid. He served the Church in many difficult fields, including a long ministry in the Church of San Jose de Gracia, prior to his recent retirement.

Unfortunately Mr. Forrester's death shortly after his election made it seem unwise to proceed with the consecration of the Mexicans nominated and once again the movement, pushed back upon its own resources, entered upon a period al difficulty and distress.

[31] Meanwhile oil had been discovered in Mexico, mines had been taken over by English and American companies, railroads were building, and great numbers of Americans and Britishers were flocking into the Republic. The needs of the English-speaking people for Church services were in themselves a challenge to the Church in America; a challenge which was accepted.

In 1904, the Rev. Henry Damorel Ares was consecrated first Missionary Bishop of Mexico. His commission from the Church was to minister to his fellow citizens in Mexico and to develop that work. He was consecrated December 14, 1904, and entered at once upon his duties.


The Episcopal Church in Mexico has always given special attention to the English-speaking people. In 1935, it was the only religious body in Mexico ministering to British and American residents. In the days before the consecration of Bishop Riley very little attention was given to the religious life of foreigners in Mexico. During the American occupancy of the City of Mexico under General Winfield Scott, services for the officers and troops of the Army were held by chaplains in Ambassadors' Hall in the National Palace. Foreigners were invited to attend them. These were probably the first services held in the English language in Mexico City. After 1848, when the American Army withdrew and until the French Army occupied the city in 1863, the services were continued in private residences.

During the French occupation, services were held by Pasteur E. Guion, Protestant Chaplain attached to the French Expeditionary Army, in a hall which had been secured by the non-Roman foreign residents of the city. After Pasteur Guion was obliged to retire, private services were continued for some time by the Rev. William H. Cooper, a priest of this Church. His congregation, known as the [31/33] Anglo-Saxon Church, later became the Union Evangelical Church in Mexico City.

In 1880, Mrs. Mary Josephine Hooker permitted the English-speaking Churchmen of Mexico City to use part of the property she had leased for her orphanage school for services which were conducted by lay readers, with the occasional ministrations of visiting clergymen.

In 1884, the Rt. Rev. R. W. Barnwell Elliott, Missionary Bishop of Western Texas, visited Mexico and interested himself greatly in Anglican Churchmen resident in the capital city. He presided at a congregational meeting, at which time Ire authorized them to take the name of Christ Church, and advised them to secure a permanent resident clergyman and a suitable place in which to hold services. During his visit he confirmed a number of candidates.

From this small beginning the work among English-speaking Churchmen rapidly developed into a strong parish. A stone church was built, a vestry was elected, and clergymen were called from time to time from England and British West Indies. The beautiful edifice was dedicated on May 29, 1898, by the Rt. Rev. J. Mills Kendrick, Missionary Bishop of New Mexico, who came from his distant diocese for this purpose. Bishop Kendrick again visited the parish two years later and administered the rite of confirmation.

The congregation of Christ Church had always been largely British, and it was hoped by its members that it might be placed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. When Bishop Aves was elected, however, the Archbishop of Canterbury notified the congregation that as their church was in an American Missionary District they owed episcopal allegiance to the Bishop of the Missionary District of Mexico. The American Prayer Book was substituted for that of the Church of England and the rectors since have been priests of the Church in America.

Shortly before his retirement Bishop Aves accepted the [33/34] invitation of the vestry of Christ Church to make it his cathedral. It remained the Cathedral Church of the missionary district during the episcopate of Bishop Creighton. Through it British and American residents of Mexico City received the ministrations of this Church.

During Bishop Aves's episcopate English-speaking missions were established in Pachuca, the capital of the State of Hidalgo, and in Tampico, where thousands of Americans had been drawn by the discovery of oil. The Rev. Arthur H. Mellen and the Rev. William Watson were pioneers in these fields.

Before we thought of the Panama Canal a great transoceanic railroad was built across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec along the line of which many missions were established. There were also English-speaking missions in many other points.

Unfortunately for the continuance of this work, with the building of the Panama Canal, the Tehuantepec Railway was abandoned and the missions there had to be closed. During the revolutions many of the foreign colonies in Mexico refugeed to the United States, and the present Mexican Labor Laws make it extremely difficult for American workers to find employment save in the large centers. The English-speaking residents of Mexico are but a shadow of the great numbers who lived in all parts of the Republic during the time of Porfirio Diaz.

The work in Pachuca has continued through the years, not only bringing the Church to the English-speaking colony in this great mining center, but reaching through the ministrations of its clergymen many British and American mine workers in the area surrounding it. In 1935, services were held regularly and there was a large Sunday school. The property, occupied by this mission was a huge compound in which there was a well-built church, a parish house, a recreation room in which there were held classes in manual training, and a comfortable rectory.

[35] The Church's work in Tampico, in 1935, was conducted by a lay reader under the oversight of the Rev. William Watson. Non-Roman English-speaking residents of all communions in this city joined heartily in erecting a beautiful edifice known as Christ Church. The Church school here is the largest in Mexico. The ministrations of this Church extend far out into the oil fields iu the jungles back of the city and to the great shipping stations and refineries on the Panaco River.


The Missionary District of Mexico, organized by the General Convention of 1904, was of English-speaking people and Bishop Aves was consecrated as their Bishop. It was natural that the leaders of the autonomous Mexican Church should look to him for sympathy and guidance. The Church in America had always shown an especial interest in them and financial support for their Church was sent regularly from the United States by members of this Church. Although the Church did not officially hold itself responsible, a Mexican Committee of American Churchmen took a sympathetic and tangible interest in them. The Episcopal Church consecrated their first and only Bishop. A Bishop of this Church had ordained some of their priests and many members of La Iglesia de Jesus weee confirmed by American Bishops. At the time of Bishop Aves's consecration, Bishop Satterlee of Washington was giving them episcopal oversight.

From the beginning difficulties beset the Mexican Church. There were errors of judgment, unwise leadership, zeal without direction, pathetic loyalty, hopes that world not be dashed, fervor, consecration, thwarting poverty, and constant, cruel, and bigoted persecution by the dominant Church. Mexican priests are still living who endured through it all even to the shedding of their blood. Unfortunately, the attitude of our Roman brethren in Mexico [35/36] has changed but little during the years. There are "witnesses" of recent date.

There were some steadying factors. A. theological school had been organized which became the Dean Gray School in Mexico City. Always hampered by lack of funds and once forced to close for a year, this school was a beacon light during the days of darkness. Here the Faith as we know it and as the Mexican Church held it, was taught and from the school consecrated and well-instructed men went out to their small and poverty-stricken flocks. It was a bond with the Church in America and an assurance of interest which cheered and encouraged.

Mrs. Hooker's School for Orphans, which developed into Hooker School, was educating girls under Church influences and sending them out as the products of the Church as steadfast communicants.

Mr. Gordon and Mr. Forrester had been wise and [36/37] sympathetic leaders. They had the confidence of Mexican Churchmen and deserved it. They taught and administered. They suggested and advised. They were traveling evangelists and firm and respected disciplinarians. At the end of Mr. Forrester's period as our representative the attitude of the members of La Iglesia de Jesus was expressed in his election as Bishop of the Valley of Mexico. It was probably the result of his work which prompted the overture to Bishop Aves. For shortly after his arrival in the Republic the autonomous Mexican Church, of its own volition, asked to be received under his jurisdiction. A concordat was drawn up agreeable to both American and Mexican Churches and Bishop Aves became not only Bishop of the English-speaking people but of La Iglesia de Jesus, which now became an integral part of the American Church and has continued so through the episcopacies of Bishop Creighton and Bishop Salinas y Velasco.


Bishop Aves began his work in Mexico within a month after his consecration in Christ Church, Houston, Texas. Not yet fifty years of age, he brought, to the great task the Church had laid upon him, marked qualifications of earnestness, faithfulness, and vigor. By April, 1904, he had traveled widely over the new missionary district familiarizing himself with his work, meeting clergy and people both English-speaking and Mexican, holding services and conferences, preaching and administering the sacraments.

From the beginning of his episcopate he had to face opposition to his work which was to continue until the day he laid it down. When he visited Puebla he found official Roman influence so strong that he was unable to secure a place in which to hold service. Fortunately, the station master was a Churchman and offered him the ticket office. In these unusual surroundings he celebrated the Holy [37/39] Communion with eighteen communicants receiving the Sacrament for the first time since their residence in Mexico.

Front the time of his first contact with them, Bishop Aves was strongly drawn to the Mexican clergy. They impressed him as "a body of men who for integrity, earnestness, intellectuality, and spiritual-mindedness" compared favorably with any similar body of clergymen he had ever met. They on their part were strongly attracted to him, giving him their unswerving loyalty and deep affection during his entire episcopate. He was received enthusiastically by the Mexican congregations. Although he was not yet their Bishop these humble people recognized in him a friend; and their confidence was more than justified by his tenacious devotion to them. He longed to relieve the dire necessities of the clergy and to care for the needs of the schools which were pressing. He had been in Mexico scarcely more than a year when the Dean Gray and Hooker Schools were both forced to close for lack of funds. Some support for the clergy was still coining from the Mexican Committee in the United States which had collected large sums for Bishop Riley and had loyally maintained the work wider the resident commissioners.

