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Byzantine Catholic



Saint Basil the Great Byzantine Catholic Church

Dallas, Texas

The Byzantine Catholic mission church in Dallas, Texas began in 1982 and initially was served by St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Houston. Masses were celebrated weekly either at the University of Dallas or Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Seminary. A small number of individuals decided there was a future for a church in the Metroplex and they wanted to begin their own church. After a few years of searching, two acres of land with a four-bedroom house were purchased. This was near Irving, Texas and it was central to the Dallas area and very accessible. A mission statement was issued by the faithful in regard to their ideas for a future church. On March 27, 1988 the mission was declared a parish. Father Robert Karl, pastor of the Houston parish, was designated the first pastor-administrator of Saint Basil the Great Byzantine Catholic Church.

The small number of parishioners worked hard to expand their church. They dedicated themselves to prepare the residence which had been in a state of disrepair. An old game room and garage were turned into a chapel with altar, icon screen, and space for approximately 60 people. The new pastor took residence on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1988. Holy Week services and Easter were celebrated and the new Church was fully established. On October 9, 1988 Bishop John Bilock was present for the church dedication, along with the Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tschoepe of Dallas. The crowd was overflowing and a festive dinner was held outdoors.

As time moved on, the congregation expanded and the chapel could no longer hold all the members. The parishioners thought of a new parish but, constructing a new church was out of the question financially for such a small number of people. After several meetings and various proposals, the community decided that the most prudent step would be to add a simple extension to the present chapel. In the spring and summer of 1989 the existing swimming pool was turned into a floor for the new church and a roof was constructed over it. The new church was re-dedicated on November 19, 1989, and once again a reception was held outside with honored guests. In 1993 interior decorations were completed and the parish is continuing its growth. Currently, Father Joseph Wargacki is Pastor and Sunday Mass is held each week at 10 a.m. The interior of the Church offers a blue/gold/beige/brown color scheme. Due to its size limitations, there is a small altar area. The Royal Doors are over-sized and have engraved artwork.




St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church

Houston, Texas

A Ruthenian & Melkite Parish

Sunday Liturgy (MASS)

10:00 AM (Ruthenian)

12:00 Noon (Melkite)

The establishment of St John Chrysostom Church located at 5402 Acorn Street in Houston can be traced to an organizational meeting with Bishop John Bilock on March 12, 1982 at the Knights of Columbus Council #803 in Houston. Bishop Bilock returned one month later to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with the Byzantine Catholics of the area.

Rev. Robert Karl celebrated a Divine Liturgy on June 20, 1982 in the chapel of the University of St. Thomas in Houston. In August Father Karl became the first pastor of St. John Chrysostom parish. For four months Sunday Liturgies were celebrated at the chapel of the Earthman Funeral Home.

On December 19, a piece of property with three buildings on Acorn Street was purchased. One of the buildings had been constructed in 1963 as the Mangum Oaks Baptist Church. It was no longer used as a church when the property was purchased. The first liturgy on this site was celebrated on December 25, 1982. The congregation worked very hard to remodel all three buildings.

The church was formally dedicated on October 21, 1984. The next four years were dedicated to renovating the church, social hall and rectory. On November 13, 1994, the parish held a dinner to celebrate the burning of the mortgage.