A place to pray and worship in Port Bolivar

September 19, 2010

For Immediate Release – Sept. 19, 2010
Contact: Jenny Faber, Director of Communications

A place to pray and worship in Port Bolivar
Catholics on Bolivar Peninsula have new home for Sunday Masses

CRYSTAL BEACH – Catholics on Bolivar Peninsula now have a sturdy house of faith where they can weather the storms of life – literally and figuratively.

Our Lady by the Sea Chapel and Catholic Center on Crystal Beach will be blessed by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. The new Center will serve all Bolivar Peninsula Catholics, who have been attending Masses at Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School since Hurricane Ike tore through the Gulf Coast in 2008. More than 200 Catholics were participating in weekly Sunday Mass at Crenshaw until this new Center was built.

"The Archdiocese is committed to continuing a vibrant Catholic presence in Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula," Cardinal DiNardo said. "Our decision to rebuild at Crystal Beach is evidence of this commitment. We see this new Center as a hopeful, joyful sign of the Catholic renewal happening in this region."

The Center, centrally located on a relatively high plain of Bolivar Peninsula, is a storm-resistant facility that can accommodate about 300 and will serve the entire Peninsula community. Built 18 feet above sea level, the Center is located on the site of the former St. Therese of Lisieux Mission, which was razed after Hurricane Ike due to safety concerns.

The 4,800-square-foot building will offer Masses every Sunday at 8 a.m. The facility will double as a community center available for social gatherings and meetings.

Our Lady by the Sea is part of Holy Family Parish, the faith community established in August 2009 to serve the 2,600 Catholic households on Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula. Holy Family Parish now operates at five sites, offering Masses at Holy Rosary, Sacred Heart, St. Patrick and Mary Star of the Sea churches and Our Lady by the Sea Chapel and Catholic Center. The new Center will especially serve Catholics who were members of the former Our Mother of Mercy and St. Therese of Lisieux communities, which are now part of Holy Family Parish.

WHAT: Blessing of Our Lady by the Sea Chapel and Catholic Center, a new, post-Hurricane-Ike house of worship for Catholics on Bolivar Peninsula.

WHERE: 2400 Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. Please note: Visitors should plan to take the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry, following Hwy 87 East for about 12 miles until reaching Our Lady by the Sea Chapel and Catholic Center on the right.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.3 million Catholics in 10 counties. It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 11th largest in the United States.