Once again in 1980, another parish grew out of St. Pius X. St. Michael the Archangel Parish was established in Garland. And our parish property expanded by one house lot with the purchase of 2730 San Vicente on May 1, 1980. Father Bradley left in 1980 to be replaced by Father Robert Cox.
Margaret Duncan replaced Sam Shelby as the manager of maintenance. Sam was the first maintenance manager for the parish. Mr. Loc and Win Buhe worked for Margaret.
The year 1981 began with another house purchase, this one at 3003 San Medina in January. Many events marked the next few years of our parish community. Father Sean C. Martin replaced Father Leonard.
Brick and mortar expansion continued in 1981. Work began on a new Parish Center which includes a regulation size gymnasium with seating for over 700, facilities for scouts, classrooms, kitchen facilities, and a variety of meeting rooms. In August the second house acquisition of the year was completed with the purchase of 2815 San Medina.
On August 29, 1982 the Parish Center was dedicated by Bishop Tschoepe. The building has a gym, two locker rooms, a two story foyer, rooms 400, 401, 402, 403, and 404 as well as a kitchen. Meeting room space had been at a premium and these rooms are a welcome relief.
St. Pius X is the proud owner of an outstanding Nativity Scene that is displayed each Christmas season. How St. Pius acquired this collection epitomizes the thoughtfulness of our parishioners. There was a large eight-story building in downtown Dallas known as Sanger Brothers Department Store which was located in the present El Centro College location. The store was owned by Isaac Sanger who was joined in his store venture by his brothers in the early 1900s. Each Christmas the store’s two corner wrap-around windows featured an animated Santa and his elves scene on Main and Lamar, and the other window on Elm and Lamar displayed a life-size Nativity Scene.
Goffredo Moroder was the artist commissioned by Mr. Sanger in the early 1930's to render this Nativity scene in fourteen life-sized figures. He lived in Orlisei-Val Gardena, a tiny Tyrolean village near the Italian Swiss Alps. Each figure is carved from a solid block of pinewood and stained with fine oil colors. A single male figure starts at a weight between 200 and 300 pounds and takes two-three months to carve.
When Sanger Brothers merged with A. Harris in 1961, the Nativity scene was relegated to the sub-basement of Sanger Harris before eventually being moved to a more climate controlled location where it stayed for several years. During that period of time, Frank Kickirillo who worked in Sangers’ Display Department, and his son, Jack, watched over the figures, and oiled them several times each year to help preserve them while in storage. St. Pius X Parish acquired the set in March of 1987. It was donated in memory of our parishioners, Frank and Flo Kickirillo, at the request of Beverly Olson who was in charge of the Display Department at Sangers. Pastor Msgr. Thomas Weinzapfel accepted the gift in the name of the parish. The Kickirillo’s are cousins to our Roffino Family. One of the first deacons in the diocese was our own Tony Roffino. Jack Kickirillo, a 1969 graduate of St. Pius X School, brought the figures to St. Pius in 1989. For many years parishioner Cindy Dewan used her talents with wood and painting to restore the figures to their original beauty. The Nativity has been used in our church continuously since the restoration. Maintaining the pieces is an on-going project and the talents of parishioner volunteers to help in this area is appreciated.
The only constant is change. Father Cox left in 1982 and was replaced by Father Robert Crisp who returned to St. Pius X for a second time. Once is never enough is it?
Margaret Duncan left as Maintenance manager in 1982 and was replaced by Juanita Rodriguez. The maintenance staff shared an office with the CCD director Virginia Hemmi. The office was a classroom in the junior high hall.
In 1983, Father Sean Martin was reassigned and replaced by Father Arthur Mallinson. And the parish purchased another property, this time 2731 San Vicente on June 1 of this year.
We were very fortunate to welcome Monsignor Joseph Erbrick. Having served as pastor and in many special ministries for the Diocese of Dallas Msgr. Erbrick was a wonderful addition in 1984 to the parish. Msgr. Erbrick and served the St. Pius community until his death in 1996.
While we welcomed another wonderful addition to the parish in 1984 with Father Jacob Angadiath we also bid farewell to Father Crisp. A native of India, Fr. Jacob took special delight in altar server training before becoming pastor of the St. Thomas community of Syro-Malabar Catholics. St. Pius was thrilled to learn of Fr. Jacob's elevation to Bishop in July 2001.