At the request of the Synod of the Mexican Church and with the consent of the Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Henry Y. Satterlee, Bishop of Washington, was acting as its Provisional Bishop. The obvious need for oversight by a Bishop in the field definitely responsible for the care and nurture of the infant Church appealed strongly to Bishop Aves. Bishop Satterlee at the time of his consecration had requested him to visit the Mexican work and he was only too glad to do it. During his first eighteen months in Mexico he confirmed over two hundred candidates in La Iglesia Catolica Mexicana, a majority of whom were adults.

It is not surprising, then, that at their Synod held February 13, 1906, resolutions were adopted by the Mexican Church asking Bishop Aves to receive them under his [39/40] episcopal care. Reference was made to the fraternal act of the Church in America in requesting consent of the Mexican Church to the election of Bishop Aves and it was stipulated that the presbyters, deacons, and congregations were to have vote and voice in the legislative body of the united Church. Bishop Aves being fully assured of the conformity of these congregations to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church and of their obedience to its constitution and canons, granted their request and accepted this new responsibility.

The first convocation of the Missionary District of Mexico, consisting of American, English, and Mexican clergy and lay delegates was held in Christ Church, Mexico City, April 25-29, 1906, under the presidency of Bishop Aves. During convocation, the Constitution and Canons of the Missionary District of West Texas, with certain modifications, were adopted for Mexico, a Council of Advice was elected, a Woman's Auxiliary was organized, and the Board of Missions was advised that the Mexican Episcopal Church as a separate body "is now extinct" and that the Mexican clergy having been transferred to the jurisdiction of Bishop Aves by the Provisional Bishop "are now clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church." Thus history was made and the Episcopal Church at the invitation of Mexicans, officially and canonically began its Mexican work. An American observer at this convocation said:

It was a unique sight to see Mexicans, Indians, British, and Americans working as one in the cause of the Lord and His Church. In all my long experience no diocesan convention was ever better or more harmoniously conducted, and all returned to their fields of labor feeling that now the Church was fairly and permanently planted in this Republic.

The schools were soon reopened, the Dean Gray School as the Dean Gray Memorial School of St. Andrew. Most of the Mexican clergy were graduates of this school. American clergy guided, helped, and served as headmasters and [40/41] members of its faculty. Through it, the present efficient Mexican clergy staff was largely built up, trained in the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this Church and sent out as consecrated priests zealous for the Gospel. Later Bishop Aves secured a large plot of ground in Colonia, Seattle, on the outskirts of the city of Guadalajara, to which he removed the school. Here the boys were away from less desirable influences in Mexico City and their crowded quarters in one end of the Church of San Jose de Gracia. In the superb climate of Guadalajara they not only pursued their academic and theological studies, but were taught practical industrial farming on the school farm whose products always were an important factor in the maintenance of the school. St. Andrew's continues to fill up the ranks of the Mexican clergy. Not all its graduates seek ordination, but those who have a vocation for the ministry are encouraged to pursue theological studies. While the [41/42] Rev. Efrain Salinas (now Bishop of Mexico) was headmaster, the school was reorganized as a farm and industrial school with academic departments. Graduates who are candidates for Holy Orders come to seminaries in the United States for their theology where many have been honor men and a credit to St. Andrew's and its faculty.

The Mary Josephine Hooker School and Orphanage was located on Calle de Mina, Mexico City. Here it reopened and continued to receive, educate Mexican girls and send them out to be useful and helpful members of their communities. Miss Henrietta D. Driggs, who for many years was assistant to Mrs. Hooker, was principal until failing health forced her to resign. Bishop Aves saw at once that more commodious quarters had to be procured if the school was to develop into the important educational institution its growing popularity and expanding influence presaged. An annex was established at Toluca to care for girls who were taking Government normal courses. Later temporary quarters were secured in Popotla. Meanwhile a large six-acre plot was secured in the suburb of Tacuba, six miles from the center of the city, at a cost of $8,704. To pay for this property and the new school contemplated, the old property in Calle de Mina was sold for $25,000--the fund being augmented by a gift of $2,500 from the estate of Mrs. Zabriskie Gray. Before the new school was built ten girls, who had been living in the annex, graduated from the State Normal School at Toluca. Five of them, although offered higher salaries in Government schools, came back to Hooker as members of the faculty. Schools were also established at strategic points throughout the missionary district, most of them in charge of Hooker graduates.

Before the new school was finished Miss Driggs, who had come to Mexico in 1889 as assistant to Mrs. Hooker, resigned as principal. This saintly woman during her long service of twenty years put the stamp of Christian womanhood upon many generations of Mexican girls. Graduates, [42/43] today mothers and grandmothers, never cease to be thankful for the privilege of having been Miss Driggs's pupils. She is referred to with devotion and love as friend and missionary whose influence is irrevocable upon the character of Mexican womanhood.

The new school opened in 1912, with Miss T. T. McKnight as principal. Built at a cost of $21,000, it consisted of seventeen rooms and three dormitories, accommodating about fifty pupils. Miss McKnight began her work in stirring revolutionary times, but she faced her task with courage and never deviated from her missionary objective. "Our desire," she said, "is to make the school as much like a Christian home as possible." This she slid, and under conditions which would have disheartened a woman of weaker spirit. In 1921, new additions were made to the school enlarging its capacity for usefulness. Shortly afterward Miss McKnight resigned, leaving a fine record of faithful and efficient service.

The new principal, Deaconess Anna G. Newell, was in residence by November, 1922. Essentially an educator, she devoted herself to building up an efficient teaching staff and the development of a sense of obligation on the part of the students for the support of the school. Bishop Aves, who was quick to see the changes sure to be inaugurated, reported to his convocation:

With the new principal, Deaconess Anna G. Newell, who impresses one as a very practical idealist and rationally conservative enthusiast, have come new lines and plans for development, something of new policy and methods of procedure, and with it all an inspiration of confident hope for the future. This larger hope, with confidence in its realization, I prayerfully bequeath to my successor.

The Deaconess secured a host of new friends in the United States for the school, presenting the needs and opportunities of Hooker with appealing eloquence. As the result of her efforts a much-needed dormitory for the [43/44] American teachers was built. At her suggestion, the Birthday Thank Offering of 1928 was designated for a new building for Hooker School. She also organized a scholarship committee in the United States and secured the interest of American Churchwomen in an infirmary to be erected on the spacious grounds of the school.

While Bishop Aves regarded the schools as the backbone of his work, both he and Mrs. Aves were deeply impressed with the need for social work among the underprivileged children and the isolated, poverty-stricken Indians. During the fall of 1909, the condition of the patient and hapless dwellers on the high tableland of Mexico was made critical by a calamity of the first magnitude. A series of premature frosts totally destroyed the crops throughout the entire mesa. The Government estimated the loss to be twenty million dollars. The mission at Nopala was at the very center of the stricken area in which were eleven out-missions. With the loss of everything the suffering soon became acute. The Rev. Samuel Salinas appealed to the Bishop:

What can I say to our famishing people, dear Bishop? Many of our children are already weeping with hunger. What can I say to them for they look through me to you?

[45] Bishop Aves acted promptly. He arranged through the American Consul General for the free entry of supplies, and then appealed to the Church in the United States for corn and beans. At the same time he requested relief offerings from all his congregations in Mexico. He knew the people had nothing in reserve and help had to come promptly.

The first carload of corn arrived at Nopala from Houston, Texas, by November. The presidentes of twenty-five small municipalities had furnished lists of the absolutely helpless destitute and plans were made for distribution. A pint of corn was given each adult and a half-pint to each child. The first carload supported a thousand people for a month. The crowds who came to the patio of the mission house represented every phase of misfortune and misery with which Mexican life abounded--blind, crippled, malformed, feeble-minded, palsied, half-clad, consumptive, infirm, aged, widowed, fatherless, and orphaned. Many had come from [45/46] far, tramping through the night. No able-bodied presented themselves. It was a case of taking care of the suffering first.

Meanwhile urgent appeals came from Tlalmimilolpan and Mimiapan, ninety stiles away. When the second car arrived, 140 bushels were dispatched over the mountains to these places by means of a pack train of burros, the Bishop accompanying it. So this brave and big-hearted chief shepherd carried the love of God to his humble and suffering people and worked to save them. Altogether he distributed five carloads of corn and five hundred blankets.

One result of the fanzine was that the mission house at Nopala became a center of help, under the charge of the Rev. Samuel Salinas and his Christlike wife, Señora Sara Q. de Salinas. Mrs. Salinas has a peculiar aptitude for ministering to the suffering which has made her a benediction to the hundreds who come to her. Once in 1910, while Bishop [46/47] Aves was in the field with her husband, Mrs. Salinas with the help of Mrs. Aves set the bone of a broken arm of an old woman who had fallen in the field and came as a matter of course to the mission house. Another time she trimmed and healed the stamps of two baby arms whose hands had been eaten off by a wild boar. Her only implements were a pair of scissors and a needle and thread. From mercy of this quality and a skill more than human. there developed the idea of a medical center which would reach the thousands among whom no doctor lived in this isolated area.

