Holy Family Catholic Church marks century milestone

January 29, 2013

MISSOURI CITY — Holy Family Catholic Church kicked off a year of festivities with a centennial Mass Dec. 30 to mark its 100th anniversary and the launch of a $4.6 million capital campaign to pay for renovations and improvements.

Planned through the year under the theme “One Faith, One Family… Celebrating 100 Years of Evangelization” are a golf tournament in May, a bazaar in the fall and a ball towards the end of the year, culminating with a Mass Dec. 15 to be conducted by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. 

In the meantime, construction work is slated to start April 1 and be completed in time for the December Mass. The project includes expansion of the chapel and the addition of restrooms, a sacristy and store rooms, as well as a new library and meeting room. A centennial plaza, complete with a Holy Family statue, tables and benches, also is in the works. 

“We are planning for the future of the church and the revitalization and evangelization that goes along with it,” Father Sunny Plammoottil said.
The history of the church sounds like a cross between “The Little Engine That Could” and the coming together of the United Nations. The wrath of a hurricane, closure, two moves and the comings and goings of priests neither quelled the faithful nor prevented the church from flourishing, attracting a gamut of nationalities and ethnicities, including Hispanic, Czech, African-American, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Nigerian, Vietnamese, Filipino and Indian.
“You see every shade of skin that God created, and that should be celebrated,” said Jean Court, a long-time member. “We are many worlds, and that’s a good thing.”

It was in 1912 when Father George A. Montreuil spearheaded the creation of the church, throwing in a $50 donation for good measure. A gift of a parcel of land at the current site and other donations allowed for the building of a small, wood-framed structure to be called St. Patrick’s for the founding British settlers. A hurricane in 1915 caused serious damage to the church, and though services continued, the building was closed in 1928. After a four-year hiatus, parishioners found a new home in a donated movie theater and adjacent land in Stafford, and it was then the name was changed to Holy Family. By 1948, a new church had been built, but it eventually became too small for the burgeoning parish. To accommodate a rectory and the growing congregation, pumped by development in the area, the parish returned to its original site, which was still owned by the diocese, and opened a classroom and office building in 1974 and the current church five years later.

Did you know?
Holy Family Catholic Church is aiming to raise $4.6 million to pay for renovations, upgrades and additions under a capital campaign coinciding with the church’s 100th anniversary. As a fundraiser, the church, located at 1510 5th St. in Missouri City, is selling personalized pavers to commemorate the centennial and or memorialize a loved one. To find out more, contact the parish office at 281-499-9688 or visit http://holyfamilychurch.us/building_campaign.html.

Just as the physical church had undergone upheaval so too did the spiritual leadership. The Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate ran the church from 1940 until 1955, when the Basilian Fathers assumed supervision. Then in 2007, the Oblate Fathers of the Sacred Heart took over.

Today, the church counts 2,167 families, down from a high of 3,400 in the early 1980s before nearby St. Laurence Catholic Church and St. Angela Merici in Sienna Plantation appeared on the scene. However, there is no lack of enthusiasm and optimism that the church will continue and thrive for another 100 years and more.