In 2023, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bryan, Texas celebrates its 150th anniversary. To commemorate this special event, the church has commissioned a book, to be entitled Reflections of a Parish Family, to tell the human stories central to the church body's remarkable history and heritage of 'Many Cultures, One Faith."
Catholics in Texas
"The Catholic Church has been a part of Texas history ever since Europeans first set foot on the land in 1528. In fact for the three centuries up to 1821-that is, during the Spanish Texas period-Hispanic Catholicism had a rarely challenged religious and civil monopoly among the European-origin settlers in what is now Texas."
Father Robert E. Wright, OMI, Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, Texas
"I Knew What That Meant"
In June of 1966, Lydia Luza and Charles Hebron were married at St. Joseph Church. “We had a beautiful Czech wedding,” Lydia says. “It was a lot of fun. Father Valenta officiated. He had taken us through our pre-marital counseling. He was so gentle and caring.
“He told us we should keep God at the center of our lives and always put each other first.”
Early Polish History of St. Joseph Catholic Church
"The history of the Polish immigrants coming to Texas dates to 1818. During the 19th century, the Polish people from Europe were an ethnic people with no country. On August 5, 1772, the three dominant empires of Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary signed a treaty that partitioned Poland. Larger delegations of Poles began arriving in 1854 and continued until the early 20th century because of the suppressed Polish national identity,"
Dr Jim Mazurkiewicz, Leadership Program Director for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and President of the Polish-American Council of Texas
Monsignor John Gleissner: In His Own Words
Born in Bavaria, Germany on October 31, 1866, John Baptist Gleissner came to America in 1888. He attended Niagara Seminary and was adopted by Right Rev. N. A. Gallagher for the Galveston Diocese and ordained by him. Rev. Gleissner served as pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church from April 25, 1904 until his death on February 28, 1953. He is remembered not only for his deeds as pastor of St. Joseph, but also for the parish missions which he established, including that for his beloved Aggies at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Before he died, Monsignor Geissner wrote down the story of his nearly half century of service to God and His people at St. Joseph Church.