Details for Holy Cross Catholic Parish

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5481012292


Marker Number 12292
Atlas Number 5481012292
Marker Title Holy Cross Catholic Parish
Index Entry Holy Cross Catholic Parish
Address Church and Magnolia
City East Bernard
County Wharton
UTM Zone
UTM Easting
UTM Northing
Subject Codes churches; Czech immigrants/immigration; Roman Catholic denomination
Marker Year
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Marker Location
Private Property No
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text Many Catholic Czechoslovakian immigrants settled in the prairies near East Bernard in the 1880s. Visiting priests served their religious needs. In 1900 the settlers began the establishment of a parish by purchasing cemetery property in East Bernard. The first Holy Cross Church, a small frame structure, was built in 1905 by Valentine Kozelsky on two acres of land donated by Jan and Anna Vacek. A rectory was built in 1921 for the first permanent resident pastor, the Rev. Joseph C. Kunc. The Holy Cross Catholic school was organized in 1922. A new church building was constructed in 1925 by R. H. Reese of Eagle Lake. Houston architect M. J. Sullivan designed the Spanish Colonial revival structure. It featured a 70-foot belfry and imported Czechoslovakian adornments including statues, painted copper wall hangings, and 10 large, unique stained glass windows of Roundel design. A new school and convent were built in 1928 in the same architectural style. The school operated until 1967. The Pioneer Chapel, a model of the original church, was built in 1994. Holy Cross Catholic Church is now the oldest Catholic church in continuous use in Wharton County. (1997)

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