In 1946, following the end of World War II, the Redemptorist Congregation was seeking a new location for their mission. At that time Houston had a population of less than a quarter million.
On May 6, 1946, the Very Rev. Francis Fagen, Provincial of the St. Louis Province of the Redemptorists met with the Most Rev. Christopher Byrne, Bishop of Galveston-Houston Diocese. On that day, a new parish was formed. At the request of Bishop Byrne, the parish was named in honor of the Holy Ghost.
The entire 5500 Block of Bellaire Blvd. was purchased for the site of the new church and school complex. The property was bound on the east by Avenue D. (now Chimney Rock); on the south by Orange Street (now Edgemoor); on the west by 8th Street (now Chetwood); and on the north by Bellaire Blvd.
The new parish would serve the community within, the northern boundary on the S.A. & A.P. railroad tracks, the Southern Pacific tracks on the east, Braes Bayou on the south and Hillcroft on the west (the original western boundary was left open until 1962 when St. Francis de Sales Parish was formed).
On June 23, 1946, two masses were offered in the Council Chamber of the City of Bellaire in honor of the Feast Our Lady of Perpetual Help. This marked the official beginning of the parish with a total of 35 registered families.
In July, the property located on the corner of Bissonnet and Chetwood was purchased by the Redemptorists. A frame structure was erected on the property and became the residence for the first priests assigned to the parish of Holy Ghost.
By 1948, plans for the construction of church, convent and temporary school materialized. The Pastor, his assistants along with volunteers of the parish used materials from old army barracks to construct the first temporary church, parish hall and four classrooms.
The first Mass in the new building was held on Thanksgiving Day in 1948. The new facility seated 300. Holy Ghost Sisters came from San Antonio to run the school. In August of that same year, 69 students became the first to attend Holy Ghost School.
In 1954 a new air-conditioned temporary building which seated 500 was erected. By 1960, the parish grew to 1000 families. Seven years later, permission to build a permanent church was granted and on June 29, 1963 the new church with a seating capacity of 800 was dedicated.
A new Community Center building was dedicated on the 25th anniversary of the parish in 1971. Eight permanent buildings, an athletic field, a park and paved parking areas were now in place. The parish had grown to 1550 registered families.
The Holy Ghost Sisters withdrew from administration of the school in 1976, although they continued to teach.
In 1985, the first stained glass windows were designed, created and installed by members of our parish. That same year, the first Spanish Mass was added to serve the needs of our growing immigrant community.
1996 marked the 50th anniversary for Holy Ghost Church with many original members still an active part of the parish family.
In 2006 the parish celebrated its 60th anniversary on the feast of Pentecost. To commemorate the occasion, a stained glass window of the Holy Spirit, made by parishioners, was installed in the sanctuary. It took the place of the Baldachino that fell a year earlier in the church.
In the following 5 years, many repair issues for the parish complex had to be addressed. A Capital Campaign was started so that the repairs could be made. Also, improvements to the church, a new parking lot and a multipurpose hall were constructed through the campaign. Holy Ghost Hall was dedicated on Christmas 2010. The seating capacity of the church is now more than 1,000.
Today, as we celebrate the 69th anniversary of the parish, we continue to be a vibrant community but sad that many of our founding members are no longer with us. However, the Holy Spirit unites the past and the present by building on the faith of those who have gone before us so that the church can continue its mission of building God's Kingdom today in Bellaire and southwest Houston.