East Bernard in Wharton County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Holy Cross Catholic Parish
Many Catholic Czechoslovakian immigrants settled in the prairies near East Bernard in the 1880s. Visiting priests served their religious needs. In 1900 the settlers began the establishment of a parish by purchasing cemetery property in East Bernard.
The first Holy Cross Church, a small frame structure, was built in 1905 by Valentine Kozelsky on two acres of land donated by Jan and Anna Vacek. A rectory was built in 1921 for the first permanent resident pastor, the Rev. Joseph C. Kunc. The Holy Cross Catholic school was organized in 1922. A new church building was constructed in 1925 by R. H. Reese of Eagle Lake. Houston architect M. J. Sullivan designed the Spanish Colonial revival structure. It featured a 70-foot belfry and imported Czechoslovakian adornments including statues, painted copper wall hangings, and 10 large, unique stained glass windows of Roundel design. A new school and convent were built in 1928 in the same architectural style. The school operated until 1967. The Pioneer Chapel, a model of the original church, was built in 1994. Holy Cross Catholic Church is now the oldest Catholic church in continuous use in
Donated by the John H. and Martha Viktorin Family
Erected 1997 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12292.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
Location. 29° 31.726′ N, 96° 4.161′ W. Marker is in East Bernard, Texas, in Wharton County. Marker is at the intersection of Church Street and Magnolia Street, on the right when traveling east on Church Street. The marker is located at the northwest corner of the Holy Cross Catholic Church by the front entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 839 Church Street, East Bernard TX 77435, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. K.J.T. St. Wenceslaus Society No. 40 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Powell Point School (approx. 4˝ miles away); Krasna Settlement (approx. 4˝ miles away); Guardian Angel Catholic Church (approx. 6.7 miles away); Kendleton (approx. 6.9 miles away); Terry v. Adams (approx. 6.9 miles away); a different marker also named Kendleton (approx. 7 miles away); Wallis State Bank (approx. 7.1 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 13, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 13, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.