This year the church purchased two properties, 2708 and 2728 Gus Thomasson. 2728 is popularily called the Brown House as Mr. Frank Martin Brown and his wife Honey were the owner. Mr. Brown's sister and her husband C.P. Bates lived in 2708. Although the church purchased the houses in 1984, Mr. Brown and his sister continued to live in his house until 1987 at which time the church took actual possession.
Both the priests and the entire parish have been blessed with the arrival of Fr. John Gambro, O.P. to our campus. Fr. Gambro began spending his summers at St. Pius X to enable the resident priests to take much needed vacations. Long time friends and former students could also enjoy the preaching of the former Bishop Lynch High School Dean of Students.
Father Jose Saldana was assigned to St. Pius X to replace Father Mallinson but only for a very short 5 months in 1985.
The Parish Prayer Groups continued to flourish with leadership provided by Victor Schell and Dean and Jan Perkins. Under the direction of Andrien Farquharson, the Office of Evangelization is located in the Spiritual Life Center. Through this ministry, a Healing Mass has been held on the first Tuesday of each month for over a decade.
Among the new and active groups in the parish are the Over 55 Club and the Ladies Mature Singles. Also active are the St. Pius Singles for the 21-35 year old group. For young people, the Youth Ministry, flourished under the direction of long-time directors Bill and Jeanne Jakubowski. The parish also sponsored the Engaged Couple Sponsor Program for those preparing for marriage, the Couple to Couple League, and the Pro Life League.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Program in St. Plus X was begun by Deacon Steve Landregan and continued by Deacon David Leersson. Mary Hoefer served for many years as Director of this ministry.
Since the beginning of the parish, we have had the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Program (CCD) for students attending public schools in grades 1 through 12. It was directed by Virginia and Bob Hemmi for more than 20 years. Virginia volunteered with the program long after turning over the leadership.
The Sisters of the Holy Ghost administered the school on behalf of the parish since the beginning. But by 1985 the time had arrived for the good sisters to turn over administration of St. Pius X School to the parish. The Sisters are primarily missionaries for education and the parish school had matured to the point of being self sustaining. We thank the sisters for their many years of service to our community. Linda Clervi was named the first lay principal.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was established in the parish in 1985 to care for those in need within our parish boundaries. Deacon George Zacek served as the original Spiritual Advisor. Darwin Hutchison was the conference's first president.
In 1986 the parish purchased two properties. 2711 San Vicente was purchased on January 1st and 2727 San Vicente was purchased on May 1st. Both these and other properties on San Vicente were destined to become utilized for the Day Care Program.
In 1987 our very good neighbor Martin Brown died. He was more commonly referred to as Farmer Brown. Many a class of St. Pius X students visited his garden, observed his honey bees and learned a thing or two about home gardens. His famous garden became the parking lot just west of the church. His home became another facility for the activities of our growing community. This house is named not after the color of the brick but by the previous occupant. And that name is the Brown House. This picture is of Farmer Brown delivering honey to Monsignor Weinzafel at the rectory. Farmer Brown's sister occupied the house situated at the corner of Shiloh and Gus Thomasson until her death. Interestingly both Farmer Brown and his sister Mrs. Bates were members of the Casa View Baptist Church but they tolerated us!
We were also saddened by the passing this year of Deacon Anthony Roffino whose ministry was preaching and adult education. Mr. Roffino was a mainstay of both St. Pius X Parish and Bishop Lynch H.S. Tony, as he was known to the parishioners, was one of the first deacons from St. Pius X Parish. But we were pleased that three more parishioners, Deacon Juan lbarra, Deacon David Leerssen and Deacon Michael Shaw were ordained in 1987.
In 1987 Mr. Ron Accomando became the second lay principal of the school. Ron had great vision and was instrumental in the construction of the Media Center.
On May 28, 1988, Father Michael Dugan, whose family are longtime parishioners, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Tschoepe here at St. Pius X. Father Page Polk, who moved into the parish in 1970, was ordained for the Franciscan Order on June 28, 1986. Also in 1988, long time parishioner Mr. Robert Barber made four beautiful maple team benches for the gym.
After 35 years in Maryknoll Missions, Fr. Denis O'Brien came to St. Pius in 1988 as a priest in residence in order to recuperate from surgery. That short recuperative period turned into 14 years. Fr. O'Brien stayed with us until his death on August 29 of 2002. We have a memorial to Fr. O'Brien, pictures, his writings and his obituary.
On May 20th of 1989, yet another parishioner, Randy Martin, was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Tyler.