La Lomita Historic District
La Lomita Historic District is located five miles south of the town of Mission off of U.S. 83 on FM 1016. La Lomita Chapel is three miles south of Expressway 83 on FM 1016. The chapel is open from dusk until dawn daily. Call 956-580-8760 for further information about the chapel. La Lomita Plaza in downtown Mission is located on Conway St. and Business 83. Call 956-585-2727 for further information about La Lomita Plaza.
About 1770, José Antonio Cantu established a large ranch on land granted by Spain. He named the ranch La Lomita for the little hill located nearby. In 1851, the land was purchased by René Guyard, a native of France and a devout Roman Catholic. Guyard soon became acquainted with the Missionary Oblates of Immaculate, and his ranch became an important stop between the church’s Brownsville headquarters and the Roma Mission. In 1865 the Oblate Fathers constructed an adobe chapel on the ranch and named it La Lomita. In 1871 Guyard died and willed his land to the Oblate Fathers. The little chapel was destroyed by flood waters, and in 1899 a new chapel was constructed. A village began to grow around the chapel as the Oblate Fathers constructed a rectory, guest house, quarters for the lay brothers, a blacksmith shop and buggy shed and small houses for the families of the laborers. Today, the La Lomita Historic District reminds us of the importance of missions in the settlement of this region of Texas. In 1912, the Missionary Oblates constructed St. Peter’s Novitiate on the top of the hill. The building was used as a training center for student priests until the 1950s.