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History & Events

From brave explorers to great kings to courageous immigrants – the Portuguese people have left an indelible mark on world history.

Since the Age of Exploration, the Portuguese have pursued their dreams across the world, in the old country and the new, all the way to the west coast of the United States and Hawaii. Select an article to discover the incredible contributions of the Portuguese and their descendants on the stage of world history.

Click on an article below.

Capelinhos History

The island of Faial, one of the nine islands of Azores, was discovered in 1427.

Capelinhos Eruption

The eruption of an offshore volcano near Capelinhos, the western cape of Faial Island in the nine-island Azores archipelago in 1957 came to be a defining moment in the history of Portuguese immigration.

Capelinhos Lighthouse

The lighthouse is a former beacon/lighthouse located along the coastal peninsula of Ponta dos Capelinhos and Costa Nau in the civil parish of Capelo on the island of Faial in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores.

Capelinhos Devastation

The eruption of the Capelinhos volcano on the Azores island of Faial in 1957 came to be a defining moment in the history of Portuguese immigration. Towns on the northern and western coasts were devastated by the volcano's eruption, which led to the immigration of 4,000 people to the United States.

Capelinhos Diaspora

The eruption of a submarine volcano near Capelinhos on the island of Faial in the Azores in 1957-58 was a time of difficulty, often fear, and led to the emigration of more than 130,000 people between 1957 and 1977.

Life in the Old Country

Portugal has long been a land of assimilation as well as emigration.

Portuguese Emigration

Socially significant emigration first occurred in the 15th and 16th centuries during the great explorations. Portugal established trading posts in Africa and Asia, but Brazil was its main colony of settlement. Later, large numbers of Portuguese settled in the African colonies of Angola and Mozambique.

Portuguese U.S. Immigration

From whalers, to forty-niners, to disaster refugees, to those searching for better opportunities, the U.S. experienced waves of Portuguese immigrants from the 1800s into this millennium.

Timeline of World Events

The Butterfly Effect: This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. A more rigorous way to express this is that small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results. Our lives are an ongoing demonstration of this principle.

The Hawaiian Connection

Portuguese immigration to Hawaii began in 1878 when Portuguese residents made up less than 1% of the island population. However, the migration that began that year of laborers from Madeira and the Azores to work in the sugar cane plantations rapidly increased the Portuguese presence

Portuguese Emigration to Hawaii

Poor economic conditions forced emigration from the Azores and Madeira

The Long Voyage to Hawaii

From 1878 through 1913, Portuguese emigrants voyaged to Hawaii in search of a better life.

The Journey of the Thomas Bell, Part 1

João Baptista d’Oliveira chronicled his voyage on the Thomas Bell. Part 1

The Journey of the Thomas Bell, Part 2

João Baptista d’Oliveira chronicled his voyage on the Thomas Bell. Part 2

The Journey of the Thomas Bell, Part 3

João Baptista d’Oliveira chronicled his voyage on the Thomas Bell. Part 3

Life on a Hawaiian Plantation

Working on a plantation was difficult and demanding, with conditions varying from one plantation to another.

Becoming Portuguese-Hawaiian

To further their assimilation, the Portuguese set aside the language and culture of Portugal.

The da Gama Family Voyage to Hawaii

After fifty-seven days, the da Gama and Berenguer families arrived in Honolulu, without little 1 1/2 year-old Maria, who died of smallpox the day before.

From Hawaii to California

Through communication with Portuguese in California, many of the original immigrants to Hawaii became convinced that there were better economic opportunities in California.

Portuguese Americans in the Armed Services

Throughout America’s history, Portuguese immigrants and their descendents have shown their patriotism and love for freedom by serving in the armed forces of the United States, both in times of peace and war.

Revolutionary War Era Immigration

Many Portuguese Jews fleeing the Inquisition found their way to America in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Support for Independence

Many in the Portuguese Jewish community of New England supported and participated in the struggle for American Independence.

Revolutionary War Patriots

Portuguese immigrants served their adopted country.

Portuguese in the Civil War

By the time the U.S. Civil War began in 1861, there were a significant number of Portuguese on the East Coast, many involved in the whaling and fishing industry ports of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Whaling and the Civil War

Portuguese were on the front lines on land and at sea.