Within a year the Bishop was making plans for a hospital whist was built on a mountain side near the village and named as a matter of course Casa de Esperanza--the House of Hope. Here he installed a doctor and a nurse to help Mrs. Salinas in a ministry of healing which she continues unabated today in the name of the Healing Christ.

Another piece of social service work was begun in Mexico [47/48] City which in a measure carried out Mrs. Hooker's original idea of ministry to the underprivileged children of the capital. In 1908, Deaconess Frances B. Affleck, attached to San Jose de Gracia, began a work among the women and especially the children living in the area immediately surrounding the church. Lines for a settlement work were laid and a good, although small, beginning was made. This work rapidly developed during stirring and perilous revolutionary years. One Sunday in 1913. the Deaconess and the Rev. William Watson were marooned by gun fire in San Jose after service, finally succeeding in reaching the home of a parishioner where they remained from Sunday until Friday morning, when an automobile front the United States Embassy took them away. When Deaconess Affleck finally reached her home she found it partially destroyed. A shell had entered her room between two windows, burst and made havoc of her quarters and belongings.

When Deaconess Affleck returned to the United States the social service work was continued and developed by Deaconess Claudine Whittaker who had been an assistant to.Miss McKnight in Hooker School. Deaconess Whittaker established a community enterprise among the destitute living in the neighborhood of San Jose. This work, La Casa del Sagrado Nombre (The House of the Holy Name), was of inestimable value to those to whom it carried light and encouragement in a dark and unsanitary section of old Mexico City. During 1915-16 when starvation faced the poor it was selected by the Red Cross as one of the chief food distributing centers in the city.

Later La Casa was assigned to Senorita Josefa Romero, a graduate of Hooker School and a member of a family active in the affairs of the Church from the earliest days of the Reform Movement. Miss Romero, holding a degree from a Government normal school, and a public school teacher, is a keen student of social science and outstanding among the young women of the new Mexico in her love for the poor [48/49] and underprivileged and her ability to apply modern educational and social methods to the alleviation of their condition.

When she had been in charge but a year she had the assistance of seven teachers, and the school had an enrollment of two hunched pupils. Besides this the house was giving breakfast and two-hour instruction daily to twenty-four newsboys and bootblacks. No one in distress was turned away and thousands have been helped and blessed in the Sacred Name.

During the years of his episcopate, Bishop Aves never lost sight of his original commission--the spiritual care and oversight of the English-speaking residents. At his first convocation he had the privilege of consecrating Christ Church, Mexico City, which had paid off its entire indebtedness amounting to $22,000.

The English-speaking population of Mexico, although scattered in many mining, smelting and railway centers, was rapidly increasing. Bishop Aves built up a capable and missionary-minded, English-speaking clergy group who developed new missions for their own countrymen and stood loyally by the Bishop in his Mexican work. In addition to the work along the line of the Tehuantepec Railway under the direction of the Rev. Arthur H. Mellen, there were congregations in Puebla, Oaxaca, Orizaba, Jalapa, Vera Cruz, San Luis Potesi, Monterrey, Torreon, Guadalajara, Chihuahua, Tampico, and Pachuca.

At Chihuahua a beautiful church, St. Mary's, was erected. It ministered to a large and appreciative congregation until the raids of Villa forced them to refugee to El Paso. A chapel was also built at Puebla which was subsequently sold. Most of the English-speaking missions, however, were in rented buildings. It was discouraging to the Bishop to see these centers of spiritual activity close up one by one with the retirement of the English-speaking groups. Yet they were lights in their generation. Many who are adults [49/50] today look back to these missions as their Sunday schools. Many were confirmed from them. The devoted ministers did the work God had given them to do. They reluctantly withdrew from their dwindling flocks, some not until they had been ordered out of the country by their Government.

Christ Church, Mexico City, remained in 1935 a self-supporting parish with regular services and contributing to the missionary work of the Church.

With the discovery of oil, Tampico offered the Bishop one of his greatest opportunities. The first service was held in May, 1911. A large number of foreign residents were attracted and the work, under the direction of the Rev. Arthur H. Mellen, began with forty communicants. During the active period of the Revolution Bishop Aves despaired of keeping it open. So many Churchmen left the region that the small number who remained did not seem to warrant the appointment of another missionary. But in October, 1919, the Rev. Eugene Bigler, who had been stationed at Monterrey, was placed in charge. Mr. Bigler continued to hold occasional services in Monterrey as well as in San Luis Potesi and Torreon. Finally discovering [50/51] himself the pastor of people of all Churches in Tampico he was able to effect a practical corporate unity for work and worship in a congregation representing various religious affiliations. A beautiful church was built by the community, and consecrated by Bishop Aves as Christ Church on November 5, 1923.

A work of somewhat similar character was initiated by the Rev. William Watson in Pachuca, the capital of Hidalgo and said to be the largest mining community in the world. Here the Methodists who had concentrated on Mexican work requested the Episcopal Church to undertake the English-speaking work. Mr. Watson lent himself with sympathy to the situation and rapidly developed a work which commended itself to the many British and American residents.

The Rev. Harry O. Nash, who went to Mexico in 1923, pushed the work forward, organizing young people's societies and developing a social conscience for the underprivileged Mexicans. Under Mr. Nash a large compound was made available to the congregation and a well-appointed chinch opened.

[52]Unlike the work among the English-speaking residents, the work among Mexicans, while seriously hampered by the Revolution, was not brought to a point where it had to be practically reconstructed. From the time Bishop Aves assumed it, it displayed remarkable vitality and went forward with confidence, its people united in a common task. At the time of Bishop Riley's resignation some of his followers had formed a schismatic body and for a number of years had continued a separate existence. One of the congregations numbering about eighty members sent a letter to Bishop Aves in 1908 in which they asked to be received by him. They said:

We promise before God to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church, promising obedience to all that may emanate front the Episcopal authority.

Bishop Aves replied:

In the name of our Blessed Lord and His Bride, the Church. I bid you glad welcome to the communion and fellowship of the Church whose authority I humbly bear.

And so the schism was healed and Mexican Churchmen have continued loyal and united through the years.

Some of the churches, among them San Pedro Martir and Joquicingo, were partially destroyed during the Revolution. Some work the Bishop had undertaken was stopped. Hooker School and St. Andrew's both closed for a time. After the active warfare, however, several contemplated building projects were brought to completion. The churches at Mimiapan, Santa Maria Tlalmimilolpan, and Amecameca were finished. A new school was built at Humini, new churches at Encinillas, Joquicingo, and San Miguel el Alto. San Pedro Martir was twice repaired and rebuilt. A beautiful new church, Santa Fe, was erected by the side of the hospital at Nopala. New areas were opened up for evangelization. Under the Rev. Efrain Salinas, assisted by two deacons, a postulant, and students from St. Andrew's, an intensive work was begun in the State of Jalisco.

[53] There were discouragements; poverty and fanaticism made the work difficult. The Bishop's own experiences during the Revolution, and advancing years, made it hard for him to make the long and arduous journeys of visitation. None save one who has had experience can appreciate what it means to ride long distances over difficult country; to arrive at a small Indian village weary and saddlesore, to receive the hearty welcome of eager hosts and waiting congregations, but to enjoy none of the facilities for rest and quiet an American regards as essential to refreshment and preparation for the services to follow, and the renewing of the journey the next day. Bishop Aves made many such trips even when age added to the strain and fatigue. Dining the Revolution he was beleaguered in Guadalajara for a long period. He made a harrowing trip out to Nopala accompanied by the Rev. Efrain Salinas. Several times his house was invaded, his goods stolen, and his family terrorized. Yet amid it all his love for his Mexican people continued. He saw in them possibilities to which he could not shut his eyes. He believed that the hope of the Nation was in this Church and its services, and in the Gospel simply presented.

The great majority of our Mexican Church people (he said) own neither land our home, and there are no rich people among them; although there are many who have large influence in and beyond their communities. And yet these people are rich in Christian graces; they are peace-loving, industrious, honest, faithful and courteous and hospitable to a degree. Very seldom is domestic discord or scandal ever heard among them, and, divorcement never. Their religion is intelligently real to them and their loyalty to the Church is steadfast. The greatest common desire and ambition among them is the education of their children.

The news he sent home indicated his faith not only in the people but in the leaders of the Revolution:

A memorable surprise came one day in 1917, to our little parochial school at Maravillas in the Stale of Hidalgo. From [53/54] the eastward, over the old national road that winds its way through the mountains from Mexico City to Queretero, there came a troop of cavalry with the commanding figure of a well-accoutered officer with heavy gray beard at its head. At the command Alto! the long line halts before the little schoolhouse and the commanding figure dismounts with his official staff and enters. After greeting the teacher, the official with the great beard addresses the children in a simple talk about the meaning and importance of education. Then picking up from the teacher's desk, where his hand has been resting, a little black book with the title Oracion Comum (Common Prayer) he opens it and presently asks, "What is this?" The teacher explains that the school belongs to a mission of the Episcopal Church, known in Mexico as La Iglesia Catolica Mexicana, and that the little book contains the Church's services, and the catechism of duties which the children are taught. After another pause of perusal the bearded official remarks, "This is good." Then calling the children to him he gives to each a small coin of remembrance, and to one who is an orphan adopted by the teacher, he gives a bright hidalgo (a $10 gold piece), and goes his way. It was the First Chief of the Republic, General Venustiano Carranza, on his way by saddle from Mexico City to Queretero to preside at the National Congress meeting there for the framing of the new Constitution.

