Local Catholic families first began meeting formally in West Columbia over sixty years ago with about fifteen families. In 1943, families had to journey to other towns to receive the Sacraments. Father Francis J. Dobias then came from Danbury to administer the Sacraments to West Columbia and Sweeny Catholics once a month. In 1954, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Mission was erected in Sweeny. On August 12, 1968, Bishop John L. Morkovsky raised the mission church to a parish church status. In West Columbia, St. John the Apostle was established as a mission community. Twelve days later, Father Anthony T. Orlando was appointed as the first pastor. During this time the parish population totaled approximately 50 families. The ground breaking ceremonies for the new St. John the Apostle Church was held on February 3, 1980. It was finished on Dec. 27, 1980. Presently, Father Daniel Baguio is ministering to approximately 400 combined families from Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. John. We must never forget the generosity of the people who gave of their time, money, land, contributions, and continuous efforts in providing various fund raisers. Without their help and the grace of God, our parishes would not have become a reality.
We proclaim God’s Word and show our beliefs by our actions. Strengthened by the sacraments, we build up the Body of Christ by supporting Catholic education programs for youth and adults, and by serving those with spiritual and temporal needs.
congregation of faith
We are faithful Roman Catholic children of a loving Father. Following the example of our brother, Jesus Christ, we make our way home by sharing our beliefs with those who have not heard, by teaching those who do not know, and by providing for those with pressing temporal and spiritual needs. We pursue our mission faithfully through the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of our time, talents, and treasures.
We, the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, are a multi-cultural Church with active members from every continent of the world. We pray and celebrate in over 14 languages on any given Sunday in our 146 parishes. There are over a million Catholics in our archdiocese. We participate in activities of social justice, support the good works of persons in other countries, prepare our children and young people to be responsible members of the community and we do all this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. But just who are we? Catholics are the largest single denomination among religions in the United States. We have certain basic beliefs and practices which unite us with other Catholics throughout the world. Many of our beliefs can be found in other Christian religions but some are distinctively Catholic. We believe that God is the Creator of all things and that Jesus is the Son of God who was born on this earth. Therefore we believe that Jesus has two natures: divine and human. Jesus preached God’s message and brought God’s love to people. Jesus died and rose from the dead. Catholics believe that Jesus’ presence continues in the world through the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that there is one God who is present in three Divine persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our belief is that the Church has the authority to teach and continue to discern the will of God through the pope and the bishops. Catholics believe that the Scriptures contain sacred revelation from God which forms the basis of our beliefs and our moral code. Besides being people of the Bible we are also a people of tradition. Tradition, for Catholics is more than a long history; we base our teachings also on the faith experiences of the many people who have made up the Catholic Church over the past twenty centuries. We ritualize what we believe through our celebrations of the seven sacraments of the Church: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Penance, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. Through theses sacraments we are connected to the sacredness of life. Catholics also have a special devotion and reverence for Mary, the mother of Jesus. We believe that Mary was chosen for this responsibility and was born free from original sin which is present in all others who have been born. There are special celebrations of Mary’s life and role throughout our Church year. We believe that there is a continuation of life after the death of our bodies. It is our belief that after our mortal body dies, our soul lives on. If our life has been one of good rather than evil, if we have tended to the least of God’s creatures, if we have come to know and love God, then it is our belief that we will spend eternity in the presence of our God.
Saint John was a son of Zebedee and Salome; and the brother of Saint James the Great, and called one of the Sons of Thunder. A disciple of Saint John the Baptist, he became a friend of Saint Peter the Apostle. Called by Jesus during the first year of His ministry, he traveled everywhere with Him, becoming so close as to be known as the beloved disciple. He took part in the Last Supper, and was the only one of the Twelve not to forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion, standing at the foot of the cross. Made guardian of Our Lady by Jesus, he took her into his home. Upon hearing of the Resurrection, he was the first to reach the tomb; when he met the risen Lord at the lake of Tiberias, he was the first to recognize Him. During the era of the new Church, Saint John worked in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. During Jesus's ministry, he tried to block a Samaritan from their group, but Jesus explained the open nature of the new Way, and he worked on that principle to establish churches in Asia Minor and baptized converts in Samaria. Imprisoned with Peter for preaching after Pentecost, he wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and possibly the Book of Revelation. He survived all his fellow apostles.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help represents the Mother of God holding the Divine Child, while the Archangels Michael and Gabriel present before Him the instruments of His Passion. Over the figures in the picture are Greek letters which form the abbreviated words: Mother of God and Jesus Christ, Archangel Michael, and Archangel Gabriel respectively. It was brought to Rome towards the end of the fifteenth century by a pious merchant who ordered by his will that the picture should be exposed in a church for public veneration. The pope, Pius IX, who as a boy had prayed before the picture in San Matteo, became interested in the discovery and ordered that Our Lady of Perpetual Help should be again publicly venerated in Via Merulana, and this time at the new church of Saint Alphonsus. Two thousand three hundred facsimiles of the Holy Picture have been sent from Saint Alphonsus's church in Rome to every part of the world. At the present day not only altars, but churches and dioceses (e.g. in England, Leeds and Middlesborough; in the United States, Savannah) are dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. John the Apostle Catholic Churches
|1974 – 1979||Fr. Frank Clancy|
|1979 – 1986||Fr. Joseph Gietl|
|1986 – 1989||Fr. Steven Payne|
|1989 – 1995||Fr. John Connolly|
|1995 – 1998||Fr. Peter Mastrobuono|
|1998 – 2005||Fr. Lee Flores|
|2005 – 2006||Fr. Wayne Wilkerson|
|2006 – 2010||Fr. Ralph Roberts|
|2010 – 2020||Fr. Daniel Baguio|
|2020 – Present||Fr. Preston Quintela|