The Civil War Stone Fleet

The Union Navy blockaded Confederate harbors by sinking old whaling ships.

The Dabney Family -- Friends of the Azores

Generations of New England's Dabney Family fostered diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Azores and helped the Union during the Civil War.

Portugal and the U.S. Civil War

Though officially neutral, Portugal favored the Union in the U.S. Civil War.

Portuguese Civil War Veterans

Many Portuguese immigrants served in the U.S. Civil War, these being a few of the most notable.

Portuguese-Americans in WWI

Portuguese-Americans fought in WWI and supported the war effort financially.

WWI Impact on Fishing

Fishing fleets were German U-boat targets.

Portugal in WWI

Unlike other wars in which Portugal attempted to remain neutral, the Portuguese entered WWI when they declared war on Germany on November 13, 1914.

Portuguese WWI Veterans

Many Portuguese immigrants served the U.S. in WWI, these being a few of the most notable.

Portuguese-Americans in WWII

Military records indicate that tens of thousands Portuguese-Americans served in World War II. They were present or involved in all of the major battles and operations of the war from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the signing of the Japanese surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri on September 2, 1945.

Portugal in WWII

Portuguese fascist dictator António Salazar did not enter WWII on the side of the Allies until mid-1943 when he approved British use of the airfield at Lajes, Terceira, in the Azores.

Portuguese WWII Veterans

Many Portuguese immigrants served the U.S. in WWII, these being a few of the most notable.

The Korean War

Often referred to as "The Forgotten War", it has never been declared officially over.

Portuguese-Americans in the Korean War

When North Korea attacked South Korea, the United Nations viewed it as an attempt to spread Communism. As a result, forces from 16 countries joined to repel the north.

Portuguese Korean War Veterans

Many Portuguese-Americans served the U.S. in Korea, these being a few of the most notable.

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was America’s longest and most unpopular war of the 20th century.

Portuguese-Americans in the Vietnam War

Whether recent immigrants or already established in American life, Portuguese-Americans served with honor in Vietnam.

Portuguese Vietnam War Veterans

Many Portuguese-Americans served the U.S. in Vietnam, these being a few of the most notable.

Middle East Wars

U.S. Forces have been involved in the Middle East for decades.

Portuguese-Americans in the Middle East Wars

More assimilated than past generations that served in the U.S. Armed Services.

Portuguese Middle East War Veterans

Many Portuguese-Americans have served and are currently serving the U.S. in the Middle East, these being a few of the most notable.

Portuguese Heritage Society Veterans

Several members of our Board of Directors and their families have served in the U.S. Armed Services.

The Panama Canal

Following the failure of a French construction company in the 1880s, the United States commenced building a canal across a 50-mile stretch of the Panama isthmus in 1904, finishing in 1914.

Coming to California

Many came for the Gold Rush but few struck it rich. Ultimately, most settled into their adopted land and lives of hard work while others followed them in search of a better life.

San Francisco -- Rising from the Ashes

Destroyed by earthquake and fire, San Francisco took just nine years to rebuild.

Building the Panama Pacific Exposition

There was talk of hosting a World's Fair in San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake and fire that leveled large swaths of the city.

The Exposition and Portuguese Determination

Determined to have Portugal represented at the exposition, Portuguese-American immigrants joined together and ultimately sent a delegation to Portugal to present their case.

The Portuguese Presence at the Exposition

Built in just five months, the Portuguese Pavilion and its exhibits represented the best of Portugal. All but the Palace of Fine Arts was dismantled after the ten months of exposition, but the Portuguese Pavilion was destined to live on in a different way.

Five Wounds Church -- The Bond

Monsignor Henrique Augusto Ribeiro came to San José not knowing English and wanting to build a new town. His vision was not just to establish a Portuguese National Parish, but to create a Portuguese town in East San José.

The Alvernaz Family and Vasona Lake Park

José Alvernaz started Sun Ray Dairy in Los Gatos in 1933 and was a well-respected member of his community.

The Azevedos and the American Dairy Company

Manuel T. Azevedo was an immigrant who had owned dairies in San Mateo and Napa Counties before finally settling in San José and purchasing the American Dairy Company with Manuel Lewis.

The da Gamas of Hawaii and Santa Clara

Suffering hardship with the loss of their 1-1/2 year-old daughter the day before landing in Hawaii, João da Gama, Jr. and Maria Marques and their extended family made a life in Hawaii before moving to California.

