Our Feature Articles:
It was a clever idea that transformed a group of teens preparing for Confirmation. And it wouldn’t have happened without help from an understanding parish priest. Rosary Guidry, a religious education teacher at St. Michael Church in Bedford, wanted someone to celebrate the Mass “step-by- step” for her teenage students.
In 1890 the Catholic population of the area of the Brazos and Trinity rivers had grown large enough that Pope Leo XIII established the Diocese of Dallas. As early as 1870 Claude Marie Dubuis, the second bishop of Galveston (the diocese that encompassed all of Texas at the time), had begun sending Father Vincent Perrier twice a year to visit Fort Worth. At that time several Catholic families were meeting in the Carrico home. Fort Worth’s first parish church was a frame structure built at 1212 Throckmorton Street and called St. Stanislaus Church. It stood until 1907. The cornerstone of St. Patrick Church, which eventually became St. Patrick Cathedral, was laid in 1888; the church was built just north of St. Stanislaus and dedicated in 1892. When Dallas was made a diocese the region that eventually became the Diocese of Fort Worth had seven parishes: in Fort Worth, Cleburne, Gainesville, Henrietta, Hillsboro, Muenster, and Weatherford.
Bishop Kevin William Vann was born May 10, 1951 in Springfield, Illinois, the oldest of six children born to William M. Vann, Jr., and Theresa Jones Vann. A graduate of Springfield’s St. Agnes Catholic School and of Griffin Catholic High School, he attended Springfield College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Millikan University in Decatur, Illinois.
In preparing for his ordination and installation as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Fort Worth Convention Center, Bishop Michael F. Olson wanted the people of the local Church to understand this simple fact about his life: He loves being a priest. “I love the Lord very much and I’m grateful for my vocation,” the 47-year-old Bishop said during an interview with the North Texas Catholic. “I pray for the people in the diocese, and I need their prayers for me. I have a great desire to serve and help them know the Lord more.”
John Joseph Cassata, the first bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, was born in Galveston, on Nov. 8, 1908, the son of Vincent and Anna (Pizzitola) Cassata, both natives of Sicily, Italy. When he died in Houston on Sept. 8, 1989, from complications of heart surgery at the age of 80, he was eulogized as a “wonderful” priest and bishop, as a loyal, generous friend, and as a devoted brother to his six siblings.