The Bishop's hands were upheld by devoted clergy and upon some of them he had to lay added responsibility. In 1912, he appointed the Rev. Arthur H. Mellen, who had been in Mexico four years, as Archdeacon of Mexico. No more fitting choice could have been made. With a thorough knowledge of the field and with experience in both foreign and Mexican work, with the confidence of clergy and people, Archdeacon Mellen entered upon a task in which he continued through the years of the Revolution and until changing governmental conditions forced him to retire. At one time he was one of but three foreign priests in the Republic. When the means of transportation were not available he made long and dangerous journeys afoot. While his Bishop was beleaguered in Guadalajara he was at the helm in the Federal District. Upon his retirement he became the agent of the American Bible Society in Mexico.

[55] In his place in 1919, the Bishop appointed the Rev. Samuel Salinas, a Mexican priest. Archdeacon Salinas was at the time ministering to a group of eight missions in the State of Hidalgo with headquarters at Nopala. The choice was excellent. The new archdeacon, a product of the Church, was inured to the hardship of being in the saddle long hours each day. He knew intimately the entire field and was convinced of the importance of the educational and social programs.

Even with the constant help he gave and the many visitations he was able to make, the Bishop felt that the time for his resignation was approaching. A severe attack of typhoid fever hastened his decision. Consequently in November, 1923, he resigned as Bishop of Mexico. At a meeting of the House of Bishops held in Dallas, Texas, that year, his resignation was accepted. The committee which recommended it called attention "to the many years of devoted and arduous labor by the Bishop of Mexico through a period fraught with difficulties, problems, and dangers; and the Bishop of Mexico should feel assured of both our profound sympathy in his ill health and of our gratitude for the services he has rendered."


No action was taken by the House of Bishops meeting in New York in 1924 relative to an election of a Bishop of Mexico. At the general Convention of 1925, however, much time was given to the consideration of its advisability. Finally the House of Bishops decided to proceed to an election. The choice fell upon the Rev. Frank W. Creighton, rector of St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn, New York. Consecrated second Bishop of Mexico on January 12, 1926, he arrived in his jurisdiction early in February.

During the interim the Presiding Bishop assigned charge of the missionary district first to the Rt. Rev. Frederick B. [55/57] Howden, Bishop of New Mexico, then to the Rt. Rev. William Y. Capers, Bishop of West Texas, and finally to the Rt. Rev. Hiram R. Hulse, Bishop of Cuba. Continuous active oversight, however, was given by the Rev. William Watson who resided in the City of Mexico and acted as liaison officer with the Church at home. With the approval of the National Council he found it necessary to make sonic important decisions affecting the work, to close some of the schools, and otherwise bring it in line with newly formulated governmental policies. Mr. Watson was well qualified to step into the breach, having had experience in two Latin-American fields. He first carne to Mexico in 1907, and was missionary in Puebla and Oaxaca. Subsequently he was headmaster of St. Andrew's School and in charge of Christ Church in Guadalajara. For five years he was stationed at San Jose de Gracia, Mexico City. In 1914, he went to Cuba and was missionary and chaplain at Guantanamo. In 1921, he returned to Mexico and was appointed General Missionary by Bishop Aves.

Bishop Creighton, who was forty-six years old, had the qualifications of health and missionary zeal together with three others, which residents of Mexico told him were necessary, viz., a strong physique, a good digestion, and a sense of humor.

The new Bishop found a situation which had become acute through the active opposition of the Roman hierarchy to the Government program. Although there was no actual strife the spirit of dissension and rancor was in the air. Obviously no official recognition of Bishop Creighton's presence could be given by the Government. Unofficially, however, suggestions came to him to refrain from aggressive action, to remain inconspicuous, and to proceed with his work. Meanwhile the British and American colonies had extended hearty welcome, and the Mexicans were pleading for immediate visits to the missions. Many visits were made by train and on horse and burro before the meeting of the [57/58] convocation in April. Bishop Creighton also met many Government officials. Furthermore, he had carefully studied the Government program to discover if there was a possibility of conformity with its social and economic ideals. He had to decide whether his clergy should register, and how the churches and missions under his care might remain open and minister to the people under the severe Government restrictions.

At the convocation held in the Cathedral in April every clergyman, Mexican and foreign, was present, together with a large representation of lay delegates, members of the Woman's Auxiliary, and representatives of the Church's educational and social institutions. It was an opportune time to announce a policy which should govern the work in Mexico. It was evident that drifting was out of the question. A policy of mere opportunism would get nowhere. The Bishop was faced with the necessity of defining a position and sticking to it, drifting, or closing up. After careful consideration, and many conferences with Government officials, foreign residents, and Mexicans, Bishop Creighton said in his address:

Our mission has nothing to do with diplomacy, industry, or politics. From these, obviously, it is one of complete and total detachment. Nor do we desire to express any opinion upon the limitation of our work.

And then with reference to the long and acute dispute between Church and State, he added:

I believe that I am adequately expressing the idea of those who are responsible for my presence here when I say that Mexico knows what is best for Mexicans. My desire and our duty is to so comport ourselves as to be examples to our people in respect for the law and obedience to its provisions.

To the clergy he said:

We dare not stand still, to recede is unthinkable. We are bound to carry on. The exigencies of a peculiar situation must not lessen effort nor be made the excuse for anything less than an entire engrossment in that for which we are ordained.

[59] This statement did much to define and clarify the position of our Church. It was prominently printed in full in Mexican papers. The response from all sides was favorable. The Church in Mexico was to do the work God had given it to do. It did not intend to stand still. It would cooperate when cooperation was possible and it would be a law-abiding Church. The situation at this time may be judged from an event which took place the day before convocation met and which might have claimed the lives of all the clergy and delegates from the Jalisco field had they not arrived in Mexico City a day ahead of time:

On April 20, the Guadalajara-Mexico City train was attacked by about four hundred men shouting the battle-cry of "Long live Christ the King," headed--the Government charged--by three priests. The participation of the priests was asserted by members of the episcopate to have been in the capacity of chaplains. Various survivors testified that the priests were actively directing the assault. The entire train, guard and passengers, including women and twenty children, fifty-four in all. were killed. A number of the wounded passengers were burned alive when the attackers poured kerosene on the cars and set fire to them. One man traveling with his mother, wife and three children lost then all--and his reason. When dawn broke on the charred wreckage he was wandering around, gibbering, with a burnt baby's corpse in his arms. All this in the name of Christ the King!

Two days later the Mexican Government ordered the expulsion of the archbishops and bishops remaining in the country. [Ernest Gruening, Mexico and Its Heritage.]

Shortly afterward, and while the Bishop was in the field, the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral was ordered to desist from conducting services until he was registered or to retire from the country. At the same time a foreign papal legate was expelled for alleged illegal entry. Meanwhile efforts were being made to secure registration for foreigners to serve their own nationals. The following month all Mexican clergy were registered.

Before the summer was over the National League of Defense, a group of Roman Catholic laymen, instituted a [59/60] boycott to paralyze the social and economic life of the nation, with the endorsement of the hierarchy. This effort failed. An enforcement act making effective the provisions of Article 130 of the Constitution was sure to be passed at the meeting of Congress in the winter, and rather than face the implications of such action the Roman Church on August 1 placed the Nation under interdict and forbade services of any kind to be conducted by priests in the churches.

During all these difficulties Episcopal churches remained open. The Mexican clergy were registered and lay readers, licensed by the Bishop, officiated for the English-speaking congregations. There was no more cheering thing in these dark days than the loyalty and cooperation of the foreign laymen. In the Cathedral Don Tomas Philips, Philip Leach, and the Hon. Richard de Grey, all British subjects, conducted services. At Pachuca the Hon. Stephen Waters, [60/61] a British subject, officiated, and at Tampico, James Bradbury, an American citizen, rendered splendid service and continues to do so. Arrangements for lay services were made in cooperation with the Government and at its suggestion. But, fine as was the leadership assumed by the laymen, services without clergymen were not satisfactory. Priests were needed to administer the sacraments and to resume pastoral leadership. The action of Congress in appending to the enforcement act passed in December a transitory article giving foreign clergymen the right to minister to their own nationals for a period of six years, was a boon to the foreign churches and their people. Bishop Creighton was the first foreign clergyman to register. The others quickly followed and normal services were resumed in all the churches and missions.

