Our Mission and History
When the Diocese of Lubbock came into existence in June of 1983 it encompassed a total of 25 counties with a total population of approximately 452,000 people, of which 12.34% were Catholic (for a total of roughly 55800 people). Of these, about 50% attended mass on a regular basis. The combination of low attendance, and the need to assist poorer, rural congregations, made it quite difficult for diocesan officials to consider the establishment of new parishes; with this regrettable trend occurring during a time span when other denominations constructed 31 new facilities throughout the area. Fortunately, during the 1990s, the opportunity to break new ground coalesced in a particular section of the Diocese’s home city.
Over the past decade the fastest growing and most economically vibrant part of Lubbock has been its southwest section. By 1998 it was estimated that this area contained approximately 48,000 inhabitants. Applying the percentage mentioned above means to this area that the Catholic population totaled approximately 5900 souls; with about 2950 of these attending mass on a regular basis. Here, then, was an ideal opportunity to plant a new parish in the developing economic center of the Hub City.
Bishop Michael Sheehan and his staff had the foresight to purchase land in this part of town in 1992; acquiring an initial 10.0 acres in 1992 (with purchases of an additional 8.5 acres and 3.0 acres to follow) near the intersection of Frankford Avenue and 98th Street. Following a feasibility study, Bishop Rodriguez established the Holy Spirit Parish on September 13, 1998. The first home of the new parish was the Knights of Columbus council #3008 hall located on FM1585. About 50 families (including 20 children) attended the first mass.
The founding pastor of the congregation was Father Eugene Driscoll. Father Gene was very familiar with the Lubbock Diocese, having worked at Sacred Heart Parish in Plainview for 7 years and then transferring to St. Elizabeth university Parish across the street from Texas Tech University from October 1996 until July 1, 1998. Given space limitations, the first offices of Holy Spirit Parish were housed in a small suite at the Christ the King Cathedral until 2001. The Catholic Extension Society generously donated a total of $20,000 toward setting up the office.
In order to begin reaching out to potential parishioners, Father Driscoll and many volunteers knocked on approximately 9000 doors from October 1998 to September 1999 (an area bounded by 82nd Street to Slide Road, east to I-27, south to FM1585 and west to Upland and Spur 327) in order to ask people to join the parish and to welcome back those Catholics who had fallen away from faith.
Starting in May of 2000, the parish began printing a bi-monthly newsletter, “The Spirit Speaks”. At the time of this first publication, Father Driscoll noted that the parish population had already doubled (from 60 to 120 families). Shortly before the parish’s second anniversary, $47,000 and parishioners contributed another $175,000 to the building fund. On September 17, 1999, the parish began its first Capital Fund Campaign and in one weekend received pledges of more than $230,000. A generous $50,000 grand from the John C. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation also assisted in helping launch the parish.
The first phase of construction (a multi-function parish hall) began in December of 1999 and the building of the rectory commenced (with the assistance of 35 volunteers) August of 2000. It was truly a labor of love for these parishioners to build what was referred to as the “Habitat For Father Gene.” Construction for this first phase (the hall was named in honor of Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus) concluded with a blessing by Bishop Rodriguez on February 10, 2001. Other aspects of this early construction included an alter (build by Larry Craig and Franklin Kitten) and a credence table for the worship area. The altar stone, which contains relics of Saint Aurelia and Saint Timothy, arrived courtesy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. From 2000 until 2002 the Extension Society also provided $13,000 in cash and supplied the parish with a monstrance for Eucharistic Adoration.
The completion of phase I ushered in an era of further growth for Holy Spirit Parish. by September of 2001 there were 215 students enrolled in CCE classes, Mass attendance has grown to 550, and the parish had a total of 475 registered families. By this date, there had be a total of 60 baptisms, 22 confirmations, and 48 children had received first communion. The congregation also supported a full slate of organizations and activities, including hosting meetings of the Knights of Columbus, the Boy Scouts, the Church Women United, a “Moms and Me” group, and the Serrans.
With continued growth, came the need to more on to phase II of the master plan; the erection of a church building. This momentous step began on May 15th of 2005 with a groundbreaking ceremony and actual construction starting in July for a 1,400 seat sanctuary and expanded office complex. The architect for the project was Peter Velde of Condray Design Group and the builder was Sandia construction. The sanctuary area (and a small basement) totals over 19,000 square feet with an additional 5,000 square feet dedicated to the sacristy and office space.
As a reminder of the parish’s history, the building’s northwest wall includes a time capsule containing the names of early parishioners and other memorabilia. Once again, the Extension Society generously assisted this project with a donation of $25,000 for the construction of the sanctuary. By 2008 the parish had a total of 800 registered families, with estimated 200 families attending who ar not yet registered.
Many wonderful individuals have helped guide our parish over its first ten years. Monsignor Driscoll has been the glue that has held together all of the parish’s efforts, and he is to be commended for all that he has done. However, we should also recognize other individuals who have helped make this parish what it is today: the first assistant deacons for Holy Spirit were Clarke E. Cochran and Kyle Broderson. In 2005 Deacon Ralph Rosiles was ordained and assigned as the first deacon for the parish. A second Deacon, Rick Vasquez, began work at the parish on February 1, 2007. The first pastoral assistant was Sister Eden Bandoja Marquez, M.S.L.T.
The Holy Spirit Parish has come a long way in ten short years. From the beginning its goal has been to live up to its motto “A house of welcome and a place of service to all.” Through its vibrant ministry the parish community continues to be a living example of being Christ to one another.