Anthony Maderis -- Portuguese Builder

Selling men's and boys' clothing into his late-30s, Anthony Maderis changed course to build homes instead.

The Rose Family in the Shadow of Mt. Hamilton

Tracing their lineage in the area to the 1870s, the Rose Family was raised in the East Foothills of San José in a tight-knit Portuguese immigrant enclave.

The Santos Family of Alviso

Leaving school after the 8th Grade, Tony P. Santos served as mayor, councilmember, and police and fire chief of the City of Alviso while running a property ownership and management business.

Nascimento, Avila and Pombinho Pioneer Families

The Nascimento and Pombinho Families were lifelong friends who partnered to grow fruit and produce milk in the first generation, while the second generation returned to their fruit-growing roots.

The Vieira Family on Communications Hill

José Azevedo purchased 96 acres in 1896 and four generations were living on the land by 1959.

Portugal

The name derives from the Roman designation "Portus Cale" meaning "Port of Cale"; Cale was an ancient Celtic town and port in present-day northern Portugal.

The Azores

The word "açor" is Portuguese for a species of raptor, erroneously identified as goshawk. It is also derived from the word for blue.

Madeira

The name means “wood” in the Portuguese language, and the archipelago was named for its large forests and dense vegetation.

Angola

Name derived by the Portuguese from the title "ngola" held by kings of the Ndongo kingdom in what is now northern Angola.

Brazil

Its name derives from the brazilwood tree from which a deep red dye was produced; these trees were once plentiful along the coast.

Cape Verde

Name derived from "Cap-Vert" (Green Cape) on the Senegalese coast, which is the westernmost point of Africa and the nearest point on the mainland to the islands.

Guinea-Bissau

The country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel. Bissau (name of its principal city) distinguishes the country from neighboring Guinea.

Mozambique

Named for the offshore island of Mozambique. The island was apparently named after Mussa al-BIK, an influential Arab slave trader who set himself up as sultan on the island in the 15th century.

São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé was named after Saint Thomas the Apostle by the Portuguese who discovered the island on December 21, 1470 -- the saint's feast day. Príncipe is a shortening of the original Portuguese name meaning "Isle of the Prince", referring to the Prince of Portugal.

East Timor

"Timor" derives from the Indonesian and Malay word meaning "east". East Timor literaly means "East East". The local name "Timor Lorosa'e" translates as "East Rising Sun".

Goa

It was known in ancient literature by many names, such as Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, and Gomantak. In the 3rd century BC, Goa was known as Aparantha. In the 13th century, the Greeks referred to Goa as Nelkinda. Other historical names are Sindapur, Sandabur, and Mahassapatam.

Macau

The name is thought to derive from the A-Ma Temple, built in 1488 and dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen, referred to locally as "Maa Gok" and which in Portuguese became "Macau."

Monsignor Henrique Augusto Ribeiro -- Founder

Monsignor Ribeiro came to San José not knowing English and wanting to build a new town. His vision was not just to establish a Portuguese National Parish, but to create a Portuguese town in East San José.

Fr. Julio Augusto Martins

In seven short years, Fr. Martins retired the parish debt incurred in building the church while instituting new parish programs.

Fr. José António Ferreira Porto

Fr. Porto built a grand new rectory and hosted distinguished Portuguese visitors.

Fr. Mario Botelho Cordeiro

Fr. Cordeiro built Five Wounds Elementary School and Convent and tried to take over the I.E.S. Hall.

Fr. Raymond Thomas and Fr. Carlos Macedo

Fr. Thomas provided wisdom and experience and Fr. Macedo ministered to the Portuguese-speaking congregation while he grew into the role of parish priest, and later, Pastor.

Fr. Leonel Caldeira Noia

A controversial new generation theologian, Fr. Noia established St. Isabel's Kitchen to feed the poor and hungry daily, while tending to his congregation and acting as a community activist and ambassador for the Portuguese community.

Fr. António Alvernaz Silveira

Former long-time parishioner Fr. Silveira revitalized the parish after a decade of instability.

Macau's Early History

Macau was a port of refuge, fresh water, and food for merchant sailors until it was settled by refugees fleeing Mongol invaders in 1277.

