Holy Family Church celebrates 100 years

December 10, 2013

MISSOURI CITY — The pastors and parishioners at Holy Family Catholic Church in Missouri City have a long history of resiliency. They’ve had to be. A hurricane destroyed it just two years after the church was built in 1913 at the corner of Fifth Street and Orchard Street. But it was rebuilt, and the parish grew.

As it entered 2013 and its centennial year, the faithful of Holy Family decided it was time to rebuild again. As the parish ends the year, it is putting the finishing touches on an ambitious $4.5 million renovation, which includes the expansion of its chapel, new restrooms, a new sacristy and a new meeting room. 

In addition, a refurbishment of its religious education facilities is expected to be completed in February. 

Outside, a new plaza is still under construction. It will have a statue of the Holy Family as its focal point complete with granite tables and benches. It is expected to be completed in time for the parish’s Centennial dedication and celebration on Sunday, Dec. 29 — which is, by no coincidence, the Feast of the Holy Family.

“Our Centennial theme is ‘One Faith One Family, Celebrating 100 years of evangelization’,” said the church’s pastor, Father Sunny Plammoottil, OSH. “It’s so amazing to see people of different cultures and ethnicities coming together sharing their time, talents and treasures for the building of God’s Church. Through our different Centennial projects and celebrations we witnessed the miracle of God forming us together as one family of God. We have grown a lot in love, unity and stewardship. By the grace of God we have got an amazingly beautiful church, chapel and religious education building and we thus set the foundation for serving the future generations to come.”

On Dec. 7, the parish hosted a dinner and dance to kick off “birthday” festivities at the new Quail Valley Center. 

On Dec. 15, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will co-celebrate the Centennial Mass at 10:45 a.m. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

“We’re working on the seating arrangements now,” said Gale Hutchins, parish administrator. “We’ve invited several priests. We’re not even sure how many deacons and priests we’re having. We’re going to have several. It’s going to be a wonderful day.”

It’s also a celebration of this parish’s commitment to stewardship. The Archdiocese funded 50 percent of the project, but the other half is being funded by parishioners. Of 2,100 registered families, more than 1,300 of them chipped in one-time donations or monthly pledges, “which is a phenomenal percentage,” Hutchins remarked. 

The parish is vibrantly multi-ethnic — Hispanic, Czech, African-American, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Nigerian, Vietnamese, Filipino and Indian — with six Sunday Masses (including one in Spanish) and two Masses daily (one in Spanish on Thursday).

Before architectural plans were drafted, the parish developed a master plan around goals that support pastoral care in the community, including:
• Welcome all people and promote stewardship and unity among all cultures and activities. 
• Protect present facility investment and extend its life through phased renovation of the church, chapel, meeting rooms/classrooms, rectory, offices and parish hall.
• Provide facilities which allow for the expansion and development of programs and ministries in all age groups.
Hutchins’ advice: “Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan. And be patient.”