Good Shepherd Church at 214 South Garland Avenue, Garland, TX 75040 US - Our Story
The first Mass was celebrated on May 28, 1944 at a Garland movie theater in downtown Garland by Father John Francis Lavin. The Mass was celebrated for a group of 55 people. This small congregation formed the nucleus of the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Parish of today.
At the end of Wolrd War II, Garland began to grow. The number of Catholic families moving into the area from the north and east also grew. It soon became apparent that a larger site for the growing parish was needed. Father Lavin, with this purpose in mind, created a fund to purchase a lot and house on the present site of Garland Road and Avenue B. After the purchase of the house, it was converted into a rectory and chapel and solemnly blessed as the “The Chapel of the Good Shepherd” in March of 1945. As the congregation grew, the chapel was enlarged, and two Sunday Masses were celebrated.
In 1953, 175 families made plans to construct a permanent building. The present church/auditorium, school and rectory were built. Monsignor Charles Smid was assigned as pastor in February 1954, and said his initial Mass in the unfinished school building. The first Mass celebrated in the finished church occurred on the following Easter Sunday. The buildings were dedicated May 9, 1954 and the school opened in September of 1954. The School was staffed by the Sisters of the Holy Ghost and Mary Immaculate and had an enrollment of a 185 students in grades 1 through 6.
Shortly after the school opened the rectory was destroyed by fire, and was rebuilt and enlarged on the same site, 201 South 13th Street,
Under the pastoral leadership of Father Robert Curran, construction began on the present day gym/social center and school library. It was completed under Father Donald Zimmerman’s leadership. The Sanctuary was remodeled and enhanced during the late 1980’s under the leadership of Father Lawrence Haberman.
Father Robert Crisp enlarged the campus by purchasing several buildings, while the former Father Luis Serna purchased and remodeled the present day Pastoral/Office Complex located behind the church at 1224 Main Street. Father Danillo Ramos served as Good Shepherd’s priest in charge until our present Pastor, Father Robert Williams, arrived January 12, 2004.
The community of Good Shepherd now serves over 8,000 members with over 3,000 registered families, 300 students enrolled in the school (Pre-K to 8th grade) and over 1000 registered in faith formation and RCIA. A multi-cultural parish, Good Shepherd has 7 Sunday liturgical celebrations on the weekends (Spanish and English) and two daily morning Masses.
The community has grown from the original 55 founding members (whose descendents still worship with us today) into a vibrant multicultural faith community serving the Church in the northeast corner of Dallas County. Our parish, through its various ministries, liturgical celebrations and school work towards building a community focused on prayer, worship, service and fellowship.