|| 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)