Santa Cruz Catholic Church is a parish in the Catholic Diocese of Austin, San Marcos Deanery of Texas. It was founded in 1941 by Father Alfredo F. Mendez to serve the Mexican American people of this area.
Santa Cruz Church was built in 1941 under the direction of Father Alfred Mendez, CSC. The church was dedicated on December 14, 1941 with thirty-five families in attendance. Santa Cruz remained a mission under San Jose in Austin and then later under San Francisco Javier in Creedmoor.
Santa Cruz became a parish under the Diocese of Austin in 1987 with Father Richard S. Teall, CSC, the first pastor. ln l994, as the northern Hays county community began to grow, ten acres were purchased, less than a mile away to start a new campus. Msgr. Joseph Deane was appointed pastor in January 1999 and oversaw the construction of the new 1,000-seat church, which was dedicated on February 11, 2001.
Santa Cruz continued to grow and a new Parish Activity Center and a 2-story Religious Education Building were dedicated on March 6, 2005. In August 2007, Santa Cruz Catholic School was opened with Pre-K, K and 1st grades with plans to add one grade per year, up to the 8th grade.
It was always a dream of the parish to re-construct the old church as a chapel on the new campus. This has now been completed with the construction and blessing of Our Lady of San Juan Chapel. The original stone, some of the original wooden beams, the bell, and the cross from the old church were used in the construction of the new chapel. While much smaller with seating for only 40, the new chapel has an appearance quite similar to our old church. The parishioners of Santa Cruz look forward to the future with great anticipation as we continue to see God's plans at work at Santa Cruz in so many ways.
Priests who have served at Santa Cruz:
Alfredo J. Mendez, CSC; 1941-48
Thomas J. Culhane, CSC; 1941-45
P. F. Muller, CSC: 1945-48
Elmer Vincente Rupp, CSC; 1948-51
J. C. Atwood, CSC: 1948-51
Joseph Houser, CSC; 1948-57
Elmer Vincente Rupp, CSC; 1957-76
John J. "Jack" Haley, CSC; 1976-84
John P. "Jack" Keefe,CSC; 1984-87
Richard S. Teall, CSC; Pastor 1987-99
Joseph Deane: Pastor 1999-2009
Brian McMaster; Assoc. Pastor 2005-06
Efrain Villanueva; Assoc. Pastor 2006-09
Kirby Gamer: Assoc. Pastor 2008-2009, Pastor 2009-Present
Segundo Angulo, Assoc. Pastor 2010-2010
Rito Davilla, Assoc. Pastor 2010-2012
Charlie Garza, Assoc. Pastor 2012-Present