Details for St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Parish

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507014180


Marker Number 14180
Atlas Number 5507014180
Marker Title St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Parish
Index Entry St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Parish
Address 304 W Chruch St
City El Campo
County Wharton
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 764851
UTM Northing 3233210
Subject Codes Roman Catholic denomination; churches
Marker Year 2005
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Marker Location
Private Property No
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text The city of El Campo began in 181 as a rail stop on the New York, Texas & Mexican Railroad connecting Houston and Victoria. The region's fertile soils encouraged farming, and numerous families of diverse backgrounds moved to the area. Most of those of Irish and Czech descent, and many of German descent, were Catholic, and in 1897, the San Antonio bishop purchased land in the vicinity to begin plans for an El Campo parish. The Rev. William E. Heffernan of Inez led the community's first mass in a private home in 1898, and the tradition continued until 1902 and the construction of a building placed under the patronage of Sts. Peter and Paul. A storm destroyed it in 1909. Parishioners met in the local schoolhouse and opera house until completing a new building, dedicated to St. Philip the Apostle, in 1910. Priests from the parish served missions in several area communities, and as the El Campo membership grew, so did its need for additional facilities. The church completed a new building in 1931 and also supported the Holy Cross Memorial Park Cemetery, established in 1929, and St. Philip Catholic School, which opened in 1949. Members have organized groups and contributed personally to aid in the everyday functions and needs of a working church. Throughout its first century, the parish of St. Philip has offered El Camp residents a place for worship, celebration, music and education, supporting its membership and its community through a variety of programs. Its history reflects the evolution of the universal Catholic Church, as it has developed new practices for Catholics worldwide. (2006)

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