Founded in 1883, the congregation erected this
structure in 1927-28 after a fire had destroyed
their previous place of worship. The building
exhibits influences of both Palladian and
Italian Romanesque architectural styles, an
unusual combination for a Roman Catholic church
in Texas. Outstanding features include the
Doric portico and the Lombard Romanesque style
bell tower. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark -
St. Monica Church Celebrates 130 Years
Temple Daily Telegram - August 8, 2013
A special homecoming celebration for anyone who has ever attended St. Monica Catholic
Church will be held Sunday, August 18 at the church. Former students of St. Anthony
Catholic School are also welcome.
The special Mass of Thanksgiving will be at 10 a.m., celebrated by Father Dan Garcia,
Father Dimitrij Colankin and other priests who have served the parish. The worship will
be conducted as a Polka Mass sung by the Taylor Czech Chorus. Prior to the Mass, the
Holy Rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m. by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of
A barbecue dinner will be served following the Mass at Simon George Hall. Musical
entertainment for the afternoon festivities will be provided by the Majeks of Corpus
The Majeks have had a family band for 100 continuous years, ever since Leo Majek and
his wife emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1913 and settled in the Marak Community of
Milam County. The Majeks will perform from noon until 2:45 p.m.
Cameron church will mark 125th anniversary
by Jeanne Williams
Temple Daily Telegram - May 31, 2008
CAMERON - St. Monica’s Catholic Church will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its
founding June 8 starting at 10 a.m. with a Mass of thanksgiving celebrated by the Most
Rev. Gregory M. Aymond, bishop of the Austin Diocese, the Rev. Father Christopher
Coleman, MSC pastor, and attending priests.
Pope Benedict XVI, in observance of the anniversary, bestowed the Apostolic Blessing
upon the priests, deacons, and parishioners of St. Monica’s Catholic Church.
Among the slate of local dignitaries scheduled to attend, state Sen. Steve Ogden, R-
College Station, will be keynote speaker. Ogden has introduced a Senate Resolution
commemorating the special event. Lunch will be served in Simon-George Hall, followed by
a program and reception.
St. Monica’s Parish of about 600 families will lose Father Coleman at the end of June.
He will return to his native Ireland and serve the parish of St. Bridgett in
Castlehaven. Coleman has been in the United States for 32 years.
The new pastor will be the Rev. Juan Carlos Lopez from St. William’s Parish in Round
Rock. A church history, complete with names, dates and special times during the
parish’s 125 years in Cameron, is being published to commemorate the anniversary.
St. Monica’s parish began in 1883 with Mass led by Father Lauth of Austin in the home
of Mr. and Mrs. David Meyer. The priest spoke words of encouragement to the members
assembled, remarking that the number was small, but he hoped and prayed the number
would be much larger in the near future. Following services, the couple prepared a meal
for the worshipers. The Meyers donated five acres for the church to be built and two
acres were set aside for burial purposes. Meyer was not a Catholic, but his wife was
kind and generous to the Catholic community.
Services were conducted in the homes of Joseph Mondrik, Anton Kunz, August Moraw, and
John Hollas as well as in the Milam County Courthouse, Elm Ridge School, Marak School,
and Ad Hall School.
In 1886, Father P.M. Lennarth was appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Temple, and
the mission Church of Cameron was placed under his jurisdiction. Lennarth realized the
need for a church because of the increasing enrollment. The brick church was completed
in 1890, and placed under the tutelage of St. Anthony of Padua, but no records exists
of the church being dedicated. In 1896, St. Anthony’s School was established and
operated in the church building until classrooms were built in 1904.
That same year, a new church was built with the goal to have the building completed in
time to host the Staats Veriband Convention, or The Catholic League State League
Convention. The church was dedicated Dec. 13, 1904. The parish continued to grow during
the early part of the 20th Century, and at one point, some Masses were celebrated in
the Czech language.
The church burned in 1927, and was replaced by the current building. This building
exhibits influences of Palladian and Italian Romanesque architecture, an unusual
combination for a Roman Catholic Church in Texas.
The building was designed with a Doric portico, and Lombard Romanesque styled bell
tower. The repaired stained glass windows from the burned church were used in the new
church, and parishioners or groups bought additional large stained glass windows
depicting Biblical scenes.
The two bells in the tower are inscribed, one with “In memory Jos. & Philomena Jistel”
while the other reads “Laudo Deum Verum, Plebem Voco, Pestem fugo, Festem decoro, Rev.
Geo Apel Pastor.” This Latin inscription translates to: “I praise the true God, I
summon the people, I lament the dead, I chase away the pestilence, I embellish