Published: May 13, 2016

By Shanea Ruybal

A Thriving Community

Photo of the Ramos Wedding 

The parish at St. Cajetan's Church helped the Hispanic community through tough times, was a center for the youth, and a place for people to come together to worship and socialize. In addition to the church, St. Cajetan's also offered a school and credit union for the Hispanic community. This photo of the Ramos Wedding at St. Cajetans is courtesy of Denver Public Library - Latinos in Colorado Collection.

                         “I remember a real sense of community.                                           "[The] credit union was kind of the center
                          There was lots of interaction and activity.                                          of the entire community. That's where
                          Weddings and funerals and births were                                            everybody went for all their banking needs.
                          all celebrated as a community.”                                                         It was right next door to the church."  
                                                                - Tony Garcia                                                                                              - Don Vigil                


St. Cajetan’s School

 St. Cajetan’s School

St. Cajetan's School. Denver Public Library Latinos in Colorado Collection.

 In 1935, the Sisters of St. Benedict came from Wichita, Kansas to help the parish at St. Cajetan establish the St. Cajetan School.   The school operated until 1970, when construction of the new Auraria Campus forced it to close. The King Center is now located on the old school’s site.

“The lives of the Hispanic people revolved around their church. This was the place where they met weekly, made friends, and watched the children of all families grow. It was the weekly social and also the focus of many religious and secular holidays.” —Magdelena Gallego

 

 

Photo girls taking part in church play

                                       St. Cajetan's School Play. Denver Public Library Latinos/Hispanics in Colorado Collection


A New St. Cajetan's Church

Photo of the New Catejan Church

St. Cajetan's Church, about 1973, surrounded by construction and demolition debris in anticipation of future Auraria Campus site. Denver Public Library. Latinos/Hispanics in Colorado Collection 

Through the activism of the community, the people of Auraria saved the physical church from demolition in 1973. However, the congregation needed to relocate, and now meet at 299 Raleigh Street, in southwest Denver. St. Cajetan's on Raleigh Street.