- José González Rubio
José Norberto Francisco González Rubio, O.F.M., (1804-1875) was a
Roman Catholic friarprominent in the early history of California. His life encompassed the transition from Spanish colonial, to Mexican, and finally, American society.
González Rubio was born in Guadalajara,
New Spain, on June 6, 1804. His Spanish-born parents were José María González Rubio and Manuela Gutiérrez. He had at least two siblings.
Upon completing his primary education, González Rubio studied at the Seminario Conciliar of Guadalajara. He continued at the
University of Guadalajarawhere he graduated on July 20, 1820with a degree in philosophy. In 1821, Mexicogained its independence from Spain. In 1824, González Rubio applied to the Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan, seeking admission to the Franciscan Order. He began his novitiate, and was accepted into the Order on January 10, 1825with the religious name, José María de Jesús, and the title of Fray (Friar).
February 13, 1833, Friar González Rubio was named to replace Father Narciso Duránat the Mission San Joséin California, in keeping with a policy of replacing Spanish-born clergy with those born in Mexico. He arrived at the Mission two months later to begin his new duties. During his tenure, the Mexican government began to implement a policy of secularization of the California missions.
In 1842, González Rubio was transferred to the
Mission Santa Barbara, eventually becoming its chief administrator. Father González Rubio served as the Apostolic administratorof the Diocese of the Two Californias after bishop Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno's death in 1846 until bishop Joseph Alemany's appointment as Bishop of Monterey in 1850. [cite web | url=http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dmont.html | title=Diocese of Monterey in California | publisher=Catholic-Hierarchy.org | accessdate=2007-08-28 ]
González Rubio continued to serve as the administrator of Mission Santa Barbara, and during this time came into conflict with the presiding bishop of the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles, Bishop
Thaddeus Amat, over the question of jurisdiction over the Mission. González Rubio argued that the Mission was rightfully under the Franciscan order, and not the diocese. During this dispute, the United Statesannexed California as a result of the Mexican American War. On March 18, 1865, President Abraham Lincolnrestored the California missionsto the Catholic Church. The deed to Mission Santa Barbara was given to the diocese, and not the Franciscans. González Rubio protested, but Bishop Amat refused to give up the deed to the Mission. However, in 1925, Bishop John J. Cantwelldid hand the deed over to the Franciscans at Mission Santa Barbara.
Padre González Rubio lived long enough to become the oldest survivor of the early California missionaries, dying on
November 2, 1875at Mission Santa Barbara in California where he is interred.
*"Hispanic Catholicism in transitional California: the life of José González Rubio, O.F.M. (1804-1875)", by Michael Charles Neri, published 1997 by the Academy of American Franciscan History (v.14, history monograph series).
* [http://www.byzantines.net/byzcathculture/twopriests.html Two Priests]
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