The work during Bishop Creighton's first year in Mexico was seriously handicapped by a shortage of Mexican clergy. [61/62] There were, however, live candidates for Holy Orders, graduates of St. Andrew's, who had waited since Bishop Aves's time to be ordained. Events had not scented to justify the interest such a service would attract. On Sunday, March 6, 1927, in Christ Church Cathedral, at a service which long will be remembered, these five candidates were made deacons in the presence of an enormous congregation of Mexicans, British, and Americans. Mexican and foreign clergymen participated. The Rev. Efrain Salinas came from the State of Jalisco to preach the sermon. The ordinands (since advanced to the priesthood) were Samuel Cespedes, Jose Martinez, Jose Nicolas Robredo, Samuel Ramirez, and Jose Filigonio Gomez. This ordination was the culmination of a year's trial of a definite policy laid down at the beginning.

Particularly helpful to the Bishop and his clergy was the encouragement from home. At its meeting in May, 1927, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution commending them for effective service during the troubled conditions prevailing in Mexico. One Church paper said editorially:

Seldom has there been a more encouraging news report from the mission field than that from Mexico.... With the consent of the Government, and with two policemen present, Bishop Creighton has held an ordination in his Cathedral, the five candidates being Mexicans. He is also making visitations to the Mexican congregations and is quietly bringing order out of chaos and establishing the work of the Church on permanent lines.

We have here the vindication of the courage of the House of Bishops in sending a Bishop to Mexico when there was real doubt its to how he would be received and what he world be able to do. And there is splendid vindication of the Bishop himself. It is little more than a year since Dr. Creighton was consecrated. Conditions were at their worst when he took up his abode in the City of Mexico. He has carefully labored for peace, has avoided any sort of playing to the galleries, taken no part in Mexican controversies He has proven a diplomat of the highest sort; and his prudence and wisdom have produced fruits that seemed impossible a year ago.

Also, this incident places the Mexican Government itself in a better light. If its policy had been one or deliberate [62/63] baiting of Americans, these courtesies toward our Bishop and his work could not have been shown. They give new hope to its who have earnestly sought to promote a government policy of patience and non-irritation. And it affords cause for real gratitude that our Church has really been a factor in helping to happier relations between Americans and our neighbors to the south. [The Living Church, March 19, 1927, p. 685]

That there was a disposition to understand the real situation and not to minimize its seriousness, was further evinced by another widely read editorial statement:

To what extent this movement (i.e., Government strictures) may be an attack upon Christianity it may not be easy to say, since the ignorant peasant ground down for generations by the powers that be and left wholly uneducated by the Church that ought to have educated him if the State did not, has little or no knowledge of Christianity apart from Romanism. So far as the actual laws against ministrations of foreign clergymen are concerned they do not constitute a persecution upon Christians nor justify a refusal to obey the law. Our clergy are bound to conform to the law if the Government requires it of them. It may be necessary for our Bishop to withdraw from the comity. Under the circumstances we suggest the immediate desirability of choosing and consecrating a native Mexican, priest to be Suffragan Bishop of our Missionary District of Mexico. [The Living Church, June 12, 1926, p. 220.]

Fortunately the Bishop did not have to withdraw; later he was recognized by the Government as Bishop of Mexico and furnished with credentials. Out of an accurate and wise appraisal of the situation, however, came a suggestion the wisdom of which was justified by subsequent events.

Now came the question of confirmations. There had already been confirmations of foreign candidates and students of Hooker School in the Cathedral. The Bishop was registered for the foreign, but not the Mexican churches, and there were many Mexicans waiting to be confirmed. One day the Bishop mentioned his problem to a high Government official and represented that it seemed unjust. His [63/65] immediate reply was, "You are registered for your Cathedral; why do you not confirm them there The result was a confirmation on Trinity Sunday at which classes of Mexicans were presented from San Jose de Gracia, San Pedro Martir, Xochitengo. Xolox, Popotla, Nopala, Encinillas, San Bartolo, Santiago Loma, and Humini. This service was in Spanish. The Church was obeying the law and receiving unexpected cooperation. At the Hooker School commencement, the same year, many Government officials were present, including a General of Division; and a regimental band was sent to the school to furnish music for the occasion.

Meanwhile the Bishop was spending much time among the Mexicans, encouraging the congregations to greater zeal and the improvement of their properties. The church at Cuernavaca was entirely rebuilt and the rectory renovated. New churches were consecrated at Chapantango, Santiago Loma, and San Sebastian. Bells were blessed and hung before large throngs at the missions in Nopala, Encinillas, Humini and Santiago Loma. A new rectory was built at Guadalajara. New outstations were established at San Martin de las Flores, Zoquipan, and San Sebastianito.

The legal recognition of the English-speaking work and the registration of the foreign clergy enabled the congregations to engage in normal worship and development. At Christ Church Cathedral the Rev. Frederick W. Golden-Howes succeeded the Rev. H. Dobson Peacock, and not only served his congregation but took an active interest in the Mexican work and the affairs of the district.

In Pachuca the Rev. Harry O. Nash, an indefatigable missionary whose ministry under constant physical distress caused by the high altitude, was of the highest order, was succeeded by the Rev. Ellsworth B. Collier who still further strengthened the work.

In Tampico a belfry and guild room were added to the beautiful church building. Mr. Bradbury continued the [65/66] work after the Rev. Eugene Bigler returned to the United States, the Bishop and Archdeacon Watson visiting the mission regularly for the administration of the sacraments.

The social work begun by Mrs. Samuel Salinas in the Nopala area had steadily grown through the years. With the withdrawal of the doctor and nurse ban the hospital the entire burden of carrying on fell on the shoulders of this devoted woman. Aided and encouraged by her missionary husband she learned the English language, and was able to read and master nursing and medical books. Sometimes when serious cases came to her she treated them in the hospital. More often, and until the Samuel Salinas family made the hospital their residence, she treated her patients in the patio of their home in the village.

News of her Christlike ministrations spread to the mountains and the sick and injured were brought to her in a constant and hopeful stream. Some were able to drag themselves to her door, others were brought on chairs and pallets. Every year from twelve to sixteen hundred (sometimes as many as two thousand) carne--some to be treated and sent back to their homes; others for longer periods of time to be healed and fed and clothed. Some carte for major operations, some for treatment for snake bites, frozen limbs, starvation. wounds, burns and all the ills which befall a primitive and hapless people. All Mrs. Salinas did was done in the name of the Healing Christ and she brought her patients to the church to be further blessed by the services and sacraments.

While the mother was thus engaged and the father was visiting his many mountain missions a daughter, Enriqueta, conducted the School of Fraternity and not only taught the children but trained teachers for the rural schools. The cause of education under Church auspices was immeasurably advanced in the State of Hidalgo by Enriqueta Salinas and it is a matter of regret that inability to conform to the new educational requirements made it necessary to close [66/67] her school. Disappointments in Mexico, however, are not looked upon as permanent setbacks. Out of efforts to clarify a difficult situation right solutions are sure to be found. That which is good is permanent and will not be lost.

In Mexico City, La Casa del Sagrado Nombre carried on its work under the direction of Señorita Josefa Romero assisted by a small staff of Mexican teachers. A kindergarten and elementary grades gathered together as cosmopolitan a group of children as could be found anywhere. Little Russians. Syrians, Arabs. Assyrians, Germans, Greeks, as well as Mexicans, marched to the tunes of Church hymns and found refuge from the unlovely streets of an ancient section of the City of Mexico. In the afternoon and evening there were classes in domestic science and in the evening many young people came for commercial courses. La Casa had a close connection with San Jose de Gracia which was highly beneficial to both.

Hooker School continued its good work for Mexican girls. It is near enough to Mexico City to receive many visits from the Bishop and it drew like a magnet. Its classrooms filled with eager students, its park-like grounds, its small farm for raising supplies, and its faculty of American and Mexican missionaries made it an attractive place indeed. Unfortunately Deaconess Newell's health had been impaired by the high altitude and she only visited Mexico once during Bishop Creighton's episcopate. Direction of the school was assumed by Miss Genevieve Crissey, the vice-directora. Deaconess Newell resigned in 1927, after having made a notable contribution to Mexico and bringing Hooker to all enviable position as an educational institution.

Upon Miss Crissey's retirement the Bishop appointed Miss Jean McBride, directora. During her tenure of office many changes and betterments were made in the physical fabric, and the registrations in the fall of 1927 were the [67/68] largest in the history of the school. Meanwhile Miss Martha Boynton had joined the staff and eventually succeeded Miss McBride as head.

Miss Boynton's period was eventful in many ways. The Children's Birthday Thank Offering presented at the General Convention of 1928 was available. Plans were drawn for a large new school and auditorium and ten classrooms, modern in every respect and worthy of the Church. On February 13, 1929, in the presence of the Council of Advice, the directora and faculty, the student body and a group of distinguished visitors, the Bishop broke ground for the new edifice. He dedicated it on November 12, 1930, "to the glory of God and the Christian education of Mexican children." So it stands, the gift of the children of the Church in the United States to the children of Mexico.

Meanwhile another valuable addition to the Hooker property had been made by a group of New York women in the erection, with funds gathered by them, of the Henry Eglinton Montgomery Memorial Infirmary. This beautiful building serves as the isolation unit when it is necessary, [68/69] as a rest house for faculty and students on the school grounds, and as a most comfortable and attractive guest house.

