La Casa de Maria y Marta (The Mary & Martha House)

Situated in the heart of San Antonio, La Casa de Maria y Marta is available to meet the needs of church groups and others who are looking for an affordable place to hold meetings or retreats, or as inexpensive overnight lodging while visiting San Antonio. 
La Casa has ten bedrooms which contain either three single beds, a double and a single, or one double bed.  If all the beds are filled to capacity, there is sleeping space for 26.
There are two full kitchens and four bathrooms that are shared by guests.  Two living areas can be used for meeting space or simply relaxing after you have explored the city.  

Please contact Danielle Miller at 210.534.2064 or Danielle@DoorNetwork.org for availability and current rates.

History

A brief history of La Casa de Maria y Marta

The house at 602 Mission Street consisted of four apartments in 1982 when it was purchased by Mennonite Board of Missions (now Mennonite Mission Network) of Elkhart, IN.  MBM used the help of volunteers to renovate the house into a single family dwelling to serve as the unit house for its Voluntary Service (VS) Program.  These “VS’ers” lived in community in the house while working for a variety of social service agencies, schools, and non-profit organizations.  The Vsers were generally placed in San Antonio for one to two year terms.  The San Antonio Mennonite Church (SAMC), located two blocks away, served as the host congregation for the volunteers.

Over the years, the VS placements became more and more concentrated in the near-Westside of town, a heavily Mexican-American area.  This prompted a desire on the part of the volunteers to relocate the unit to the Westside, and thus become more involved in the day-to-day life of those they were serving.  This move became a reality in 1992 when the unit moved to a former convent of a local Catholic Church.

The 602 Mission Street house then became a service/learning center, a place for people to come short-term to serve and learn from the San Antonio community.  Long term Vsers, Wes and Jane Hare, were primarily responsible for the development of SALSA (Service and Learning in San Antonio), along with a support committee from SAMC and the local community.  By May 2004, SALSA merged with DOOR a partner program of Mennonite Church USA and Presbyterian Church USA.

The name La Casa de Maria y Marta was chosen to reflect the lives of Mary and Martha of Biblical times.  Mary listened, sat at the feet of Jesus and learned in discussion and quiet devotion.  Martha, on the other hand, saw the need for hospitality and serving.  Both are fundamental in the mission of La Casa.

 

Room Honorees

The idea to name the rooms at La Casa was first envisioned by a small group from the San Antonio Mennonite Church.  They recommended that “individual bedrooms be decorated in honor of a person who lived/lives a life of Christian service, making the connection between a deep spirituality and work for social justice, community and peace….  The hope would be that those staying in the rooms would have a chance to be inspired by this person through reading and learning about the person during the week.”

The committee decided to limit the selections to only include people who were “less-known.”  By doing so, they did not consider the inclusion of people such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi, certainly persons worthy of being honored, but whose lives are generally well-known.  By narrowing the list to include the “not-so- famous,” they felt the room project would be more educational about less familiar, but equally important, people.

Other important factors which were included in determining the honorees were:

  • Mennonite/Anabaptist heritage
  • The spiritual nature of the person
  • Persons from San Antonio and Central/South America
  • Persons from different ethnicities
  • Persons of different classes
  • A mixture of males and females
  • A mixture of living and deceased persons

Mary Oyer

Mennonite conductor, cellist, professor and hymnologist; specialist in non-traditioanl forms of musical expression in worship, with a particular love of African music and instruments.

Samuel Ruiz

Bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas of Chiapas, Mexico; instrumental in peace negotiations between indigenous people and the Mexican government.

Bernice Johnson Reagon

Singer/songwriter, historian, producer and founder of the all-female African-American musical group “Sweet Honey in the Rock.”

Dorothy Day

Founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.  The local Catholic Worker house operates a soup kitchen and residence for homeless families.

Conrad Grebel

Leader in the early Swiss Anabaptist movement of the 16th Century.

Laura Sanchez

Mexican immigrant and founder of San Antonio’s Proyecto Hospitalidad which provides hospitality  for Central American  Refugees fleeing war-torn countries.

Jose Chuquin

Asasinated leader of Colombian Mennonite Church and World Vision of Colombia. 

Emma Tenayuca

San Antonio labor organizer of Mexican American women pecan shellers (cottage industries) in 1930’s.

Rogoberta Menchu

Self-taught Guatemalan of humble means who organized non-violently against the brutal and repressive government.  Winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mother Healy Murphy

Founder of Sisters of the Holy Spirit; educated African-American children in San Antonio since 1961 and always a champion for the rights of the poor and powerless.

 

Location

La Casa is located approximately one mile South of downtown in the historic King William neighborhood.  There are numerous restaurants within walking distance, and the residential portion of the river walk is six blocks north of the facility.  Two city buses and the trolley that run into downtown, come within blocks of La Casa on a regular basis.
If you are traveling into San Antonio on 281/37, exit Florida/Carolina St.  Turn west onto Florida street.  This will dead end into S. St. Mary’s St.  Turn right onto St. Mary’s St.  Turn left on Barbe St.  La Casa is located on the corner of Mission and Barbe.  (You will be approaching the facility from the back.  A small parking garage is behind the building.)
If you are traveling into San Antonio on I 10, exit Alamo St.  Turn East onto Alamo and follow it past the Jump Start Theatre complex on the right and the Pioneer Flour Factory on the left.  Turn right on Mission Street (one street past the stoplight at Alamo/and Adams).  La Casa is located on the corner of Mission and Barbe. 

Reservations

Please contact Danielle Miller at 210.534.2064 or Danielle@DoorNetwork.org for availability and current rates.

Search Site
Photo Albums