St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church was established at the direction of Bishop John Morkovsky. In his letter to the founding pastor, Father George Beck, the Bishop stated: "Effective Saturday, June 20, 1964, you are appointed to organize a new parish in the NASA area." The new parish was established to meet the needs of the many Catholic families moving into the Clear Lake area to work at the Johnson Space Center and has always had close ties with NASA.
The first church roster listed 500 families and today has grown to list almost 2500 families and growing. Sunday Mass was originally celebrated at Webster Intermediate School Auditorium and daily Mass was celebrated in the garage of the rectory until the first church was built. Bishop Morkovsky and Father Beck broke ground for the new church on January 15, 1967. The original structure was meant to be a temporary church until a permanent church would be built.
Father Anton Sheltz replaced Father Beck as pastor in 1982 and carried on his nurturing spirit and helped the faith community to grow. Ground was again broken in 1985 to construct an 11,000 square foot addition to the original church structure due to the need for more space for the increasing parish family. The additional space provided a large hall (now known as Beck Hall)where the community could gather, a new chapel (now the left half of the Youth Room), a youth room (now the Society of St. Vincent de Paul offices) and a choir room (now the right half of the Youth Room).
The parish welcomed Father Dominic Pistone, Jr. back to St. Paul the Apostle as pastor in 1994. He had served as an associate for a time when Father Beck was still pastor. Father Dominic was known for his warm friendly manner, which made church members and visitors alike feel at home at St. Paul the Apostle Church.
Father Alberto Maullon, Jr. was assigned as Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in 2002 to replace Father Dominic. Father Albert understood that the vision of a parish tells a lot about the character, hopes, and ongoing conversion of the parish family. In 2007-2008, Father Albert and St. Paul the Apostle’s Parish Pastoral council carried out a broad survey to see if the vision of the growing parish had changed. The feedback we got via hundreds of surveys from all corners of the parish spoke of excitement and hope for the future tempered with concern for trying to hold onto St. Paul’s core gifts and identity in the face of change.
In response to their voices, a new vision was drafted,
“St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church is a growing and diverse community with a small parish feel. United in prayer and worship, we reach out to others, leading and serving as one with Christ.”
Father Albert not only provided the church family with spiritual guidance and encouragement but also provided his leadership skills from the planning to the final construction of the new church. In June of 2007, the parish celebrated another ground breaking with then Archbishop Daniel DiNardo and Father Albert to begin construction on the new church. The vision for a permanent church for the parish of St. Paul the Apostle has come to full circle with the completion of this worship space dedicated to the Glory of God by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo on August 29, 2009. This dream became a reality due to the faith, love and dedication of all of the clergy and the parish family over the past 45 years.
As stated by Father Albert in his August 29, 2009 Dedication Letter to the parishioners,
“From our parish’s earliest days, our focus has been on building a community of believers whose lives are living stones – testaments to God’s infinite love, mercy and grace. With the dedication of this new church, the desires, sacrifices and labors of these living stones have come together to build a permanent house of worship for generations to come.
So much more than simply a gathering space, this church – built on holy ground – is a sign of the Church on earth. Here, art and architecture have united to do the work of the Holy Spirit by helping us prepare our hearts to receive God’s word and enter more fully into communion with Him. Here, the heavens declare the glory of God.
Effective February 25, 2011, Cardinal DiNardo appointed Fr. Wencil Pavlovsky as our new Pastor. Fr. Wencil served in the Archdiocese as Pastor at St. John Fisher in Richmond and St. Augustine in Southeast Houston. He was formally installed as the new Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in a Mass celebrated by Msgr. Leo Wleczyk, our Episcopal Vicar, on Sunday, March 27, 2011. Father Wencil guides our spiritual diverse and multi-cultural family. He has imprinted the St. Paul community with his own unique and nurturing spirit, leading us in giving Glory to God.