The Diocese of Lubbock, which encompasses 25 Llano Estacado and Rolling Plains counties of West Texas, is a church of more than 136,000 Catholics who meet in 61 parish churches. Lubbock is home to a vibrant and diverse religious community, with Christian churches, a synagogue, two mosques and several regional denominational headquarters. In the first half of the 20th century, the number of Catholics in Texas continued to grow due to a variety of economic, political and religious influences that brought immigrants to the state. The two priests shared houses in Corsicana, where a Catholic church had been built two years earlier in 1872. Despite this growth, the Catholic Church also faced setbacks such as the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, a nativist movement that opposed Catholics, Jews, African-Americans and other “foreign elements”.
The wood-framed church and rectory were moved to the back of the new church; the old church was used as a parish room with kitchen facilities while the rectory was converted into four teaching areas and a nursery. In 1994, the church began making plans to build a fourth church since the parish community had grown to almost 2000 people. While the Catholic community suffered from religious intolerance from the Klan, Catholic priests and lay people including the Knights of Columbus played an important role in defending it against such forces. To serve a diverse population of Mexican, European and Anglo-American Catholics, the bishop largely recruited people from Europe, drawing both male and female congregations. The old church was demolished but its cornerstone and part of its foundation were saved for use in the new church. The Catholic population of Waxahachie had doubled when the Diocese of Dallas was established. Catholic immigrants arrived in Waxahachie in the 1860s and early 1870s to build the courthouse and work on railroads that served the area.
Using the cornerstone of the original church, the third church was completed in late 1954 under Father William Botick's direction. This wave of church development in North Texas was part of a larger effort by the Bishop of Galveston to serve an ever-growing Catholic population in Texas. Between 1840 and 1880, the number of Catholics living in Texas rose from 40,000 to 150,000 - an increase that reflected overall population growth in the area particularly after the Civil War. Around this same time, Bishop Pierre Francois Chandy was assigned to serve Catholics in Navarro and McClellan counties. Parishioners hoped that by building a permanent structure for clergy they could assign a resident pastor to the Catholic Church. Soon after it was finished they built a small rectory with a wooden structure next to it. Today's Diocese of Lubbock is home to more than 136,000 Catholics who meet in 61 parish churches across 25 Llano Estacado and Rolling Plains counties.
The Catholic Church has seen its fair share of growth over its long history in West Texas. Despite facing setbacks such as religious intolerance from nativist movements like Ku Klux Klan during its early years in Texas, it has managed to thrive thanks to its dedicated priests and lay people who have worked hard to defend it against such forces.