Our Patron, St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Ignatius was a convert to the Faith and a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. St. Chrysostom says that St. Peter appointed him Bishop of Antioch, where he ministered for forty years.
The saint longed to shed his blood for Christ, but the opportunity was not granted him during the persecution under Domitian. While the short reign of Nerva lasted, the Church was in peace, but under Trajan, persecution broke out anew. In the year 107 a.d., the Emperor came to Antioch. Ignatius was seized and brought before him.
Having confessed Christ, he was condemned to be taken in chains to Rome, there to be exposed to the wild beasts. During this last journey, he was welcomed by the faithful of Smyrna, Troas, and other places along the route.
He arrived in Rome just as the public spectacles in the amphitheater were drawing to a close. The faithful of the city came out to meet him. He was at once hurried to the amphitheater, where two fierce lions immediately devoured him.
He ended his saintly life by a glorious death, exclaiming, "May I become agreeable bread to the Lord." "We should then really live as Christians and not merely have the name..." His remains were carried to Antioch, where they were interred. In the reign of Theodosius they were transferred to a church within the city; even now they are venerated in Rome.
During his long journey by boat from Antioch to Rome, he addressed seven epistles to various congregations, in which as a disciple of the Apostles, he testifies to the dogmatic character of Apostolic Christianity. He is also known to have first used the term Catholic (universal), as it applies to the Church.
Follow these links to read more about our patron saint:
Ignatius of Antioch, EWTN
Ignatius of Antioch, Catholic.org
Ignatius of Antioch, CNA
Saint Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church was founded in 1937 by Fr. Patrick Duffy, C.S.C.
The Parish, originally part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, was to be named Holy Cross. The archbishop was in Rome when he became seriously ill. The sisters who cared for him told him that if he prayed to St. Ignatius of Antioch, he would recover. He did and promised to name the next parish in his diocese in honor of the saint; St. Ignatius was the next parish established.
The first Masses for the parish were celebrated at the old Wilke-Manor (Wilke-Clay) Funeral Home at 1811 South Congress Avenue. In 1939 Fr. Duffy moved to an old house in the 200 block of West Johanna Street, which he used for church services. He did this until a new church was eventually built, which served approximately 250 families.
In September 1940, the Holy Cross Sisters arrived to open an eigth grade school in the basement of the new church. For their convent, the Sisters used what had been the rectory, while Father Duffy lived in a store room of the church basement! He later acquired a home opposite the church to use as a rectory.
Father Francis Sullivan, C.S.C. became pastor in 1942 when Fr. Duffy left to become a chaplain in the service during World War II. Fr. Duffy returned to St. Ignatius in 1946 and served as pastor until the arrival of Fr. Patrick Dolan, C.S.C. in 1947. Fr. Sullivan returned in 1947 and again served as pastor until 1949.
Fr. Eugene Doré, C.S.C. became pastor in 1949. The parish grew at a tremendous rate during his tenure, and in 1953, five and a half acres of land were purchased for the church from the John LaPrelle Estate, which is the present location of the Church, School, Annex, and Family Center.
In 1955 a new school was built on the newly acquired land to accommodate approximately 400 students. In addition to the school, a new convent was also built at this time, which was constructed by St. Ignatius church parishioners.
The planning for a new church and rectory began in May of 1962. Construction began two years later, and the first Mass was celebrated in the new church in September 1965. The church was dedicated by Bishop Louis J. Reicher, D.D. on February 6, 1966.
Fr. John Payne, C.S.C. became pastor of St. Ignatius in 1968. He was succeeded by Fr. L. Peter Logsdon, C.S.C. in 1974, and Fr. C. Richard Nowery, C.S.C. in 1980.
The Family Center, an adjunct to the St. Ignatius school, was constructed in the mid 1980's and was formally dedicated during the Parish Golden Jubilee on October 11, 1987. In 1989, the center was officially renamed in honor of Fr. Gene Dore, and remains known as The Fr. Gene Dore Family Center. Fr. Larry LeVasseur, C.S.C. became pastor in 1987 and served until the arrival of Fr. Barry Cabell, C.S.C. in 1991.
Among Fr. Barry's many contributions to the St. Ignatius community were his diligence in modernizing the St. Ignatius computer systems; networking the School, Rectory, Church Office, André House, and Annex, and his efforts to set up the parish e-mail system. Fr. Barry was also highly influential in the formation of our first Pastoral Council.
In 1994, the parish purchased a home at the north end of the property. The house was named André House (in honor of Blessed Brother André Bessette, C.S.C.). In 1998, the parish purchased the house across the street from André House. It was named the Father John Payne House in honor of Fr. Payne's dedication and service to the parish community.
In the fall of 1998, Associate Pastor, Fr. Jeffrey Allison, C.S.C., designed and published the parish's first website. In the summer of 1999, Fr. Barry was re-assigned to Newfoundland, Canada, and Fr. Jeffrey Allison, C.S.C. became pastor.
In August of 2001, Fr. Joe Moyer, C.S.C. became pastor, but was only here a very brief time. Shortly thereafter, Fr. Jeff left in 2002 to pursue his PhD in theology at Catholic University of America.
Fr. Joe Tomei, C.S.C. became pastor on January 25, 2002. During the seven plus years Fr. Joe served as pastor, St. Ignatius experienced exponential growth in ministries, including several from the Spanish speaking members of the parish. Fr. Joe launched the Stewardship Committee and the Parish Social Ministry Committee and established the Spanish Mass. He was instrumental in the parish’s involvement in the Capital Idea program that helps low income individuals with the opportunity to receive a solid education and break the cycle of poverty. He also was very supportive in bringing to life the annual Harvest of Justice Conference that focuses on education, prayer and action with social justice issues at the fore front. On the same note, he got our parish committed to work with Austin Interfaith to become involved with the legislative process to implement policy and advocate for the poor and a host of other justice related issues from an ecumenical level. Following this, he brought Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) retreat to the parish.
Under his guidance, the parish purchased a house across from the rectory in 2007 so that the present rectory could be converted to needed office space. This house became the residence of the priests and was named in honor of Fr. Basile Moreau, C.S.C., founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
In 2009, Fr. Joe was re-assigned to Santiago, Chile, and Fr. Bill Wack, C.S.C. became the new pastor.