The year 2010 began with very cold weather, cold for us! Morning temperatures in the teens. We had over 12 inches of very heavy snow over 24 hours in January. This was quite the new experience for many Texans. But the sky is clear and bright and we hope for a very good year ahead. One of the bright points was the appointment of Ken Pettifer as the facilities manager at St. Pius X.
The auction committee proudly announced the Nieswiadomy family as the year's honored family. Long-time parishioners, Ben and Rose incorporate all those qualities that we associate with leaders in the Catholic Community. Their commitment to Catholic Education and the fine job of raising their family are just a couple of the attributes we associate with these special people.
Each year the parish has a carnival to celebrate community and to raise a few dollars to support the parish. This year the parish decided to hold an OktoberFest in ...October! But to transition to that date and make sure the withdrawals for the parishioners were not great, a Community Event was held in April. This event featured rides, food, entertainment and a car show. Everyone had a wonderful time as we looked forward to October.
Seminarian Emmett Hall began a 6 week service to the parish in June of 2010. The seminarians use this time to become acquainted with parish life.
Each year the graduating 8th grade class from St. Pius X School pools money they raise during the year to present a gift to the parish. This year's gift is a beautiful bronze tiger depicting the mascot of St. Pius X. This shows Fr. Guadagnoli and Fr. Morris blessing the tiger during the Feast of St. Pius X celebration weekend August 19th through August 21st. We thank the class of 2009-2010 for this very beautiful gift.
As our history shows, change is a constant that never seems to phase our parish. We roll with the punches. At the end of the 2009-10 school term, Dr. Carol Newman stepped down to spend more time with her wonderful family. Into that breach stepped our new principal, Cindy Elwood. The parish welcomed Cindy and her family and looks forward to the many new and different assets she brings to our parish.
At the end of June Fr. Arturo Kannee was recalled to his home diocese in Venezuela. Fr. Arturo was with us for almost 5 years during which he made a big impression on the parishioners.
The parish welcomed Fr. Lauro Gonzalez to the parish as the new parochial vicar on August 20th of 2010. We were please to have him with us for the celebration of the life of St. Pius X, a celebration that began on August 19th with adoration and concluded Saturday the 20th.
As always the summer is a busy time for the facilities. In addition to the normal painting, cleaning and redoing floors the maintenance department oversaw the replacement of the primary building, parish hall and parish center roofs. A cool project was the remake of the school entrance and the addition of a sign indicating the entrance. The fence project along Materhorn Drive was completed after being started in the summer of 2009. Previously the eighth grade classes of 2007-08 and 2008-09 donated money to put in lights in the back parking lot along the sidewalk leading to Communion Hall. This sign project was also completed this summer. Makes you down right tired doesn't it?
The parish also welcomed Father Rudy Garcia. Father Rudy heads the diocesan vocations office but he is in residence at St. Pius X.
In September we were very pleased to have two seminarians working with the middle school students at St. Pius X Parish in our Youth Ministry. Matthew Giacomuzzi and Joseph deOrbeyozo in their Sophomore years at Holy Trinity Seminary are fulfilling their pastoral placement year activities with our parish.
OktoberFest was a smashing success! Once again the organizations of St. Pius X, this year under the leadership of the Hispanic Community, stepped up and not only provided the patrons with a good time but the members had a good time as well. This being our first year with an OktoberFest we decided to spread it out over two days. This turned out to be a very good decision even though the workload for the organizations doubled. Thanks to Alicia Mendoza and her teams of volunteers for another wonderful event.
The Men's Club did their fall planting once again. Each fall and spring the men of the parish replant the Msgr. Weinzapfel garden in the plaza and they plant some color in the beds around the plaza.
Christmas is such a very special time of the year and once again our church was resplendent. On the left we have Fr. Garcia placing the baby Jesus in the crib. This beautiful Bethlehem scene is a very popular picture taking opportunity. Later the three wise men are added to the display.
Boy Troops 746 and 865, chartered by St. Pius X, congratulated Ian Boriack, Charles Brydon, Jacob Chavira, Dean Congdon, Ash Coursey, John Leos, Matt Leos, Houston Mahdak, and Josh Pereira for their advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout. St. Pius X has a long tradition of young men reaching this highest rank in Scouting for boys.
