Diocese of Lubbock

Mission Statement

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.

Timeline
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