Macau in the Age of Discovery

The European age of African maritime exploration began in the 15th century, after the powerful Turkish Empire had blocked the overland route to the East.  This was the catalyst for Bartolomeu Dias' and subsequent Portuguese expeditions to find a sea route to India.

Portuguese in East Asia

After decades of on again, off again relations with the Chinese, the Portuguese finally established a permanent, official trade base at Macau.

Macau's Golden Age

Portuguese trade routes resulted in Macau becoming an epicenter of trade in the region. With the Iberian Union in 1580, King Philip II of Spain was encouraged to not harm the trade relationship with the East.

Defending Macau

Facing threats from the English and Dutch, Macau needed to bolster its defenses against these rival countries.

Religious Activity in Macau

Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinians arrived in Macau to convert the populations of China and Japan.

Macau's Struggle for Survival

Losing its most-lucrative trading route when Japan closed its ports to foreigners, Macau struggled for survival. It was granted a reprieve when King João IV assumed the throne and Portugal was again its privileged trading partner. Later, China opened up Macau for trade with all foreign countries.

The Hong Kong Effect in Macau

As Britain made great strides in Hong Kong, Portugal reasserted and broadened its influence in Macau while many Macanese left for the new British colony.

Macau During World War II

Macau provided refuge for those fleeing the advancing war.

Post-War Macau

Maintaining equilibrium between East and West, Macau blossomed in the latter half of the 20th century.

Macau's Transfer of Sovereignty

Portugal and the People's Republic of China planned and executed the handover of Macau over a twenty year period -- ending European colonialism in Asia.

Macau's Recent History

Macau is much more than a gambling destination.

Early Occupations

Some Portuguese immigrants dreamed of gold, but reality set in and they turned to what they knew.

Occupations and Professions

From mom-and-pop storefronts to businesses with hundreds of employees, Portuguese immigrants realized their American dreams.

Agriculture and Fishing

Portuguese immigrants are among industry leaders in farming sectors like sweet potatoes and watermelons. They once dominated the tuna industry from their base in San Diego.

Dairying

Portuguese have dominated the California dairy industry since its inception.

Manuel José de Arriaga Brum da Silveira

A short essay about an Azorean son, lawyer, professor, poet and politician who would become the first elected President of the First Portuguese Republic.

John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era.

Anthony Ferry

The City of Los Banos is tied to the legendary John Philip Sousa through the life of Anthony Ferry

Monsignor Henrique Augusto Ribeiro

Monsignor Ribeiro came to San José not knowing English and wanting to build a new town. His vision was not just to establish a Portuguese National Parish, but to create a Portuguese town in East San José.

Rev. Manuel Francisco Fernandes – “The Good Shepherd”

Manuel Francisco Fernandes was an illiterate shepherd and miner who learned to read and write to become a priest who built two of the earliest Portuguese immigrant churches in California and traveled the world.

Madeira -- Introduction

Porto Santo was discovered in 1418 when a storm diverted Gonçalves Zarco's ship that was following the African coast. In 1419, another piece of land was spotted in the distance, which they named Madeira.

Madeira Discovery and Settlement

Settlers were recruited from throughout Portugal to populate the islands. Forests were burned for agriculture. Cereal crops were at first successful but after decades began to wane. Switching to sugar cane transformed Madeira into an international trading port.

Christopher Columbus in Porto Santo and Madeira

Columbus learned much about navigating the Atlantic from his stays in the archipelago.

The British in Madeira

By the end of the 17th century until the 20th century, British merchants occupied a pivotal position in the Madeiran economy, especially in the Madeiran wine industry.

Madeira Geography & Geology

Located 280 miles from the African coast and 540 miles from the European continent, it's a 1.5 hour flight from Lisbon.

Levadas in Madeira

Originally built for agriculture, today levadas produce hydroelectric power too.

Madeira Ruled the Sugar Trade

Madeira was the center of the sugar trade in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Madeiran Emigration

Nature, politics and economics caused islanders to flee the archipelago.

Madeira Tourism

Early visitors were travelers, tourists, and scientists.

Madeira -- Pearl of the Atlantic Today

Madeira today is a tapestry woven from its rich history and heritage.

