Howard County Catholic Churches Set to Merge

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A big announcement for Catholics in Howard County. Officials from the Diocese in San Angelo say in a little over a week, all of the Catholic Churches in Howard County will merge into a single parish. And it's been in the works for years.

There are three Catholic Churches in Big Spring, and one in Coahoma:

Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Thomas, and St. Joseph. Four different churches, soon one parish. And to help lead the new "Holy Trinity" parish is the newly appointed pastor and native West Texan Father Bernard Gully, who said he's been preparing for the changes.

"The motivation for this began some years ago, we have less catholic priests available now then we used to in the past for various reasons,"  Father Gully explained.

But he said they're not planning on shutting down any of the Churches. Instead, the Churches are forced to cut back on some masses.

"Now we two, myself and associate, we'll be concerned with the city, the whole county in fact," said Father Gully.

And that means moving from Church to Church for different masses on Sunday morning.

"So that, to show the people that we belong to everybody and they belong to us. And together we are going to try to work together. We're in the service of everyone and we want to get to know the people as well as possible as soon as possible by being present for all of those services," explained Father Gully.

He also hopes to strengthen Catholic unity within Howard County.

"Be able to unite and have unified all the resources that we have. Human resources as well as material resources for the good of the whole community of Howard County. How we can be a better service."

Father Gully will be hard at work this month getting everything ready for the new parish. He'll be officially installed on March 2, with a special ceremony in the Big Spring High School Auditorium.