After many years of trying to get the city of Lubbock to pay much needed attention to an area of east Lubbock, Lubbock resident John P. Cervantez’s persistence finally paid off.  

Saint Patrick Catholic Church, or San Patricio, is located on Lubbock’s east side. Over the years, the area and roads leading up to the church have suffered from inattention and neglect by the city.

One of the roads leading up to the church grounds is Vanda Street. That is the city street Cervantez has focused his efforts on for years, his pleas to officials at city hall usually falling on deaf ears. He had been lobbying city officials and anyone at city hall who would listen for the past 17 years.

Recently the city informed him that a local survey firm has finished work on a portion of the area that was dedicated as a right of way by the Lubbock Catholic Diocese to the city of Lubbock for major road improvements. The redesign is intended to make the road safer for motorists and should improve the overall landscape of the area.

Construction is planned to start in the spring of 2016 and should be completed by the summer.

Cervantez says that he always felt that a street that leads to the church should have been properly maintained by the city. He says that this project was and is important to him “for the beautification of east lubbock but more important because it was St. Patrick’s Catholic Church”.

He also wanted to make the street more easily accessible for parishioners and visitors to Saint Patricks.  

While Cervantez was motivated by several factors, one of his motivating memories was something that happened to him and his brother around 1945. He remembers the time both of them were admiring a coconut pie in a restaurant window. But when the went in to buy a piece, they were told they did not serve Mexicans.

Cervantez says that that type of experience was so disturbing to him, that it motivated him to do more for the Hispanic community.

Cervantez retired in August from his photography business and his career as an insurance agent. Many people are familiar with his work, as his photographs were often published in the South Plains Catholic; the Catholic Diocese monthly publication.

He was born in Rocks Spring, Texas, close to Del Rio, and will turn 81 in May. He is married and has 4 children.

El Editor congratulates Mr. Cervantez for his many years of trying to get the city to listen and act upon his complaints. We congratulate him on his retirement and for his persistence.

It is community members like Mr. Cervantez who never give up, who ultimately leave a lasting impact on our community.