visit St. Anthony Catholic Church in Wylie, Texas


When the Diocese of Galveston was established in 1847, it comprised the State of Texas east of the Colorado River. It was from Galveston that Richard Hennessy, a young missionary who was later ordained to the priesthood, came to Saint Paul (about 4 miles from Wylie) to minister to the early families of Irish immigrants: Gallagher, Miller, Neilon, Boylan, Corbitt, Cotter, Dempsey, Harnett, Howrey, Marchant, Marriott, Peace, Scanlan, Spurgin and White as early as 1856. it was in that year that Saint Paul Catholic Church was established.. A small religious group gathered in the home of James Gallagher where Father Joseph Martiniere came in 1868 and celebrated the first Mass. He was the first pastor of Saint Paul Catholic Church but also rode horseback into Dallas to say Mass at the homes of Catholic families. The first Catholic Church was built on land deeded by James Neilon in 1869 to the Bishop of Galveston, as the Dallas Diocese was not yet established. This frame church was destroyed by a cyclone in the year 1871 and rebuilt with lumber coming from Jefferson, Texas. In 1869, Andrew and Lucinda Bums donated land for a Catholic school. James Gallagher and Emily Spurgin Gallagher donated land for Saint Paul Catholic Cemetery.

The first entry in the Baptismal Register of Saint Paul/Saint Anthony Catholic Church is dated in 1876.

At the turn of the century, the Wylie area became the dominant place of residency for many of the Catholics. Saint Anthony Catholic Church was established in 1890 or 1900. The first church was built in 1890, but destroyed by fire in 1900 and rebuilt into the present wooden church. In 1916, Bishop Lynch of Dallas gave permission to remove the Saint Paul Church and school. The vestments, the church bell (dated 1876, presently is in the bell tower of the white church) were given to Saint Anthony Church.

Over the ensuing years, Saint Anthony fluctuated between being a parish and a mission (of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Garland, Texas and Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano, Texas).

Father Pondant remodeled the old white church, purchased additional land and oversaw the construction of the present church.

The current Deacon is Deacon Wally Gove.

Over the years, a number of men and women members of the parish have entered the priesthood or religious life:
Rev. Patrick F, Gallagher, Diocese of Dallas, deceased
Rev. Clement V. Gallagher, Diocese of Denver, deceased
Sister Helen Marie Gallagher, Ursuline Sisters, deceased
Sister Theresa Claire Gallagher (Gertrude), S.S.M.N., deceased
Sister Mary Philip Cotter (Regina)
Sister Brendelia Corbitt (May)
Sister Doloretta Housewright (Loretta)
Brother Paul Corbitt, S.M.


1869     Rev. Joseph Martinere - First Pastor of St. Paul's with Dallas as a Mission
1872     Rev. Joseph Martinere & Rev. Claude Martinere
1875     Rev. John Marie Troncy
1879     Rev. Anthony De Flaches
1882     Rev. Peter Garvey
1883     St. Paul Attended from Dallas
1890     Diocese of Dallas was established
1891     Rev. Jeremiah B. LeHane
1892     Rev. Philip Reagan & Rev. J.J. O'Riordan
1893     Rev. B. M. Pujos, R.M
1894     Rev. Anthony O'Hara - Stations: Commerce, Greenville, McKinney and Sulphur Springs; School: Lay Teacher
1895     Rev. Frank P. McGinn - Stations: Commerce, Greenville, McKinney and Sulphur Springs and Wolfe City; School: Lay Teacher
1897     Rev. P.H. Donaghue - McKinney as a Mission; School: Lay Teacher
1900     Rev. J.J. Mulloy - St. Anthony's in Wylie as a Mission
1905     Rev. P. Murphy
1906     Rev. John N. Diebold - First Pastor of St. Anthony/St. Paul as a Mission
1907     Rev. Christian Wiegand - St. Paul as a Mission
1909     Rev. Lydus George Parroccin - St. Paul as a Mission
1909     Rev. Neale - Buried at St. Paul Cemetery May 19
1910     Rev. Christian Wiegand - St. Paul as a Mission
1913     Rev. Donald F. McNeil, Rev. Moore, Rev. Navin, Rev. Francis J. McNaman, CM - Vincentian Fathers from the University of Dallas
1928     Rev. Thomas Zachary From Sacred Heart Cathedral in Dallas 1929     Rev. Philip Lewis - Rowlett as a Mission
1933     Rev. John Chestnut - Rowlett as a Mission
1935     Rev. James A. Abbey - Rowlett as a Mission
1937     Rev. John J. Donnelly - Rowlett as a Mission
1939     Rev. Ed J. Szapka - Rowlett as a Mission
1944     Good Shepherd was established in Garland; St. Anthony became a Mission
1946     Rev. John F. Lavin - St. Anthony as a Mission of Garland
1949     Rev. John H. Morse - St. Anthony as a Mission of Garland
1954     Rev. Charles W. Smid - St. Anthony as a Mission of Garland
1966     St. Mark was established in Plano; St. Anthony became a Chapel of Ease
1967     Rev. E.J. Ryan - St. Anthony as a Mission of Plano
1968     Rev. Claude Smyth - St. Anthony as a Mission of Plano
1976     St. Anthony once again becomes a Parish Church
1976     Rev. Robert J. Sokolski - Rowlett as a Mission
1977     Rev. Albert Cuschieri - Rowlett and Rockwall as a Mission
1978     Deacon Pete Martinez (died 12/17/01) 1979     Rev. Edward McDonnell - Administrator from Diocese of Chicago
1982     Rev. Walter E. Boyter - Buried at St. Paul Cemetery
1982     Rev. Anthony W. Pondant
1993     Ground breaking of the new St. Anthony Church
1994     Dedication of the new church
1996     Deacon Warner Washington
1997     Rev. Loyd D. Morris
2000     Deacon Wally Gove

Thanks to Joyce Higgins, Archives, Diocese of Dallas for proofing and correcting this list.