Bishop Mariano Simon Garriga
Garriga Elementary School in Port Isabel is named after Bishop Mariano Simon Garriga, a beloved Catholic priest who was born and raised in the same town. He dedicated 54 years to his priestly service, including 29 years as a Bishop and 16 years administering the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He was not only a respected priest but also a counselor and a cherished friend to the community.
Mariano Garriga was born on May 30, 1886, in Port Isabel, Texas, to Frank and Elizabeth (née Baker) Garriga. He pursued his studies at St. Mary College in Kansas City, Kansas, and later at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
After being ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop John William Shaw for the Archdiocese of San Antonio on July 2, 1911, Garriga served as assistant chancellor until 1912. He was then appointed as a curate to a parish in Marfa, Texas. Subsequently, in 1915, he became the vice-rector of St. John Seminary in San Antonio.
During World War I, Garriga served as a chaplain to the Texas National Guard, training with the 36th Infantry Division. From 1919 to 1936, he served as the pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in San Antonio and also held the position of president at Incarnate Word College in the same city. Additionally, he served as a professor at St. John Seminary from 1921 to 1936 and became the archdiocese's historian in 1926.
In recognition of his dedication and service, Garriga was honored with the rank of papal chamberlain in October 1934 and elevated to domestic prelate in September 1935. Throughout his life and career, he left a lasting impact on the community and was deeply revered by all.
Dean of Instruction