Portuguese Travels and the Meeting of Civilizations

The Portuguese Renaissance was a period of exploration during which Portuguese sailors discovered Atlantic archipelagos like the Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde, explored and colonized the African coast, discovered an eastern route to India that rounded Africa, discovered Brazil, explored the Indian Ocean and established trading routes throughout southern Asia, and sent the first direct European maritime trade and diplomatic missions to Ming China and to Japan.

The World Before the Discoveries

The Medieval West shared an incomplete image of the world

Portugal in the Middle Ages

Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, founded in 1139.

Portugal at the Time of the Discoveries

Lisbon became one of the great centers of world trade and developed a cosmopolitan character.

Society and Power

Expansionism created new areas of sovereignty and trade.

The Main Voyages of the Discoveries

Portugal's voyages of discovery stand at the very beginning of the world’s first global culture.

North Africa

The conquest of Cueta on August 21, 1415 started the era of Portuguese expansion throughout the world.

The Islands of Madeira and the Azores

The archipelagos off the coasts of Portugal and North Africa became provisioning ports for voyagers as well as providing arable land.

West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea

The primary incentive for the exploration of the African coast was the development of profitable trade.

Christopher Columbus and Portugal

Columbus owed the most important part of his cultural and nautical training to his decade-long residence in Portugal.

On the Way to the Cape of Good Hope

Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1488.

East Africa

The Island of Mozambique assumed prominence in Portugal’s campaign to take over trade with India and the East Indies after being claimed by Vasco da Gama in 1498.

Prester John

Prester John was the center of a number of legends that hark back to the writings of “John the Elder” in the New Testament.

The Sea Route to India

Twenty-eight-year-old Vasco da Gama was sent by Dom Manuel I on July 8, 1497, with a flotilla of four ships and 180 men around Africa to India to bring back spices.

The Route and Government of India

Portugal's network of Indian trading posts and fortresses were governed by viceroys appointed by the king.

Arabia and Persia

From Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, the Portuguese-controlled customs house oversaw the lucrative trade throughout the Gulf region.

India and Ceylon

Goa became the Portuguese capital of the “State of India”.

Insulindia

Malacca held an important strategic position relative to the control of the main mercantile routes between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

China and Japan

Europe came to know China more realistically and discovered the Japanese civilization thanks to Portugal.

The Discovery of Brazil

On April 22, 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral “found” the land of Vera Cruz, later renamed Brazil.

The Colonization of Brazil

At first, Portugal did not assign much importance to Brazil.

Hegemony and Rivalries

Portugal and Spain enjoyed Iberian hegemony over a large part of the world.

Nautical Techniques

The invention of navigation by the stars made the Discoveries possible.

The Exponents of Nautical Technique

Others built upon the navigational techniques devised by the Portuguese.

Cartography

Cartography throughout the 14th-16th centuries played a significant role in the expansion of the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula.

Naval Construction

Navigational practice resulted in improved ship building techniques.

Medicine and Botany

Garcia de Orta's description of the pharmaceutical species of the Orient is one of the unquestionably accepted contributions to Western medicine resulting from the Discoveries.

Flora and Fauna of the New Worlds

The Discoveries led to a wide transfer of plants and animals between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

History and Literature

Portuguese literature of the Renaissance is distinguished by a wealth and variety of lyric poetry documenting its rulers, discoveries and conquests.

Religion

The Portuguese encountered the most varied religions and rituals previously unknown to Europeans, such as animism in Africa and Hinduism in India.

The New Vision of the World

The Portuguese Discoveries constitute an enormously impactful milestone in the History of Mankind.

Portuguese Shore Whalers of California 1854-1904

By today’s standards, whaling is a cruel and heartless industry, pitting men and their equipment against these wonderful mammals of the sea.  Yet whaling once played an important part in improving people’s standard of living in many areas of the world.

I.D.E.S. Fraternal Benefit Society

At a meeting on July 7, 1889, the I.D.E.S. was born. One proposal adopted that day was that each member would contribute one dollar to the widow of each deceased member. This became the basis for the family protection programs of the nascent I.D.E.S.

Luso-American Financial Fraternal Benefit Society

Successor of the Benevolent Society of California founded in 1868 in San Francisco, and of the União Portuguesa Continental founded in 1917 in Oakland.

S.E.S. Fraternal Benefit Society

Sociedade do Espírito Santo was founded in Santa Clara on December 16, 1895.