The year 2010 closed with Lilia Luna leaving the parish office staff and 2011 opened with Roxanne Weaver taking Lilia's position. Roxanne follows the path of Cindy Pierotti who also started as a school secretary before making the move over to the parish office.
The first really big event of 2011 was the school auction. Each year many volunteers work to make this a wonderful experience for all involved. The honored family this year is the Newman family. Jim and Carol Newman are long-time parishioners and Carol (Dr. Newman eventually) was a long-time employee of St. Pius X. Her last position with St. Pius X was as principal. The three daughters of Jim and Carol, Keri, Jennifer and Laura all graduated from St. Pius X. During the auction alumni Mike Neiswadomy donated $5,000 toward scholarships at St. Pius X. Then he invited all the alumni in the audience to come join him in singing the St. Pius X Fight Song. Well okay, no one said the night was perfect!
In March we were please to have Minh Huynh assume the position of Cafeteria manager. Minh has both a business and culinary background.
In April we had our normal Easter Vigil Mass on April 23rd and welcomed 19 new Catholics into the faith. In the picture to the right Pastor Guadagnoli is flanked to his left by parochial vicar Fr. Gonzalez and to his right by seminarian Zach Webb and Fr. Lloyd Morris. We had additional seminarians including Emmett Hall (standing on far right), Matthew Giacomuzzi and Joseph deOrbeyozo and many altar servers.
St. Pius X Church was dedicated on the feast of St. Pius X on September 3, 1968 by Bishop Thomas Gorman. The architectural firm of George E. Dahl of Dallas was selected by the parish building committee the previous year and the lead architect for our church design was John E. Barthel. In addtion to the church building and rectory, Mr. Barthel designed everything in the church including the altars, tabernacle, holy water fonts, baptismal font and cabinet, original candlestick holders, the Resurrected Christ status above the altar, Assumption of Mary statue, as well as the Holy Family statue in the courtyard donated by the Barrett family. Mr. Barthel was present at the 40th anniversary celebration of the building of the church in 2009 and was recognized for his architectural contributions. Msgr. Thomas Weinzapfel and John Barthel remained very close friends throughout the years. We were saddened by the news that Mr. Barthel passed away on April 5, 2011 at the age of 88.
On April 27th the parish purchased a house at 2726 San Vicente. This house will be used for future needs. This is the first time since 1993 that the parish has purchased additional property.
A small contingent of parish staff presented and Fr. Gonzalez accepted, with great humor, a 'new car' after staff meeting on May 18th. Fr. Gonzalez has been with us since August of 2010 but has not yet purchased a car. This has been the topic of much merriment capped off by the official gift of this fine vehicle donated by the Ring family.
And the fun just never ends. The picture to the left is an outing at Laser Quest featuring participation by Fr. Gonzalez and Deacon Zach. This was an auction item that raised money for the school.
June of 2011 began with sad news for many of our parishioners and parishioners of various parishes in the diocese as we learned that Msgr. Charles King passed away on June 1. Msgr. King was with our parish from 1958 to 1966.
On the staffing front we are always disappointed when we lose important members of our staff. In June Josie Pacheco, who has served on staff since July of 2000, stepped down as director of the CCD program. Maria Quiroz assumes the position of director. Maria served Josie as an unpaid assistant for many years. John F. Farrell who began working for the parish as Chief Financial Officer in the fall of 2000 retired at the end of June.
There were a couple of major maintenance projects for the summer. Both were at the gym. The first was the replacement of 40 tons of heating and air on the roof. Also the original gym floor was replaced. This multi-purpose facility is used for not only athletic events such as volleyball, basketball, and indoor football practice but is also used for a variety of events for the parish. Many events such as the annual carnival, auction, various meetings, and wedding receptions are held there which requires a special floor. A sport court of the type that the NBA D League uses was the preferred option. St. Pius X has one of the premier gym facilities in the area and this floor adds to that prestige. The gift from the eighth grade class to the parish this year was new wall pads for the gym.
