Our Mission Statement
St. Andrew Parish, a Eucharistic, faith community, dedicated, committed, and responding to God’s call, to proclaim and share Christ’s merciful and abundant love, through service and example.
A mission church (Mission of Loire) dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, was built just east of the Pleasanton City Hall near the Atascosa River. The ranch lands of the old Spanish missions stretched along the banks of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. Many settlements grew up in the course of time, and St. Andrew's Parish in Pleasanton, thirty three miles south of San Antonio, is in this territory. It was not a new parish, but rather the new headquarters of the old Loire-Las Gallinas-North Pleasanton Parish which, until 1946, had its headquarters at Loire.
There was a tremendous flood that overflowed the Atascosa riverbanks and damaged the church building. The small frame church building was moved a short distance away to what was North Pleasanton, repaired, and the name changed to St. Andrew.
Two rooms were added, and some alterations were made. The Claretian Fathers from San Antonio attended this and several neighboring missions, and for some time it was attended on Sundays by Father James F. Cassidy from St. John's Seminary. While St. Andrew was a mission of Loire, the church was renovated and additional property was purchased.
Father Victor G. Schmidtzinsky was appointed pastor, creating the parish here, and a month later the headquarters of the parish was transferred from Loire to North Pleasanton.
The church and its contents were entirely destroyed by fire. Parishioners used a large tent as a temporary church for Sunday worship services, funerals, weddings, baptisms, and confirmation, until that too, was destroyed by a rare winter snow and sleet storm in January of 1947, causing it to collapse. A local theater owner then gave permission to use his building for worship until the new parish center was completed.
An abandoned church at the settlement of Prince was dismantled by parishioners, and the lumber was used to build a rectory for St. Andrew. Prior to this point, there was no rectory; the pastor lived with one of the parishioners for about a year.
The new parish center was completed. This new center was made possible by the American Board of Catholic Missions. The parish center was then used as a church for the next fifteen months while the new church was being constructed.
With the rearranging of parish boundaries, the mission of Campbellton, formerly attended by the Redemptorist Fathers from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in San Antonio, was added to St. Andrew's Parish.
The present church was completed and dedicated by Vicar General Monsignor Patrick Geehan, representative of San Antonio Archbishop Robert E. Lucey. After the completion of the new church, the parish center became the core of church activities, including the annual picnic, club meetings, religion classes, and socials. Occasionally it was leased for community gatherings.
A large framework of iron pipe, topped with a corrugated tin roof, forming a pavilion, was erected over a concrete slab. This was the start of the present parish hall. In December of 1959, the parish center (later referred to as the Educational Building and now as the Catechetical Annex) was divided into five classrooms for religious education. Around the same time, a building referred to as “The White-house” was purchased from Humble Oil Company and moved to the parish grounds. This building is now known as the St. Anthony Building.
A new modern brick rectory was constructed and open house held.
Renovations to the parish hall continued and the last major modifications and expansion were completed. This last expansion included a large modern kitchen with two walk-in coolers, two major serving lines, and a stage for performances. This expansion nearly doubled the size of the previous hall.
Major changes and modifications to the church were completed, including the installation of a new altar illustrating “The Last Supper” (and is now in the current adoration chapel).
Remodeling of the church and restoring it to its original modified mission style was completed. Old wood paneling was removed and restored with white plaster walls and ceiling. New carpet, metal and glass doors, light fixtures and an updated sound system were installed. Seven beautiful stained glass windows were also installed, four depicting the life of Christ, and one each depicting St. Andrew, a Guardian Angel, and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
A statue of St. Andrew, our patron saint, was placed in a niche to the right of the main sanctuary.
The last major addition to our parish buildings was the construction of the Catechetical Center with nine classrooms dedicated by Archbishop Patrick F. Flores, of San Antonio.
The parish community gathered with Archbishop Patrick F. Flores to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the church dedication.
An outside freezer to store meat or turkeys was constructed in the rear of the parish hall next to the barbeque pits. The entrance to the parish hall was remodeled and changed to allow better handicap access. A 12-foot wide covering was constructed on the front and side of the hall to allow shade and protection from inclement weather and connecting to the Catechetical Building. A stained glass window depicting Jesus with the little children was installed on the front entrance facing the street. The façade to both the Catechetical Annex and parish hall was changed to match the front of the church and Catechetical Center.
A major renovation and reconstruction effort costing over a million dollars was undertaken in December of 2003 to expand both sides of the church. This renovation doubled the seating capacity on the inside of the church, expanded the entrance, and created an adoration chapel on the west side of the church. The addition on the west side included seven arches with personalized memorial bricks installed in the covered side entrance. After completion of the construction, a rededication of the expanded church was held in November of 2004 with Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Flanagan officiating.
Renovations have continued to the parish hall and Catechetical Annex.
(Compiled from Archdiocese of San Antonio archives, Atascosa County History Book, and St. Andrew Kitchen Confessions Cookbook and amended since 1978 by Jose A. Aceves)
Pastors Who Have Served at St. Andrew Catholic Church
• Msgr. Victor Schmidtzinsky (April 1946 – August 1953)
• Rev. Armand Florizoone CICM (September 10, 1953 – July 1954)
• Rev. Kevin T. Smith (July 20, 1954 – July 1956)
• Rev. Edward Bily (July 12, 1956 – September 1956)
• Rev. Gerald F. Boehm (October 1, 1956 – September 1958)
• Msgr. Alois J. Goertz (September 17, 1958 – May 1962)
• Rev. Robert J. Walden (June 1962 – June 1964)
• Rev. Henry Rolf (June 24, 1964 – September 1968)
• Rev. Thomas J. O’Brien (September 18, 1968 – October 1985)
• Msgr. John M. Wagner (October 1, 1985 – May 31, 1992)
• Rev. Msgr. Carlos J. Davalos (June 1, 1992 – May 31, 2006)
• Rev. Gilberto Vallejo (June 1, 2006 – June 30, 2018)
• Rev. Prasanna Mese (July 01, 2018 – June 30, 2021)
• Rev. Ian Robbins (July 01, 2021 – Present)
Other Priests who have served as Associate Pastors include:
Revs. William C. Martin; J.V. Hamala; James L. Daley; Edward Bily; Kevin T. Smith; Michael O’Shaughnessy; Pat Flanagan; James M. Brandes; Benjamin F. Bonazza; Leo Dolan; Alphonse Padalecki; Vincent De La Rosa; Eugene Przychodzen; John Orr, Owen O’Donnell, and Jesus A. Rivera.
Ordained deacons have included:
Norman Phillips, Jose Valenzuela, Bennie Garcia, Jr., John Nolan, Kurt Warnken, Adan Garza, and Joey Moczygemba.