S.P.R.S.I. Fraternal Benefit Society

Original mandate was to care for church altars and render aid in time of need to sister members.

U.P.E.C. Fraternal Benefit Society

Thirty Portuguese immigrants founded the society in San Leandro in 1880.

U.P.P.E.C. Fraternal Benefit Society

A society devoted to social and charitable works.

Portuguese Footprints -- Commercial Scene

Farming and the dairy industry gave way to the trades, commerce, industry, and the professions.

Portuguese Footprints -- Everywhere You Look

Everywhere you look, you can find reminders of the Portuguese presence in California.

Portuguese Footprints -- Newer Landmarks

New footprints reflect the varying patterns in the Portuguese community.

Portuguese Footprints -- Parks and Monuments

Parks, monuments, and plaques commemorate the activities of Portuguese pioneers.

Portuguese Footprints -- Rural Landscapes

Rural landscapes throughout California are dotted by hundreds of Portuguese dairy farms.

Portuguese Footprints -- The Churches

The Church has been an important comfort for the immigrant.

Portuguese Footprints -- The Halls

At one time, there were 99 Portuguese halls.

Portuguese Footprints: Along the Hwy 99 Corridor

Documentary about Portuguese-Americans along the Hwy 99 corridor in California's Central Valley.

Holy Ghost Festas -- Museums, Libraries, and Historical Organizations

Much of the history of the individual Holy Ghost societies has been lost or was never carefully recorded.

Holy Ghost Festas -- Halls

Initially, the festas took place in parks and other outdoor venues, or in community halls owned by civic groups.

The Power of the Spirit

Portuguese immigrants brought their heritage and traditions.

Hawkinsville Assumption Church

Gold and God -- Hawkinsville.

The Southern San Joaquin Valley:  From Fátima to California

Many Portuguese immigrants brought with them to America deep feelings of love and devotion to Our Lady of Fátima.

Holy Family Church (Artesia):  The Town

Artesia gets its name from its water supply -- artesian wells

Holy Family Church (Artesia):  Fr. Manuel Vicente Changing Lives

Fr. Vicente knew in 1917 that he wanted to go to America to serve God through his Portuguese people.

Holy Family Church (Artesia):  Founders

Groups of Portuguese left the role of Central Valley laborer for the dream of having their own farm in Artesia.

Holy Family Church (Artesia):  Building the Church

The Portuguese fraternal organizations were at the forefront of raising money for the building effort.

Holy Family Church (Artesia):  Parish Growth

The burgeoning parish outgrew the original Holy Family Catholic Church.

Our Lady of Fátima (Laton)

Our Lady of Fátima Church in Laton became a national shrine in 1964.

St. Aloysius (Tulare)

The Catholic history of Tulare dates to June 5, 1873, when Father Cornelius Scannell baptized a daughter of Frank Freitas.

St. Ann (Riverdale)

By the late 1890s, many Portuguese from the Azores began to settle in the Riverdale area.

St. Brigid (Hanford)

St. Brigid was one of the most important churches for the Portuguese in the Hanford area.

St. John the Evangelist (Tipton)

The Portuguese began arriving in the Tipton area in the 1890s and began organizing fraternal councils by 1913.

St. Mary's (Visalia)

St. Mary's was the Mother Church of the Central San Joaquin Valley.

The Power of a Miracle Strengthened the Power of the Spirit

The miracle at Fátima reverberated throughout the world.

The West Side: Agricultural Beginnings

Henry Miller and Simon Newman made life on the West Side possible.

St. Joachim (Newman)

From mission church to parish in just four years.

Holy Ghost Church (Gustine)

Bulldozed into history in 1993.

Our Lady of Miracles (Gustine)

The second Holy Ghost Church was renamed Our Lady of Miracles in 1986.

Sacred Heart Church (Patterson)

The first Sacred Heart Church was dedicated in the year Our Lady appeared in Fátima.

St. Mary's (Stevinson)

At the turn of the 20th century, Stevinson was an important population center in Merced County.

Holy Rosary (Hilmar)

The history of Holy Rosary is intimately tied to that of St. Mary’s in Stevinson.

St. Joseph (Los Banos)

The third St. Joseph Church stands on Center Avenue near the Catholic Cemetery.

Our Lady of Loreto (Volta)

Volta was the location of a strategic Southern Pacific Railway depot.

