History of the Church & School
Did you Know.....?
In 1953, the Diocese of Dallas purchased a tract of land (9.79 acres) to use as a site for St. Philip the Apostle Church. On February 26, 1954, Father Patrick Gallagher became its first pastor. Before the present Church and School were built, the parishioners (approximately 235 families) attended Mass at the Urban Park School auditorium, the old Urban Theatre, and a hardware store located on Lovett Street. The parish purchased a residence at 8152 Nelson Drive to serve as a rectory.
In 1955, the Church gave this house to the Sisters of the Holy Spirit to serve as their convent and the house at 8178 Nelson became the rectory.
Construction of St. Philip the Apostle School began in 1954 and was completed on September 5, 1955. His Excellency Bishop Thomas K. Gorman dedicated the building on September 18, 1955. The Parish Hall opened on October 1, 1967. In 1969, an annex building joined the parish plant to accommodate the expanding school. It housed a Library and a classroom.
In the summer of 1974, the Church undertook major improvements to the property. The sanctuary was re-designed, carpeting added, and new sanctuary furnishings bought. The new Altar of Resurrection and Baptismal Font were dedicated in loving memory of Father Lucien Burque, who died in March 1976. New lighting, carpeting, and air-conditioning were added to the school. The rectory at 8178 Nelson Drive was closed and construction of a new rectory began in November 1977. Work was completed in June 1979, and the new rectory was blessed by the Most Reverend Bishop Thomas Tschoepe on September 16, 1979.
In September of 1987, a large new wing connected to the east end of the school was completed which included a Cafeteria, Gym, Library, Computer Lab, Science Lab, and additional classrooms.
The old parish hall building was turned into a Day Care Center in January 1988,
the St. Philip Christian Learning Center.
A new parking lot, school principal’s office and Sunday Nursery were other improvements added in 1987 and 1988.
The five Sisters of the Holy Spirit were relocated into the old rectory at 8178 Nelson Drive in September 1988, which was reacquired from a parish family. The previous convent at 8152 Nelson Drive was turned into a family residence for the parish maintenance supervisor.
In 1992, the School Council recognized the long time need for additional playground equipment for the parish/school and undertook this project. This was a joint effort on the part of all the parishioners of St. Philip’s. They raised $9,500 to match a grant from the Catholic Foundation.
In May of 1993, the new playground was dedicated in honor of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit who have served St. Philip the Apostle School since it was opened in 1955.
In 2012, the Sanctuary once again underwent a major renovation and re-design. Tile replaced the old carpet; the altar was remodeled with new ambo, chairs, pews, and baptismal font.
On October 17, 2014, Bishop Keven J Farrell announced the combining of the two Catholic Schools into a new academy-model school serving lower and middle school students in Pleasant Grove. The new St. Philip & St. Augustine Catholic Academy opened for the 2105-16 school year in newly renovated and expanded facilities on the present day St. Philip campus at 8151 Military Parkway.