While Miss Boynton was dircr(ora there were frequent changes in the Ministry of Education. New plans for the oversight of private schools in Mexico were being frequently formulated, with a view to the gradual enforcement of the constitutional provisions affecting religious education. This resulted in frequent inspections and the task of fitting the curriculums into the one required by the Government, in order that graduates might receive official diplomas and be qualified to teach in Government schools. Frequent conferences were necessary in the Ministry of Education and with faculties of other private schools. A false step at this time would have been fatal. Delicate adjustments, carefully considered--always with the thought in mind that the Revolution is a continuing movement with its ultimate [69/70] policies not yet defined--had to be made. Fortunately Miss Boynton had as her vice-directora Señorita Hermelinda Reyes, whose whole life had been spent at Hooker as student or faculty member. Through Deaconess Newell's efforts she had had special work at Columbia University and was thoroughly conversant with modern educational methods. A competent, devoted, and devout product of the Church and Hooker, she was of inestimable help to the directora.

As regulations became more stringent it was necessary to build a wall between the new school and the old building, which served as a "home" for the resident students, entirely separating them. Religious instructions in the school were discontinued. Fortunately, however, there are no regulations which affect religious teaching in the home or the church.

St. Andrew's School in Guadalajara continued its work under most difficult conditions. The Rev. Efrain Salinas, ably assisted by the Rev. Lorenzo Saucedo, realized that a reorganization was necessary. The plan contemplated sending the students who were looking forward to the ministry to the United States for their theology, and the closing of the theological department. The cooperation of seminaries at home made the plan easily operative. St. Andrew's became a secondary school and junior college. In addition, industrial departments such as printing and blacksmithing were installed. The farm work was so arranged that scholarship pupils were enabled to support themselves. A beautiful new unit was added to the school plant, largely the personal gift of the headmaster.

The ideal of propaganda was ever held before the students. Sometimes at dawn they started to distant villages as peripatetic missionaries. They were the choir in mountain missions and served as lay readers and teachers. When they came to the United States as students of theology from such a training, it is no wonder they proved themselves to [70/71] be honor pupils and gave promise of being worthy successors of the early Mexican priests.

In 1929, Bishop Creighton's position was immeasurably strengthened by the wholly unexpected and voluntary action of the national Government and the Department Central in giving him official recognition as Bishop of Mexico and, at the same time, furnishing him with credentials which authenticated his position.

The same year, through the good offices of Ambassador Morrow, a modus vivendi relieved the tension in the differences between the Government and the Roman Church. The Roman priests returned to their posts and resumed their duties. The Episcopal Church was not affected in any way by this truce. It suffered some losses, however, through the misguided action of religious fanatics. Individual members of the Church were relentlessly persecuted. In one area entirely dominated by Roman officials five people were thrown into prison for no other reason than that they were members of this Church. In Tlaljomulco thye Church warden was killed; the Rev. Josue Diaz driven from the village and the work closed. The Rev. Jose Martinez barely escaped from Ahualulco with his life, and only a miracle saved the Rev. Jose Robredo from death at the hands of a mob of fanatics in San Sebastian. In one village the number killed was more than one hundred. Fellow religionists continued to make it cost something to be a member of this Church in Mexico. Despite all this the missionaries remained at their posts, the work progressed and the people remained loyal.

At the end of 1930 Bishop Creighton, at the request of the Presiding Bishop, became Executive Secretary of the Department of Domestic Missions of the National Council. This necessitated his residence in New York with occasional trips to Mexico for visitations and oversight. Before he retired from Mexico he reorganized the District for more effective administration by a nonresident Bishop. The [71/72] Council of Advice was constituted a board of directors for the schools. The direct oversight of the English-speaking work the Bishop retained. The Mexican work was divided into three archdeaconries. The Rev. William Watson, who had been general missionary under Bishop Aves, was appointed Archdeacon of the Federal District and territory adjacent. The Rev. Samuel Salinas who had been archdeacon under Bishop Aves, was appointed for the States of Hidalgo and Mexico. The Rev. Efrain Salinas, headmaster of St. Andrew's School, whose zeal as a missionary leader had already resulted in many new outstations, the fruits of student effort and propaganda, was appointed Archdeacon of Jalisco.

This arrangement proved entirely satisfactory under the circumstances. There was always the ideal, however, of a Mexican Episcopal Church with a Mexican Bishop. The Church in America had looked favorably upon such a plan in the past. It had hesitated, to be sure, to consecrate Mexican Bishops unless associated with an American Bishop, but it had never gone so far as to test the capacity of one of its own priests--a product of its work in Mexico--in the episcopate. Events indicated that the time had arrived lot a display of confidence. The Constitution of Mexico requires that clergymen officiating in the Republic be Mexicans by birth. It was true the transitory article granted a six-year period to a foreigner. but with the understanding that his successor. a Mexican by birth, was to be educated to succeed him. The Church was under moral obligation to fulfill that requirement in every case. Moreover, among the Mexican clergy there were several whose capacity had been amply tested. Two of them had already been chosen for the episcopal office by their brother priests, but the Church had not been prepared to proceed with a consecration when the American who was elected with them died before he could be consecrated. There were others equally well qualified--men tried and true, spiritually-minded, ardent [72/73] Churchmen, proven administrators, courageous, and self-sacrificing.

At the General Convention of 1931, the youngest of theta, the Ven. Efrain Salinas, Archdeacon of Jalisco, was elected Suffragan Bishop, and at Atlantic City in 1934, after three years of service in virtual charge of the missionary district, he was elected Bishop of Mexico.


The Ven. Efrain Salinas was elected Suffragan Bishop of Mexico September 25, 1931. and consecrated in St. John's Cathedral, Denver, Colorado, on St. Michael and All Angels Day. The Consul of Mexico attended with his staff. Many members of the Mexican colony in Denver, whom he had addressed the previous Sunday and who were already his friends, were present to see their fellow countryman elevated to the episcopate. The significance of that solemn act was deeply felt by the vast congregation present. It had tremendous implications for the Church in America and the Church in Mexico. There was also objectively seen the scope of the Church's Mission, for at the same time the Ven. John Boyd Bentley was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Alaska. The Church was commissioning and sending forth two of its sons to its far-flung borders of the North and South. Too big and too divine to know anything of boundaries or races, the Church was manifesting its character. Men of apostolic zeal were being sent to all men everywhere to tell in different tongues and in different climes the story of the love of God for the souls of men and to bring them into His love and keeping in the Church.

A few days later Bishop Bentley departed for Alaska with Bishop Rowe, and Bishop Salinas y Velasco (for now that he was a Bishop he also bore his mother's name) left with Bishop Creighton for Mexico. A product of the Mexican Episcopal Church, forty-five years of age, of robust health and commanding presence, blessed with the gift of [73/75] rare and convincing eloquence in his native tongue, a scholar and educator, the new Suffragan Bishop was well qualified to assume the office for which he had been chosen and consecrated. Bishop Salinas y Velasco was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos, the son of Pantaleon Salinas and Braulia Velasco de Salinas. His father, a respected citizen and business man in his community, was an early convert to La Iglesia de Jesus. For that he suffered ostracism and the loss of his business. Undeterred he was ever an indefatigable lay missionary. He was imprisoned and persecuted but he could not be silenced nor dissuaded from his allegiance to this Church. No one was more active than he in the affairs of the infant evangelical-catholic Church, nor in the affairs of the missionary district when it became a part of this Protestant Episcopal Church under Bishop Aces. It is not surprising, then, that three of his sons were in the ministry: the Bishop, the Ven. Samuel Salinas, and the Rev. Ruben Salinas, missionary in Popotla, Encinillas, and San Francisquito.

Bishop Salinas y Velasco was educated in the Dean Gray School, and took post-graduate work at Nashota House, which honored him with a doctor's degree in divinity. He was assigned to various difficult duties by Bishop Aves, cluring the fulfillment of which he fortunately escaped attempted assassination. He was subsequently secretary of the missionary district, priest-in-charge of St. Mary's, Guadalajara, headmaster of St. Andrew's School, and Archdeacon of Jalisco.

Upon his arrival in Mexico City arrangements were made for his installation and presentation to his people and the Nation at a solemn Eucharist. The Government graciously lent itself to the plans, and issued an "authorization" placing the Church of San Jose de Gracia in the cathedral parish for one day.

The service, all in Spanish, was held on October 25, 1931. Before a great congregation which taxed the capacity of the [75/77] church and overflowed into the street, and in which were many Government officials, the new Bishop received his charge. The procession of Mexican and English-speaking clergy was led by a crucifer and a bearer of the banner of Mexico. The Hooker student body furnished the music. After the charge Bishop Creighton placed the Episcopal Stall of Mexico in the hands of Bishop Salinas y Velasco, and with all the clergy knelt to receive his blessing. Tears streamed down the faces of the older Mexican priests as they took part in the fulfillment of their hopes and saw the answer to their prayers--a Mexican Bishop. Three years later the jurisdiction passed into the hands of Bishop Salinas y Velasco with his election as Bishop of Mexico by the House of Bishops at Atlantic City. He had, however, been virtually in charge from the time of his consecration as suffragan.

