April 29, 2016
Tulia—Parishioners at Church of the Holy Spirit will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its church building with a Mass and dinner on Pentecost Sunday, May 15.
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will celebrate Mass at 10:00am, with a dinner following in the St. William’s Activity Center.
The celebration will also mark the 65th anniversary of the establishment of St. William’s Church, the predecessor of Church of the Holy Spirit.
According to diocesan records, St. William’s Church was dedicated in August 1951 by then-Bishop Laurence J. FitzSimon, located three blocks south of Swisher County Courthouse on property donated by Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Kleman. The original church was built to seat 200 people at a cost of $14,000.
St. William’s Church was the first Catholic Church built in Swisher County and was dedicated to St. William, the patron saint of Archbishop William O’Brien, head of the Catholic Church Extension Society, who helped fund construction of the new church with a $5,000 grant.
In 1972, Father David Greka noticed the condition of the first church building and opted to reform the parish Building Committee. The committee and parishioners set out to build a new church building, a dream that became a reality on June 6, 1976, Pentecost Sunday, when the new Church of the Holy Spirit was dedicated by then-Bishop Lawrence M. DeFalco. The dedication also marked the 25th anniversary of St. William’s Church.
Diocesan records show the name of the church was changed to Church of the Holy Spirit in 1975 in honor of the Holy Year 1975, in which emphasis was placed upon the Holy Spirit. The cost of construction for Church of the Holy Spirit was $150,000, with furnishings costing an additional $20,000. The church has a seating capacity of 300.