Chapel History


The history of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church is closely allied to the growth of Mineral Wells. After the discovery of the mineral waters in the early 1870's in the location of the present city Chapelof Mineral Wells, more and more people came to the area as the fame of the curative powers of the water spread throughout Texas and the South. As always, though few in numbers, there were Catholics among the thousands of visitors coming to the new spa, and a few of them settled permanently in the area. A few priests who happened to come through the town took care of their first religious needs. As the town grew and the numbers of Catholics increased, the small Catholic population appealed to the newly formed Diocese of Dallas for some arrangements for regular Sunday Masses in Mineral Wells.

In the early 1900's a priest from St. Stephen's parish in Weatherford came each Sunday by train to hold services in the home of the Busey family. About the year 1906 funds were raised for the construction of a small frame church, half way up West Mountain on NW 3rd Street. At this time the Rev. P. J. Cussick from St. Stephen's Church in Weatherford, began to serve the new mission church in Mineral Wells. After Father Cussick was transferred, Father Parks came to Mineral Wells to establish a residence for several years.

In the early 1920's, the Rev. T. 0. O'Brien was in charge of the local church. As the frame church on the side of West Mountain was in a state of disrepair, property was purchased at the corner of NW 3rd Ave and 1st St. and a new brick church was erected. Rt. Rev. Monsignor James Burns, later pastor of St. Elizabeth Church, Dallas, served the church from 1920 to 1953 when he was succeeded by Father Carnes. In 1957, the Rev. Patrick Gallagher followed Father Carnes. Under his guidance, the present church was built with the help of the Catholic Extension Society and donations from members of the parish, regular visitors and friends living in Mineral Wells. The church was dedicated in 1958 by the late Bishop Joseph Patrick Lynch under the title of Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1948, Rev. B. Johnson succeeded Father Gallagher as pastor of the church in Mineral Wells, and remained in this capacity until late 1952, when Bishop Gorman placed the Weatherford - Mineral Wells churches under the care of the Society of the Catholic Apostate, commonly known as the Pallotine Fathers.

The first priests of this Society to establish residence in St. Stephen's, Weatherford, with the care of the church in Mineral Wells as a mission, were Rev. James Maher, S.C.A. as pastor and the Rev. Alphonsus Hayes, S.C.A. as assistant. Father Hayes was transferred in June 1955, being replaced by the Rev. John Nagle, S.C.A. as assistant. The next three years were to be looked upon as milestones in the history of the church Mineral Wells. The growth of indeed the entire area of Weatherford, Mineral Wells, Stephenville, and Dublin was astounding. In 1956, Father Maher was called to England to assume the duties of Provincial of the Irish Province of Pallotine Fathers. The Rev. James Mullins, S.C.A., succeeded him as pastor of St. Stephen's, Weatherford. During Father Maher's tenure as pastor, a frame building on the corner of NW. 4th Ave., Mineral Wells was purchased as a rectory for a resident priest when the time came. In November, 1958 the Rev. John Nagle spent two years as administrator of the church. In February 1960, Father Nagle was appointed the first pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, and the local area was raised to the status of a parish for the first time. Many improvements have taken place relative to the interior furnishing of the church. Property along highway 281 going north, consisting of over ten acres was purchased with the idea of a parish school in the mind for the future. In 1960, the old Goldsmith home was purchased on N. W. 4th Avenue as an annex to provide additional and much needed space for Christian Doctrine classes and meeting rooms. In November 1962, a spacious parish hall and recreation building was constructed behind the church and is known as the Memorial Hall. At the present time, property has been acquired north of the rectory on N. W. 4th Avenue for a parking lot and playground area. From one initial society, the present organizational structure of the parish has grown to ten covering all the phases of activity both spiritual and material essential to help a budding parish grow.

In 1998, construction began on the Worship/Activities Center. Worship/Activities CenterNow completed it is used for Sunday worship with two masses, one at 9:00 a.m. in English and another at noon in Spanish. In addition, many meetings are held in the center.

In 1999, Fr. William Hopkins took over duties as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. The house on the northeast corner of NW 3rd Ave. and 1st Street was purchased as his residence and the former residence has been converted into offices and religious education classrooms.

In 2004, Father Gonzalo Morales came to Mineral Wells to take over duties and resigned as pastor in March 2006.  Father Jerome came to Mineral Wells to serve as our pastor temporarily until a new priest would be appointed.

In June 2006, Father Jeff Poirot came to Our Lady of Lourdes church and currently serves as our pastor.