There was no need for him to study his field and make first visits to missions as his predecessors had done. He was intimately acquainted with it all. The clergy were his brothers, teachers, classmates, or pupils. Their congregations were his friends.

When the new Bishop began his episcopal duties in his native land he faced a recrudescence of the animosity between the State and the Roman Church. One of the features of the Constitution of Mexico, which has made the situation more difficult, is the provision which permits each State to determine the number of clergymen who are to be registered to officiate within its borders. State Governments have interpreted this to mean that they are at liberty to handle the religious situation in any way they choose. In some States, as a result, there is very little interference. In others, stringent regulations are imposed and the number of priests who may officiate is totally inadequate. In 1932, the number of clergy permitted for each religious body in the Federal District was fixed arbitrarily at twenty-five. The same year the State of Michoacan severely cut its number of [77/78] clergymen, refused recognition to hierarchies, and prohibited ecclesiastical dignitaries to be registered. The State of Morelos imposed heavy taxes upon officiants. And the State of Mexico, where this Church had seven missions, vigorously enforced laws limiting the number of ministers of each religious body to two for each of the component municipalities in the State. In other States where this Church had no work even more stringent laws were passed and enforced.

Nevertheless, at his first convocation Bishop Salinas y Velasco was able to report progress in every department of his work. He urged prompt compliance with the law. With complete faith in his people, whom he urged to be actuated by patriotic motives, and in the power of the Holy Spirit rightly to guide the councils of men and the Church of which he was Bishop, he outlined a forward program.

Today (he said) under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit we are able to be united here to take council [78/79] together concerning the vital affairs of our work. The state of the Church during the past year has been encouraging! A wave of enthusiasm has swept over all our missions.

Despite discouraging political factors the Bishop was committed to the policy of, "Forward to the task." He soon found that there world be no interference from the central Government in his work. July 1 he was duly recognized as Bishop. August 1 he received authorization to officiate in San Jose de Gracia. October 22 he was registered to officiate in the municipality of Toluca.

That the Church in Mexico was determined not to hide its light was evinced by the publicity being given its services. The churches one after another were procuring bells. Many already had them. Bishop Creighton blessed four, at Nopala, Humini, Encinillas and Santiago Loma. Tampico had recently installed one. One of the first acts of Bishop Salinas y Velasco was to bless a bell at San Bartolo.

[80] For many years the Mission of San Juan Evangelista in the village of San Pedro Martir and one of the largest congregations, had hoped to build a parish house. Through the generosity of a friend in the United States these Indians had acquired a piece of land near the church. Several times they had tried to make sufficient adobes but as there was no water in the village--it is all carried from Tlalpan, three miles away--it was slow work. Little piles were prepared from time to time only to disintegrate during the rainy season when adobe construction was impossible. Under the leadership of the Rev. Jose F. Gomez, however, a young clergyman graduate of St. Andrew's School and the Philadelphia Divinity School, new interest was created and the building completed after a year of intensive work by the Indian congregation. They blasted and tarried four miles he black rock for the foundation; they, themselves, made eight thousand adobes for the walls besides purchasing the [80/81] same number of red bricks for the windows. They put the beams in position and laid the walls and cement floor. The same American friend provided the accessories beyond them to obtain. It is a beautiful and commodious structure, and stands a monument to the loyalty and devotion of these simple Aztecs to their Church. On May 5, 1933, in the presence of an enormous congregation. Bishop Salinas y Velasco dedicated the building, which provided facilities for Sunday school, vestry, and Woman's Auxiliary, and in addition for Biblical portrayals and as a recreation and health center.

One of the most isolated and scattered congregations is at San Miguel el Alto in the State of Michoacan. It was once a thriving mission but was destroyed during the revolutions. When Bishop Creighton visited the people in 1929 they begged for a church and the resumption of services. On November 6, 1932, Bishop Salinas y Velasco consecrated [81/82] the beautiful and substantial Church of the Divine Shepherd "in the midst of a great rejoicing."

Another beautiful church was consecrated in the civil jurisdiction of Los Reyes in which the congregations of Xolox and Los Reyes were united, and another was consecrated by the Bishop in San Sebastianita in the State of Jalisco. In addition, repairs were made to San Jose de Gracia which had been badly damaged by earthquake; also to the churches at Zoquipan and Amecameca and the House of Hope, Nopala. Cornerstones were laid for new churches at Tecalco and Jojutla.

This ambitious building program was, in a measure, made necessary by the Government's prohibition against holding services in private homes. In 1932, there were seven missions and four preaching stations, where this was being done. In all these missions and stations the services had to be temporarily abandoned, but our workers continued to give pastoral care, emphasizing religious education and trying to enlist the congregations in efforts to build their own chapels.

In order to correlate the work of his enormous jurisdiction with its small and isolated congregations, Bishop Salinas y Velasco presented to his first convocation a plan for organization which would enlist lay effort. He appointed committees to be responsible for religious education and publicity. There was immediate cooperation from the laity. The graduates of Hooker School were particularly helpful in the field of religious education. Isolated Church schools within reach of Mexico City were served by teachers who went out from the metropolis each Sunday. Convocation passed a resolution recommending a yearly conference for young people. Lecture courses were given at central points and correspondence courses prepared. The committee recognizing the almost total lack of Church school material in Spanish prepared a first-year course which they hoped would be but the beginning of their efforts.

[83] The Committee on Publicity served as a propaganda division and prepared printed pamphlets and statements setting forth the position of the Church. It was also actively working on a selection of hymns in Spanish--so badly needed and which may be used until there is a satisfactory Church Hymnal for Latin America.

The social work was seriously curtailed through the closing of La Casa del Sagrado Nombre. With successively reduced appropriations various expedients were tried to absorb the reductions. Finally it became evident that one of the institutions had to be closed and the one chosen was La Casa. Thus passed out of existence a social center and school which for many years had been a benediction to thousands of Mexicans. La Casa was chosen, for one thing, because the Church did not own the property on which it was located; for another, because the Bishop was faced with the necessity of a drastic reorganization of Hooker School. There, it was necessary to have an entire Mexican faculty. A Mexican Churchwoman, having a diploma from a Government normal school and of proven ability was needed for directora. Señorita Josefa Romero who had been principal of La Casa del Sagrado Nombre was just the person to step into the breach at Hooker. Release from her duties at La Casa enabled her to do it, with the assistance of Senorita Hermelinda Reyes who had been acting directora since Miss Boynton's return to the United States.

The regulations laid down by the Department of Education required that the school should be self-supporting, and that all appropriations from the Protestant Episcopal Church should be relinquished. This was done. In 1935 the only appropriation made for Hooker was for the maintenance of the adjoining home. Señorita Romero was directora of the school with a Mexican faculty to assist her. Naturally the number of pupils was greatly reduced. A new student body able to pay tuition or procure scholarships must be built up. Appropriations for scholarship aid [83/84] in 1935 were greatly curtailed. The boarding pupils lived in the home, whose efficient and sympathetic head was Senorita Hermelinda Reyes. The Bishop felt, and Government officials agreed with him, that all the requirements of the law and even the drastic rulings of the Ministry of Education were fully complied with. Both San Marcos, Popotla, and San Jose de Gracia were available for services and religious education until such time as a normal, non-political Church school finds a natural place in the reorganized Mexican society.

St. Andrew's School likewise had to be reorganized. Bishop Salinas y Velasco had been headmaster for many years. He continued in that capacity while he was Archdeacon of Jalisco and even after his election as Suffragan Bishop he went back to the school io relieve the Rev. Lorenzo Saucedo, his successor, who was ill. When the Bishop, who was then a deacon, first went to the school with [84/85] his bride in 1915, he had an immediate forecast of the difficulties of the position he was assuming. During his first night's residence bandits raided the buildings and all the possessions of the young headmaster and his bride, including their cherished wedding gifts, were stolen. During the Revolution all the postulants and candidates for the ministry were drafted into the Army. This period was marked by many raids on the school, the cattle were driven away and some of the buildings burned. In 1919, with Government protection, the Rev. Efrain Salinas and Mrs. Salinas, two teachers, with twelve young men and two dogs returned to the school. They found everything gone and Mrs. Salinas especially had a hard time to create once again the atmosphere of a home. Everyone pitched in, however, and the boy's, as always, were particularly helpful.

The school went steadily forward in usefulness and efficiency. When the headmaster became Bishop it was an [85/86] outstanding educational institution. Its buildings had been repaired, new ones built, the farm was a model, and industrial courses had been added to the curriculum. All the clergy in the Jalisco field were unpaid members of the faculty. Now all had to be changed and reorganized. Fortunately the Bishop could call upon a tried and true Churchman, Professor F. Servin Meza, to undertake the difficult task of headmaster and to bring the school within Government requirement. This was done. Since the reorganization one of the graduates has matriculated at the Divinity School of the Pacific to study for Holy Orders. The Bishop anticipated no curtailment in the number of students who would enter the ministry nor in the moral and spiritual results of its teaching.