The West Side: Gleaners of the Fields

Building lives and livelihoods from the most difficult of circumstances.

St. Jude's (Livingston)

The first Mass in Livingston was celebrated at the Portuguese Pentecost Hall on Sunday, August 5, 1928.

Immaculate Conception (Buhach): Miners to Shepherds to Farmers

After the Gold Rush, many unsuccessful Portuguese miners turned to sheep herding.

Immaculate Conception (Buhach): Sweet Potato Kings

Charles Crocker brought opportunities with water and the railroad.

Immaculate Conception (Buhach): Building the Church

Prior to organizing to build the new church, religious services were held in the Portuguese I.D.E.S. Hall.

Immaculate Conception (Buhach): Overcoming Crises

The life of a church begins, not ends, with the completion of construction.

Immaculate Conception (Buhach): Centennial

By its centennial, Immaculate Conception was still flourishing.

St Agnes (San Diego): From Whaling to Fishing

José Machado was a pioneer who helped start California shore whaling at Monterey Bay in 1854.

St Agnes (San Diego): Building a Church

Mass was celebrated in an abandoned warehouse for years.

St Agnes (San Diego): A Growing Parish Needs a Bigger Church

The Portuguese community began having growing pains.

St Agnes (San Diego): Parish Community

Father Forrestal served for twenty-six years and fostered the religious growth of his congregation.

Sacred Heart (Turlock): Generations of Faith

Turlock was an early destination for immigrants.

Sacred Heart (Turlock): A History

The magnificent 1912/28 church stood for six decades serving the Portuguese immigrants in Turlock.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): Brief History

Born of a community's faith and determination.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): Setting the Stage

The Catholic Church began instituting major reforms after the Second Vatican Council.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): The Youth as Cornerstone

Portuguese immigrant youth yearned for places of belonging and meaning.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): New and Unforeseen Directions

1972 saw a rift in the Portuguese Catholic community of Turlock.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): The Portuguese Cultural Center

Something new and inspiring.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): Tensions, Transitions, and Growth

A crisis in leadership leads to a future pastor.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): Stability in Continuity

The parish had long outgrown its tiny church by 1992.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): Into the Third Millennium

Parish programs and activities continue to grow in the new millennium.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): Saved in Hope

With God, all things are possible.

Our Lady of the Assumption (Turlock): The Fontes de Sousa Family

José Fontes' "papéis" paved the way for his daughter and grandchildren to emigrate.

The East Bay: Cosmopolitan Communities of Immigration and Change

Oakland, the terminus of the new transcontinental railroad, exploded in population between 1868 and 1880.

The East Bay: Impact of the Salesians

Caring for the young and poor children of the industrial revolution.

St. Leander's (San Leandro): Local History

San Leandro was founded as a Spanish land grant in 1842.

St. Leander's (San Leandro): Early Church History

Founded in 1864, shortly after San Leandro became a city.

St. Leander's (San Leandro): Entering the 20th Century

Pastors served the Portuguese with the assistance of Portuguese-speaking assistants.

St. Leander's (San Leandro): Post-Vatican II

Vatican II had profound repercussions in immigrant communities.

Mary Help of Christians (Oakland)

A new church serving the Portuguese of Jingletown.

Mission San José / St. Joseph Church (Fremont)

Established at the village called Oroyson in 1797.

Holy Spirit (Fremont): Early History

Birth of Holy Spirit Church in Fremont.

Holy Spirit (Fremont): After the Fire

Building the new church was a parish effort.

All Saints Church (Hayward)

Initially a mission of St. Leander's Church.

St. Edward (Newark)

Originally a mission of St. Joseph Church

St. Joseph's (West Oakland)

Established as a Portuguese National Church.

Portuguese Methodist Episcopal Church (Oakland)

Reverend Baptiste began his ministry to the Portuguese in Hilo, Hawaii.

The East Bay: Little Money, Much Faith

The “chicken with the golden egg.”

Sacramento: 1800s Portuguese Immigrants

Portuguese immigrants adapted to life on the river.

St. Joseph Church (Freeport/Clarksburg/Sacramento): Early Years

The Portuguese settlements around Sacramento were well established by the 1880s.

St. Joseph Church (Freeport/Clarksburg/Sacramento): The New Church

Built a considerable distance back from the levee on flat land.