In August Anita St. Clair came on board to lead Adult Faith Formation. Anita first came to our area after fleeing hurricane Katrina in 2005.
On September 12, Sam Civello began his tenure as Business Manager of the parish. Sam and his family were long-time parishioners and in fact Sam graduated from St. Pius X School. Sam was formally the Financial Manager at St. Michael parish in Garland.
The 2011 5th Grade Girls Volleyball team scored the 1st Official WIN on the St Pius Gym Floor on Saturday September 10th. The St Pius Tigers beat the Bearcats of St Monica in two games winning both matches 25-21; the team is coached by Terri Colley and Marsha Maldonado.
The auction committee in 2012 announced that the family to be honored would be Chuck and Diane Paradowski and their parents. Chuck has followed in the mold of his parents Bo and Bobbi by demonstrating never ending energy in the promotion of the school. By the same token Diane learned the art of service to her church from her parents Bob and Jo. In addition to the many contributions to the church and school, Chuck is well known as the MC of the school auction each year. We thank all for their dedication to the Catholic faith and the great job each has done in raising their families.
2012 is a big year for priest assignments. July came and Fr. Lauro Gonzalez was reassigned to St. Mark parish in Plano. His replacement is the newly ordained Fr. Paolo Capra.
In August of 2012 Johnnie Cardinale, the organist for the parish for many, many years (more years than she will let us say) finally began a well deserved retirement. While neither retiring nor really retired we expect to see her at various events in the coming years. We very much appreciate not only Johnnie's dedicated service to the parish but that of her husband Joe who periodically plays music at our Masses. Donna Boccabella took up playing the organ where Johnnie left off.
The legacy gift from the eighth grade class for 2012 was a bust of St. Pius X that is displayed in the breezeway of the Media Center.
In October Father Rudy Garcia the diocesan vocations director in residence at St. Pius X transferred to the Cathedral downtown. And in November Fr. Abraham Thomas joined the parish. Quite a bit of activity!
On February 28, 2013 a very vital early member of the church passed away. George McIngvale was a leader in the development of St. Pius X Parish as well as Bishop Lynch H.S.. The McIngvale family donated the main stained glass window in the church. The baseball field at Bishop Lynch H.S. is also named for the family. He passed away in Houston. His many accomplishments and contributions are appreciated to this day.
March 26, 2013 was also the day that a very dear parishioner Virginia Hemmi died. Virginia and her husband Bob lead the St. Pius X CCD program for over 20 years. Even after stepping down as director Virginia played a vital role in the program for many years to come. We appreciate the dedication to the parish that both Bob and Virginia displayed.
April 13, 2013 turned out to be a very big night as the auction benefiting the school and honoring the Farrell Family is held. The record for the amount raised by the auction was exceeded and the record for scholarships donated is smashed. $70,000 just for scholarships almost doubled the previous record for scholarships raised at the auction. This is a strong testament to the faith that our parishioners have in our school and a tribute to the many fine contributions of the Farrell Family to the parish over the last 50 years. We thank all that participated in this fine night.
Over the summer our organist Donna Boccabella moved and Julie Trausch joined our parish staff as organist. Julie has reinvigorated the Mass music by adding another choir to the Mass schedule.
Innovation was a hallmark of St. Pius X under the leadership of Msgr. Weinzapfel. Recognizing the trend in spouses joining the workforce, Msgr. Tom saw the need for Catholic day care to support these families. As a result the St. Pius X Day Care was started in 1977 under the direction of Lydia Montgomery. But times change so in 2013, under a directive issued by the Diocese, all day cares including the St. Pius X Early Care program were to be either closed or separated from the parishes to become their own stand alone legal entity much like Catholic Charities, The Catholic Foundation and other fine Catholic organizations. St. Pius X chose to separate rather than close our very successful program so as of September 1st the St. Pius X Early Care became a distinct and separate business operation. They continue to lease space from the parish until other arrangements can be made for their permanent location.
The school continues to be the anchor of the parish. The 2013-2014 school term began with excitement. Once again the school goes above and beyond to offer a full curriculum that includes enrichment classes. Begun in the 2004-05 school term, enrichment classes expand the horizons of the students beyond the core subjects. This year woodworking, team sports, film study, one act play, drama, outdoor adventure, and yearbook are offered. The picture to the right is a woodworking class where among other things they made keepsake shelves.