Towards the close of 1934 there were grave doubts in the minds of some Churchmen in the United States as to the wisdom and even honesty of the position of this Church in Mexico. Some among them felt that we were progressing at the expense of our Roman brethren and that we ought to join them in protest. We had never been one with them in the causes of the struggle between Church and State and had always stood for religious liberty. But the efforts of Mexico to free herself from Roman dominance had assumed the character of religious persecution and an intention to stamp out all religion in the Republic. The acts of violence by groups of radicals in the National Revolutionary Party and the statements of irresponsible politicians seemed to justify such assumption. In all sincerity, National Council was asked to justify the Church's position in Mexico and to answer some specific questions embodied in resolutions from two diocesan conventions.

At its meeting on February 12-14, 1935, National Council issued this statement:

1. The National Council is strong in its conviction that true religion alone can promote and support those moral standards, both individual and social, upon which an enduring nation is built.

[87] 2. It is also convinced that true liberty and enlightenment must ever include freedom of conscience in the worship of God.

It is perfectly natural that in view of an aroused interest in Mexico there should be a desire to know how our Church is faring at the present tune when there seems to be a disposition on the part of the Mexican Government to enforce the provisions of the Constitution of Mexico with extreme vigor.

From authoritative reports which are available to us, we may say to the Church that no property of the Episcopal Church has been confiscated during the episcopates of either Bishop Creighton or Bishop Salinas y Velasco.

Our church buildings and rectories, i.e., buildings for worship and the teaching of Christian principles, as maintained by our Church, have been "manifested" to the civil authorities to comply with the law. This law goes back to the Constitution of 1857. All religious bodies which erected church buildings, parish houses, rectories, theological schools, or other buildings for worship and the teaching of religious doctrines after that date had full knowledge of the law and its implications. Church property is considered as belonging to the nation, but the religious corporation which built it is entitled to use it for the purpose intended.

Under the personal restrictions imposed by the Constitution, our Bishop and his clergy are performing their pastoral duties and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are registered for the localities in which they are officiating and are complying with the regulations which require all acts of public worship to be performed inside the church buildings.

Schools in Mexico are regarded as center for secular education only. Religions education must be confined to teaching in the family and in the church building. As long as we do not perform religious ceremonies within the school buildings we are permitted to carry on secular educational work.

In the case of Hooker School, Casa Hooker, a home for girls where they are kept under Christian influence and from which they are taken to Church school and to services in one of our duly registered churches, is separated from the school proper by a wall. This home is supported by the Church. The conduct of the school has been placed in the hands of a group of Hooker School graduates who are also graduates of Government normal schools and so fulfill Government requirements. They are all members of our Church. experienced teachers who have worked for many years in Government schools. This arrangement has proven entirely satisfactory and meets the [87/88] moral, practical, administrative, and legal problems raised by the new regulations on educational matters. The school is entirely self-supporting. The salaries of the teachers and all other expenses cone from the fees paid by the pupils. Casa Hooker is, however, supported by an appropriation from the National Council.

We have not joined in any protest. We deem it wise to study the situation more thoroughly, being not yet convinced that there is an actual persecution by the Government on religious grounds. We deplore, however, the action of certain local authorities, for instance in the State of Tabasco, which seems to us to be violative of the principle of religious freedom and of the individual rights secured to the citizens of Mexico by their Constitution.

Article 130 of the Constitution, as generally interpreted, gives each State the right to designate the number of clergymen to officiate within its borders. This has been used by certain local governors as an excuse for making the free exercise of religion almost prohibitory in their States. Yet the fact remains that there is no record of an appeal to a Federal court having been made by those affected.

In the face of a trying situation Bishop Salinas y Velasco has given wise and courageous leadership to the members or our Church in Mexico. Our work has not stood still, but has gone steadily forward. With full confidence in him and his ability to handle the affairs of our Church, we ask the prayers of our people in the United States for him and his clergy, for our Mexican Church members, and for all the people of Mexico.

The statement did much to clarify the situation and to bring messages of assurance to the Bishop whose difficulties and burdens are made lighter by the confidence of his brethren in the United States. The work continued to go forward. There was no diminution of effort nor of loyalty on the part of the Mexican people to the Church which brought them light in darkness and taught that God is love.

Early in 1935, the Bishop decided that the inspiration of convocation should not be confined to churches and missions in the vicinity of Mexico City, where it had been the custom to hold it. New missions had been organized in the [88/89] distant State of Jalisco, new churches had been built, and there was a growing interest in the Church. Then, too, the Bishop himself had spent most of his ministry in that area. Not knowing what the response would be he issued a call for a convocation of Jalisco in the Church of St. Stephen in the little mountain village of San Sebastian. He looked for a small gathering of the clergy, the students from St. Andrew's, and some of the faithful of San Sebastian. His utmost expectation was fifty people.

Something of the interest the experiment evoked may be judged from the fact that over three hundred people attended the opening service of Holy Communion. Each mission had sent a large delegation of lay delegates. While convocation was transacting its business ninety-five delegates to the meeting of the Woman's Auxiliary met under the presidency of Mrs. Salinas, the Bishop's wife. It was resolved by all to make the convocation of Jalisco an annual affair. While the Bishop was in the State he consecrated the Church of the Holy Trinity in San Sebastianito (Little San Sebastian) a nearby Indian village.

The work of women for the Church in Mexico was largely responsible for any success achieved. Had Mrs. Hooker not gone to Mexico City, had she not interested herself in the welfare of city waifs in the great metropolis and remained to give her life and fortune to the cause of Christ, the Church would not have had the years of usefulness of Hooker School nor the group of Christian women who were its graduates leavening the whole Church. Miss Driggs, her assistant and helper. Miss McKnight. Deaconess Newell, Miss McBride, Miss Boynton, together with the American and Mexican women on the faculty made their indelible impress upon Mexican life.

Mrs. Samuel Salinas was an angel of mercy in the mountains of Hidalgo. Her daughter, Enriqueta, rejoiced in the splendid teachers, the product of Fraternidad, who served in Government schools.

[90] Deaconess Affleck, Deaconess Whittaker, and Miss Josefa Romero ministered to body and soul and enlightened the minds of countless in the slums of Mexico City.

Less conspicuous, but just as valuable, was the sympathy and help from American women who were responsible for buildings and creature comforts for the staff. The Woman's Auxiliary in the United States was most generous in its gifts, sending $1,200 as early as 1910 towards building the House of Hope, and continuing to support workers through the United Thank Offering and twice making it possible for a Mexican representative of the Woman's Auxiliary in Mexico to attend General Convention. What that has meant to the Mexican women--to feel that they were represented in the great council of the Church and to have an accurate report brought back to them--can scarcely be imagined. For they, too, are proud of their Woman's Auxiliary. It was organized at the first convocation in 1906, [90/91] with Mrs. Henry D. Aves, wife of the Bishop, as president. Of course, the branches were few and small but they helped as they could. They sewed and made garments for the House of Hope and served whenever opportunity offered.

Later Mrs. Sara Q. de Salinas became president and at every annual convocation delegates came to learn about the missionary work of the Church and to make their own contribution out of their missionary experience. In 1924, they had a very intimate contact with the Church in the United States. For then, in response to an invitation from them delivered by Deaconess Newell to the triennial gathering of the Woman's Auxiliary in Portland, Mrs. Charles H. Boynton spent six weeks in Mexico visiting the various branches.

When Bishop Creighton arrived in Mexico he met at his first convocation an eager and missionary-minded group of women whose deliberations were an important part of the [91/92] proceedings. What though many of them were barefoot! What though many of them carried the niños wrapped in the folds of graceful rebosos! They were there and they were interested in all the world even though it was beyond their ken. They elected Mrs. Creighton their honorary president, and in her trips with the Bishop she had opportunity to meet with the local branches and to tell of the world-wide work of the Church of which they are members and to introduce the United Thank Offering boxes. And how they valued their blue boxes and how they used them! One member walked all the way from Xolox to Toluca, fifty miles over the mountains, to present her blue box offering at convocation. In San Martin de las Flores the members were divided into two groups, frog catchers and frog sellers. Some caught frogs in the ponds around the village and some took them to Guadalajara to sell them, and the price went into the blue boxes and found its way to the great service of presentation. Of course, it shrank because of the exchange, but it came with the love and devotion of the women of Mexico. The Hooker graduates added their offering and the Hooker students and many an Indian woman to whom a centavo is the difference between hunger and something to eat.

When Bishop Salinas y Velasco was elected Bishop, Mrs. Sara Q. de Salinas relinquished the presidency to her sister-in-law, the wife of the Bishop. Mrs. Enriqueta R. de Salinas, visiting the missions with her husband, organized many new branches. Lately she organized the Woman's Auxiliary of the Jalisco field. She went to the United States twice as a delegate to the triennial gathering, and took back her reports to meetings eagerly awaiting them. Women have played an important part in the missionary work in Mexico and none is more sincere and sometimes pathetic than the devoted service of the Mexican Woman's Auxiliary.

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