We, the people of God in the Catholic Diocese of Lubbock, Texas, are committed to our mission to discover the presence of God and to sanctify the world by the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to enable the most effective witnessing to the Gospel.
A new process has begun in the diocese whereby all voices can be heard; especially those of the poor and anyone wounded by our contemporary society. We recognize that the voice of the people is, in a very special way, the call of the Spirit. We see a need for a process by which all the people of the diocese – priests, deacons, women religious and laity – can share their insights, strengths and concerns.
In attempting to fulfill our mission, we must listen to all people. In listening to one another, we come to realize the living-out of our mission will be done in unity, not in uniformity.
Firmly believing the listening process we have begun in the Diocese of Lubbock is an ongoing process – and priorities will change in response to the signs of the times – we, the People of God, name these as our priorities in our commitment to build up the Body of Christ and carry out the mission of the Church, which is evangelization.
History of the Diocese of Lubbock
The High Plains and Rolling Plains areas of West Texas — the Panhandle, the Llano Estacado ("Palisade Plains") or South Plains, and the Concho River Valley — first became home to a Roman Catholic Diocese when the Diocese of Amarillo was established in 1926. The Diocese of Amarillo embraced an area from Dalhart in the north to Ozona in the south. The part north of the Colorado River had been taken from the Dallas diocese and the section south of the river came from San Antonio (with two counties, Andrews and Ector, coming from El Paso).
The first bishop was Most Rev. Rudolph A. Cerken, then pastor of Ranger, Texas. In 1933, Bishop Cerken was appointed Archbishop of Santa Fe, and Robert E. Lucey came from California as Bishop of Amarillo. In 1941, Bishop Lucey was named Archbishop of San Antonio, and Most Rev. Laurence J.FitzSimon, then pastor of Seguin, Texas, became the third Bishop of Amarillo. Bishop FitzSimon died in 1958 and was succeeded by his auxiliary. Bishop John L. Morkovsky.
In 1962, the San Angelo diocese was established and Rev. Thomas J. Drury, then pastor of Christ the King Parish in Lubbock, was named its first bishop. In 1965, Bishop Drury was transferred to Corpus Christi, and Most Rev. Thomas Tschoepe became Bishop of San Angelo.
In 1969, Bishop Tschoepe was transferred to Dallas and was succeeded by Bishop Stephen Leven, then an auxiliary bishop of San Antonio. Bishop Leven retired in 1979 and was succeeded by Most Rev. Joseph A. Fiorenza. When Bishop Fiorenza was transferred to Galveston-Houston in 1984, Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI, was named the fifth Bishop of San Angelo.
Meanwhile, back in Amarillo, Bishop Morkovsky had been transferred in 1963 to Calveston-Houston and Most Rev. Laurence M. DeFaIco came from Dallas to serve as the Bishop of Amarillo. Bishop DeFaIco died in 1979 and Most Rev. Leroy T. Matthiesen of Amarillo was named Bishop of Amarillo in 1980.
On June 17, 1983, the Diocese of Lubbock was created with Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan as its first bishop. The Diocese of Lubbock embraces an area that was formerly in the Diocese of Amarillo, plus five counties (Jones, Scurry, Haskell, Fisher, and Stonewall) from the Diocese of San Angelo.
Ten years later, Bishop Sheehan was named Archbishop of Santa Fe and, on April 5, 1994, His Holiness Pope John Paul II announced the appointment of Most Rev. Plácido RodrÍguez, CMF, as the second Bishop of the Diocese of Lubbock. His episcopal installation took place on June 1, 1994, in Lubbock.
1907 Saint John's, Hermleigh
1911 Saint Alice, Plainview (called Holy Trinity Church until 1928)
1912 Saint Joseph's, Slaton
1921 Sacred Heart, Littlefield
1924 Sacred Heart, El Ranchito
Saint Joseph, Lubbock
1926 Holy Trinity, Hamlin
1928 Saint Mary Magdalen, Floydada
1926 Diocese of Amarillo established
Saint Margaret Mary, Lamesa
Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, Slaton
1931 Saint Philip Neri, Pep
1935 Saint Elizabeth University Parish, Lubbock
1939 Saint Mary of the Plains Hospital, Lubbock
1944 Saint Theresa, Hale Center (called Saint Charles Church, until 1961)
1946 Our Lady of Guadalupe, Plainview
1948 Saint Mary, Spur
1950 Saint Michael, Levelland
1951 Saint Jude's Tahoka (called Our Lady of Guadalupe until 1967)
1952 Our Lady of Guadalupe, Slaton
Saint Elizabeth, Snyder
Saint Anthony, Brownfield
1954 Saint Ann, Morton
1955 Our Lady of Guadalupe, Snyder
Saint William, Denver City
Saint Ann, Stamford
Saint Elizabeth, Paducah
Holy Cross, Post
1956 Immaculate Conception, Muleshoe
1957 Saint George, Haskell
1958 Saint Peter, Olton
Saint James, Seminole
Christ the King (Cathedral), Lubbock
1959 Saint Pius X, O'Donnell
Sacred Heart, Petersburg
Saint Michael, Rails
1960 Saint Patrick, Lubbock
Our Lady of Grace, Lubbock
1961 Saint Theresa, Lubbock (Carlisle)
San Lorenzo, Lorenzo
Sacred Heart, Plainview
Blessed Sacrament, Wilson
1961 Saint Theresa, Hale Center
Sacred Heart, Plains
Saint Paul Seagraves
1962 Diocese of San Angelo established
Saint Joseph, Crosbyton
Our Lady of Cuadalupe, Matador
1963 Saint Joseph, Lockney
1965 Saint Philip Benizi, Shallowater
1966 Saint Isidore, Abernathy
Saint Mary Magdalen, Earth
1967 Saint Anthony, Anton
1972 Epiphany, Jayton (first church was Saint Mary, built in 1929; moved to Spur in 1948 and property sold)
Saint Mary, Aspermont (first church was Sacred Heart, built in 1929; closed and sold in 1951)
1973 Saint Michael, Anson
Christian Renewal Center, Lubbock (now Catholic Renewal Center)
1974 San Ramon, Woodrow
Saint Mary, Sudan (closed September 1, 1996)
1976 Our Lady Queen Of Apostles, New Deal
1978 Saint Francis of Assisi, Wolfforth
1979 Saint Phillip, Idalou
1980 Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lubbock
Saint John Neumann, Lubbock (Saint Peter School built at this location by Saint Elizabeth Parish in 1959)
Our Lady of Mercy Retreat Center, Slaton (former convent of Sisters of Mercy who owned Mercy Hospital; officially deeded to the Diocese of Lubbock by the sisters in 1986)
1981 Holy Family, Cotton Center (closed August 17, 1996)
San Francisco de Asis, Ropesville
1983 Diocese of Lubbock established
1985 Catholic Center (built with funds from Kenedy-East Foundation; now called the Catholic Pastoral Center
1988 San Isidro Mission, Sundown
1990 Our Lady of Guadalupe, Plainview (now located in the former City National Bank building.)
1994 Most Rev. Plácido RodrÍguez installed as second bishop of Lubbock
1998 Holy Spirit Church, Lubbock