THE HISTORY OF ST. ELIZABETH CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY PARISH
From humble beginnings to the present, St. Elizabeth’s University Parish has seen tremendous growth and today is a viable parish catering to the spiritual and social needs of a large spectrum of the Catholic population of Lubbock and the South Plains area.
On May 11, 1935, Bishop Lucey, later Archbishop of San Antonio, met with a group of Lubbock Catholics to consider building a church in the general area of Texas Technological College. St. Elizabeth’s Church, the second Catholic Church in Lubbock, was completed 1935. Built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, on Sunday, March 29, 1936 the ceremony of dedication took place. Bishop Lucey presided at the dedication.
Built within walking distance to Texas Tech, St. Elizabeth’s now serves as the University Parish, ministering not only to the many permanent parishioner families, but, also, the students of Texas Tech through many organizations and ministries.
Saint Elizabeth’s Parish was the founding parish for Christ the King Cathedral and St. John Neumann parishes and the founding parish for Christ the King School and the school formerly located at St John Neumann.
In June 1981 the Parish voted to erect a new Catholic Student Center at the corner of Broadway and Avenue X. The Center, paid in full by the generous donations of the parishioners, was dedicated by Bishop Michael J. Sheehan, Bishop of Lubbock, and later Archbishop of Santa Fe, on October 9, 1983. The Catholic Student Center, through the sole support of St. Elizabeth’s Parish, continues to minister to a growing population of university students now numbering close to 650 Catholic individuals.
Over the years St. Elizabeth’s has expanded to accommodate the growing needs of the parish. An expansion of the parish hall in the early 1980’s allowed the ever growing population of the parish to conduct dual masses, with standing room only, for Sunday masses. After planning and contributing to a new church building fund for more than twenty years, a new sanctuary, featuring beautiful faceted windows, a Reservation Chapel and bell tower and seating for 900, was completed in November of 2002 and dedicated on May 4, 2003 by Bishop Placido Rodriguez.
From humble beginnings, to the present, St. Elizabeth’s University Parish has seen tremendous growth and today is a viable parish catering to the spiritual and social needs of a large spectrum of the Catholic population of Lubbock and the South Plains area.