2014 is the 60th anniversary of the parish and throughout the year Alicia Mendoza has organized a number of events to help mark this milestone for the parish. The first event is our annual auction held this year on February 22nd. Unlike years past, instead of honoring one family, all of the founding families were honored as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the parish. Turnout was great and the proceeds of the night go to the scholarship fund at the school.
In April Robert Fuentes, a long-time parishioner, joined the maintenance staff as Facilities Manager as part of a re-organization of the department. Robert worked in a similar capacity for St. Bernard parish for 20 years and we are very pleased to have him on board.
2014 is a year of many personnel changes. Fr. Capra was reassigned during the summer. At the end of August Sam Civello left as Business Manager. The parish began reorganizing business operations and created the post of COO. John Farrell who retired in 2011 returned in mid September and is leading the reorganization effort for Fr. Guadagnoli as acting COO until the position can be filled permanently.
In mid October the position held by Roxanne Weaver was eliminated and Roxanne moved on to St. Augustine parish. Cindy Pierotti and Martha Cano now handle the front office.
On October 31st Jim Farrell, a 30 year employee of the church, retired. Jim started his career when the Day Care was started up under Lydia Montgomery. In 2000 Jim was promoted to Parish Accountant, the position from which he retired. The parish thanks Jim for his valuable service.
Concurrently we welcomed Stephanie Burgess as the Finance Manager on November 1st. Stephanie has a strong business and accounting background. She is a graduate of St. Pius X, Bishop Lynch H.S. and the University of North Texas.
On November 17th Joyce Barta was named teacher of the year at the school. We congratulate Joyce on her hard work as a teacher and appreciate her efforts on behalf of our students.
2015 started off terrific in many ways but the biggest blessing is that Fr. Guadagnoli announced the hiring of Chris Sanders to be the principal replacing Cindy Elwood. Fr. Guadagnoli worked with his Principal Search Committee consisting of Ginger Farrell, Mike Savage, Debbie Merkle, Christie Morel, Pat Hess and John Farrell in making his selection. We look forward to the Chris Sanders experience.
Another wonderful aspect of the beginning of the year is that rain, sleet and snow all made appearances and have helped raise the lake levels surrounding us. We have been experiencing drought conditions and this is a great start to the year. And the kids had snow in March!
The parish was saddened by the news that Mary Miskulin died on March 12. Mary worked for 37 years in the school cafeteria and ran a tight ship in the dishwashing area. In addition Mary made thousands of rosaries for missionaries all over the world and was a daily communicant. Many have wonderful memories of trying to keep up with Mary. We will miss her.
Deacon Donald Schnurr passed away on March 21st in Lakeway, TX. Deacon Schnurr was ordained in 1978 in a class of five from St. Pius X and was assigned here for many years. He also taught at St. Paul in Richardson and St. Michael in Garland before moving to Lakeway about 10 years ago. Deacon Schnurr was honored by the Dallas Morning News with the Texas flag at half staff at their headquarters to honor his 30 years of service to the newspaper.
Parish life is always a time of beginnings and endings; a time of growth and optimism. We currently have weekly Mass attendance of over 5,000 with new parishioners moving in each week. We are a recognized Christian community since 1954, a time marked by joy, sadness, comings and goings, reaching out to others, and ministering to our own. We are composed of smaller communities like the Men's Club, Ladies Society, Over 55 Club, Guadalupanas, Charismatics, Legionairies, Eucharistic Ministers, ushers, lectors, teachers, staff and dedicated parishioners working together to grow in Christ and proclaim the Gospel in Casa View. We follow our church motto to "Love One Another". We have a place in our church for everyone.
We will continue to be a Christian community, blessed with wonderful leadership. We look forward with faith and hope to the future, confident that God's Holy Spirit will enable us to respond to the needs of His people and our community as we have done in the past. We invite you to be a part of our family.
Among others we thank the following for their help in documenting the history of St. Pius X on our website.
John F. Farrell