About Our Parish

St. Anthony's Catholic Church and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission

We invite you to visit your parish website to keep up with Liturgical Services, current and future parish activitie and meetings. Feel free to contact the parish office via this website (Contact link is found under the HOME Tab) or by a phone call to share your ideas or to request further information about the website.  

We hope you enjoy the meditations and catholic publications offered on this informative website.  May our good Lord continue to bless our parish community as we move forward in good faith and stewardship to make much needed improvements to our infrastructure and pastoral needs.

 

Humble Beginnings of St. Anthony's Church

Our parish community was established in Graytown, Texas in 1854 at St. James Church (later changed to Our Lady of Guadalupe).  Priestly administrations date back to 1872 when Father C. Jaillets was named the first pastor.  He covered the mission churches of St. Anthony's in Elmendorf and Immaculate Conception in Canada Verde.  At that time Masses and religious services were celebrated in the homes.  Father Emilio Chapolard was the pastor at Graytown beginning in 1865, for forty years.

Growth through Change

With the advent of the railroad built on the Elmendorf side of the river, St. Anthony flourished and the other churhes became the missions.  Father Chapolard build the first church in Elmendorf and was dedicated in 1896.

The Claretian Father from San Antonio served at St.Anthony from 1905 to 1916 when the Mexican Josephite Fathers were placed in charge by Bishop Shaw.  In June of 1921 the Redemptorist Fathers from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in San Antonio were entrusted with the care of St. Anthony and its missions.  Father Matthias J. Justen built the second church for St. Anthony in 1922 and dedicated by Bishop Arthur J. Drossaerts on March 6.

St. Anthony's current Mission Church of 'Our Lady of Perpetual Help' was built in 1923 in the community of Saspamco.  

Father Gordon Travis made provisions for the Parish Hall.  The Redemptorists served for over forty years until June 1962.  The Augustinian Fathers were invited by Archbishop Luceyto take over the parish in 1962.  Father Herman Valladares commuted from St. Benedicts for a brief time until a rector was built.

The new rectory was built by Father Peter Parra and dedicated in Februry 2, 1969. Construction of the present church began in 1973 by Father Severiano Fernandez.  It was blessed and dedicated on March 3, 1974 by Bishop Patrick F. Flores.  The present parish hall was built and blessed by Father Fernandez on May 20, 1978.  The concrete parking lot was initiated by Father Henry Martinez and finished by April 5, 1984. He also remodeled the church to its present appearance and remodeled the barrack-style Religious Education Building in 1986.  In 1988 the present Religious Education Building was constructed.

The Augustinian Fathers were in charge of the parish until February 1993 (for almost thirty-one years).  The last Augustinian pastor was Father Maximilliano Pastrana who served from June of 1990 to February of 1993.

Father William McNamara, a native son of Ireland, was assigned pastor of our parish by Archbishop Flores in February of 1993.  He was instrumental in completing electrical renovations, new airconditioning for the church, construction of a new storage building, parking lot, sidewalks, hall breezeway and paving of parking area in front of the church. Father McNamara serve as pastor for 17 years and retired in June of 2012.

Our present pastor is Father Andrew Kafara, a native of Poland.  Father Andrew is actively pursuing the building of a new rectory, foundation repairs of our CCD Building and roof repairs and renovation of the Parish Hall.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

    St. Anthony de Padua       Elmendorf Parish Community                   Feast Day - June 13      

 

We are a welcoming  Catholic community called by God to live out the message of Christ, through the intercession of St. Anthony de Padua, in love and service to all people. 

 

Looking to the Future

We have come a long way throughout the years as we have been always with dedicated priests and parishioners.

As we venture into the future we encourage everyone to get involved in planning a spiritual and physically stable environment so future generations will benefit and flourish in our parish community for years to come. .

 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help   Saspamco Parish Community                    Feast Day - June 27