St. Mary (Pocket/Sacramento)

St. Mary Church is the former Associação do Divino Espírito Santo Hall.

St. Elizabeth (Sacramento): Founding and Early Years

Founded as a Portuguese National Church.

St. Elizabeth (Sacramento): After Father Azevedo

Blessed with wonderful successors to Father Azevedo.

St. Peter's Chapel (Bryte/Sacramento)

Stemming from a one-time festival fundraiser for a Madeiran monument.

Our Lady of Fátima Chapel (Sacramento)

Organizations around the world honor the Miracle of Fátima.

Mater Ecclesiae Church (Thornton)

"Miracle" in a small, quiet agricultural community.

The South Bay and Coast:  From Missions to a National Church

Churches sprang up wherever Portuguese immigrants settled in California.

Our Lady Help of Christians (Watsonville)

Portuguese were attracted to the fertile land and climate of the Pajaro Valley.

Our Lady of the Pillar (Half Moon Bay)

Half Moon Bay was originally known as San Benito and then renamed Spanishtown.

St. Anthony's (Pescadero)

In 1870, Archbishop Alemany blessed the new church building with the name of St. Anthony.

St. John the Baptist (Milpitas)

St. John the Baptist Church was built on donated land in 1870.

Church of Saint Isabella (Terra Linda/San Rafael)

Dedicated to Queen St. Isabel of Portugal at the request of the Freitas Family.

Five Wounds Portuguese National Church (San José)

A church was built and a town sprouted around it.

Hawaii Holy Ghost Mission (Waiakoa, Kula, Maui)

Holy Ghost Mission is "a unique gem in the Pacific".

Cape Verde Archipelago

Cape Verde is an archipelago of ten main islands.

Cape Verde: 15th-16th Century

In 1456, at the service of Prince Henry the Navigator, Venetian captains Alvise Cadamosto and Antoniotto Usodimare first landed in Cape Verde.

Cape Verde: 17th-18th Century

Droughts and famine forced Cape Verdeans to emigrate.

Cape Verde: 19th Century

The decline of the lucrative slave trade was a major blow to the country's economy.

Cape Verde: 20th Century

With the advent of the ocean liner, Cape Verde was an ideal location for resupplying ships.

Cape Verde: Boa Vista

Boa Vista, Portuguese for "good view", is a desert-like island.

Cape Verde: Brava

Brava, Portuguese for "wild" or "brave", is an island in the Sotavento (leeward) group.

Cape Verde: Fogo

Fogo, Portuguese for "fire" is an island in the Sotavento (leeward) group, one of the southernmost islands in Cape Verde.

Cape Verde: Maio

Maio, "May" in Portuguese, is the easternmost of the Sotavento (leeward) islands of Cape Verde.

Cape Verde: Sal

Sal is Portuguese for "salt". It is a tourist destination with white sandy beaches and over 350 days of sunshine a year.

Cape Verde: Santa Luzia

Santa Luzia is an island of the Barlavento islands in Cape Verde located between São Nicolau and São Vicente.

Cape Verde: Santiago

Santiago, Portuguese for "St. James", is the largest island of Cape Verde, its most important agricultural center and home to half the nation's population.

Cape Verde: Santo Antão

Santo Antão, Portuguese for "St. Anthony", is the westernmost island of Cape Verde.

Cape Verde: São Nicolau

São Nicolau, Portuguese for "St. Nicholas", is one of the Barlavento (windward) islands of Cape Verde.

Cape Verde: São Vicente

São Vicente, Portuguese for "St. Vincent", is one of the Barlavento (windward) islands, the northern group in the Cape Verde archipelago.

Cape Verde: Music

Morna is by far the most popular genre, and it produced international superstar Cesária Évora.

Cape Verde: Cuisine

Influenced by Portuguese, Southern and Western European and West African cuisine.

Cape Verde: Tourism

Tourism is the most important economic activity in Cape Verde today.

Cape Verde: Immigration

Without whaling, there would not have been a Cape Verdean-American settlement.

Cape Verde: Immigration to California

Cape Verdean immigrants began arriving in California as early as 1848 following the discovery of gold.

Cape Verde: Independence Movement

Cape Verdeans were treated poorly by Portugal, though their treatment of Cape Verdeans differed from their treatment of their other colonies.


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