Cardinal to use chalice belonging to first Bishop of Galveston from 1800’s for 175th Anniversary closing Mass

May 2, 2023

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate the closing of the Archdiocese’s 175th anniversary with an evening Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston at 6:30 p.m. May 3.

It juxtaposes with the opening Mass last year with 300-plus priests celebrating its 175th anniversary at St. Mary’s Basilica of what was then the newly created Diocese of Galveston established on May 4, 1847.

That is the official date the Apostolic See in Rome established the new diocese “when the number of souls” grew in the Texas frontier. The first bishop in Texas, Bishop Jean- Marie Odin, C.M., along with the Ursuline Sisters, made it their mission to form the area Catholics in their faith and to educate Catholic children.

Together they built upon the foundation laid by Franciscan missionaries ministering in Texas since the 17th century.

As part of Wednesday’s liturgy, Cardinal DiNardo will raise the chalice that belonged to Bishop Odin, gifted to him by Pope Pius IX in 1851.

With dramatic population growth, the diocese was re-designated as the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1959 and Sacred Heart Church in Houston was named the co-cathedral. At that time, a chancery building was built in Houston and the administrative offices were transferred from Galveston to Houston in 1963.

Now the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is led by Cardinal DiNardo with a flock of more than 1.7 million faithful in 10 counties, served by its 146 parishes, seven missions, 43 Catholic schools and multiple ministries providing healthcare and other services for those in need.

Other celebrations during the Archdiocesan 175th anniversary included a gala April 20 with more than 1,000 attending.

Stan Marek, gala chair, took the stage and asked those present to join him in a moment of silence to remember three beloved local bishops who passed away over the last two years – Bishop Vincent Rizzotto, 89, in January 2021; Bishop George Sheltz, 75, in December 2021; and Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza, 91, in September 2022.

“This is an opportunity to come together and celebrate the many ways we live out the Gospel” noted Marek, “caring for the poor, the sick, the refugee; supporting our parishes and clergy; it’s a celebration of our faith and why we do it.”