Waller County Churches
ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH - Hempstead
St. Mary's Catholic Church dates back to the beginning of the Civil War. Services were held infrequently in private homes by priests from Galveston or Houston. The first church building was built and a cemetery started in 1879. A missionary priest still served the church, but his visits were irregular - especially in winter. Catholic families of this era were the McCarthys, Urbans, Youngs, Pyes, Smiths, and Felkers. In 1890 a tornado demolished the little church. In 1892, stimulated by Father Joseph Klein, the member raised the amount necessary for the erection of a new building. A Sunday School was organized in 1893. Misses Maggie Connelly, Alice Urban, Edith Young, Maggie Nahm, and Leola Urban were the teachers. Father George Apel came in 1913 and continued his service for ten years. Father Max Budnick came in 1924 and served for seven years. During this time the congregation increased considerably with the immigration to this area of many Polish families. Father Budnick held two services each Sunday, one in English and one in Polish.