Short, bow-legged and with an accent that was as thick as molasses, Santos Mendoza was the perfect example of how God uses those who appear to lack what some call greatness to confound the wise, as is pointed out in the Bible. This website is meant not only to be a tribute to him, but to encourage all of us to seek out the incredible faith that God wants from us.
Father Santos Mendoza was born in the Philippines on Sept. 11, 1924, and ordained a Catholic priest in 1954. He served as an active Christian missionary in Middle East Muslim nations for 12 years. Long before 9/11 he warned of the dangers of radical Islam, but few listened or understood.
He helped to smuggle Bibles into Communist China and faced strong repercussions from the Communist Chinese government.
After serving in Europe and South America he eventually came to Dallas, Texas. He often remarked that he came here to evangelize and he certainly did. If you ever rode with him anywhere he would have you praying the rosary almost non-stop.
Father Mendoza used to celebrate Mass at St. Jude Catholic Chapel in downtown Dallas for some years, and helped out at various parishes scattered around the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. In addition he often celebrated Mass for several local Filipino prayer groups, as well as acting as Spiritual Director for the Dallas Queen of Peace Center.
He served as the official exorcist priest for the Diocese of Dallas and was sought after by people who wanted help in deliverance for others.
His manner was a bit too unconventional for much of the hierarchy in the Diocese, in our opinion, and he was treated as something of an oddity by most (but not all) of the priests in the Diocese.One of the exceptions was Monsignor Duffy Gardner, who concelebrated with him in several prayer groups.
In his later years as his physical limitations necessitated, Father Mendoza moved to Abilene, Texas to live with relatives. He passed from this world on January 21, 2004 at the age of 79.
But he never really left us, and those who knew him were blessed, and we continue to ask for his intercession.
As you can see by the photo, he was a holy man who also knew how to enjoy himself and help others to make light of their everyday cares. He was a serious man who did not take himself too seriously.
He accompanied many pilgrimages as spiritual director, celebrating Mass in many holy places around the world.
But he could also cut up and tell some of the funniest (and corniest) jokes you ever heard. He called them his “little sparklers”. It was surprising that we did not get thrown out of some of the restaurants when we traveled with him: he unleashed his special brand of humor and often uproarious laughter. He often pointed out, “laughter is the best medicine”.
We are soliciting testimonies from those who knew Father Mendoza. There are many incredible stories associated with him and we hope to publish of as many of them as possible.
If you have something you would like to share please contact us.