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ST. PATRICK CATHEDRAL, FORT WORTH

ST. PATRICK CATHEDRAL, FORT WORTH. The St. Patrick Cathedral complex, in the heart of the Fort Worth business district, consists of three buildings: the church, the rectory, and the St. Ignatius Academy building. St. Patrick Cathedral has the distinction of being among the oldest buildings in Fort Worth and is the city's oldest continuously used church building. The parish began in 1876, when Bishop Claude M. Dubuis of Galveston assigned Father Thomas Loughrey to Fort Worth as its first resident priest. Within three months a small frame parish church had been erected and dedicated to the Polish Jesuit Saint Stanislaus Kostka. In 1884 Father Jean Marie Guyot replaced Father Loughrey as pastor, and by 1888 the cornerstone for a new church had been blessed and laid in place. The new church, to be located just a few feet north of St. Stanislaus, was renamed St. Patrick by vote of the congregation. The Gothic Revival structure, designed by architect J. J. Kane and constructed of native limestone, was dedicated July 10, 1892, by the first bishop of Dallas, Thomas F. Brennan. Father Guyot died in 1907; his body is interred in the basement crypt of the church. The old St. Stanislaus church was converted into a parish hall and day school. In about 1908 it was removed to make room for what is now the rectory.

In 1885, at the invitation of Father Guyot, the Belgian Sisters of St. Mary of Namur arrived in Fort Worth to teach the parish children and to open their own boarding school for young ladies, St. Ignatius Academy. During its first few years the Academy was organized in two small houses purchased by the order and located on property adjacent to the church. The school grew rapidly, and in 1889 the sisters completed a three-story French Empire school building immediately south of the old church. By 1910 there was no more room for St. Ignatius to expand. The order purchased land several miles south of the downtown area and built another school, Our Lady of Victory, to be used as a high school for the older students. They continued to operate the Academy as a Catholic school until 1956, when it was sold to the parish. The building was being used as the religious education facility and parish hall in the early 1990s. The church attained the rank of co-cathedral on December 8, 1953, when the name of the Diocese of Dallas (see DALLAS, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF) was changed to the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth. When the Diocese of Fort Worth was founded August 22, 1969 (see FORT WORTH, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF), St. Patrick's became the seat of the new diocese. The church and academy were recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1962, and in 1985 the cathedral complex was enrolled in the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission in 1990 approved a Texas historical marker for the site of St. Stanislaus Church.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Fort Worth Record, August 4, 1907. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 17, 1953. William R. Hoover, St. Patrick's: The First 100 Years (Fort Worth: St. Patrick Cathedral, 1988).

Kathryn Fialho

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Kathryn Fialho, "ST. PATRICK CATHEDRAL, FORT WORTH," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ics15), accessed December 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.