St. Edward Catholic Community started from a modest beginning in 1968. Rev. Eugene Francis of St. John the Baptist Church located in Hungerford, Texas was assigned with the task of starting a Church. At this time, the parish community consisted of approximately 30 families within a five-mile radius. Sunday Masses were held at various homes in the surrounding area until arrangements were made to hold Sunday Masses at the Spring Elementary School.
In the fall of 1969, the first Mass was held at the public school cafeteria with only a suitcase of altar cloths, candles and vestments. Initially, few people knew of the makeshift church's whereabouts; however, over time, the ranks continued to grow. On November 2, 1969, the first bulletin was published requesting attendees to complete a parish census -- approximately 74 families were counted.
In the fall of 1971, a beautiful wooded site was purchased. In 1976, St. Edward the Confessor Church was blessed and dedicated by the Most Reverend John L. Morkovsky, Bishop of Galveston-Houston and assisted by Fr. Eugene Francis. The ceremony was a memorable occasion as parishioners realized a dream of building a church. Fr. Francis was Pastor of St. Edward from 1969 to 1981. Fr. Herndel who was Pastor from 1981 to 1983 succeeded Fr. Francis. In 1983, Msgr. Al Doga succeeded Fr. Herndel. In the early 90's. Fr. Doga purchased additional land for the purpose of constructing the junior high school, a playground and multipurpose sports field. He also was responsible for building a new rectory and turning the old rectory into parish offices. Msgr. Doga passed away in December 1999. His Associate Pastor, Fr. Dwight Cañizares was made Temporary Administrator. Fr. Joseph Gietl was assigned as Pastor in June 2000.
When Archbishop Fiorenza assigned Fr. Gietl as Pastor, he suggested that consideration be given to building a new church; as Fr. Doga had purchased additional acreage and had spoken to the Bishop of the future need of a new church. Consulting with the Pastoral and Finance Councils, Fr. Gietl established a committee to master plan the facilities in order to efficiently meet present needs and to plan to future growth. An architect was hired. The study was made. A capital campaign was conducted and design plans were put in place. On December 5, 2004, a groundbreaking ceremony too place. Coadjutor Archbishop Daniel DiNardo celebrated Mass in honor of the occasion and presided over the ceremony. Construction of the new church took place under Fr. Gietl's guidance along with a volunteer "building committee" who gave countless hours of service to see the project to fruition for the parish; nearly one year later the new church was completed.
Finally, there was the announcement that the last Mass in the old church would be in the morning. In the evening, the parishioners were invited to Vespers and the procession to the new church. It was the first night of winter and the liturgy began with the "Ave Maria" and our rededication to the Blessed Mother. The little mid-week service became a crowded, yet solemn gathering of young and old eager to participate in the first Mass in the new church. Nearly eight hundred gathered for the first Mass. On Christmas Eve, nearly 2000 worshippers attended the first official Mass in the new church. It was standing room only. For Midnight Mass, everyone had a place to sit.
Printed in the St. Edward Catholic Church Dedication Booklet
St. Edward Parish Directory, 1976 Edition
Archives Department, ArchDiocese of Galveston-Houston