St. Dominic Catholic Church originated in 1966. The Archdiocese of San Antonio purchased a ten acre tract of land located at what is now known as 5919 Ingram Road. This land became an extension of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Mass was celebrated outdoors in the open fields of the new property located on Ingram Road.
In the fall of 1969, arrangements were made to use the basement of St. Andrew Episcopal Church which was located within two miles from the proposed church location. There were over 325 people attending the first Mass at St. Andrew. Total parishioners at that time were estimated at 500.
The leadership of St. Andrew's was gracious enough to share their church building with the community of St. Dominic until plans were finalized for the land and the building of a new church began. Mass continued at St. Andrew but when the weather was permitting, our parishioners continued to celebrate the liturgy in the fields of the Ingram property. In 1970, a barracks was purchased from Lackland Air Force Base. On July 19, 1970, the first Mass was celebrated in this closed building.
It was in 1971, that St. Dominic was officially established as a parish with Rev. Arnold Anders serving as the first pastor. A house across the street was purchased to be used as the parish rectory. A temporary multi-purpose building was erected to use as an interim church. This temporary building was to serve as a community center when a permanent structure for a church would be erected.
Pastors came and went, all with the same goal to build a new church that would accommodate the growing congregation. Unfortunately, the church went through various financial setbacks that impacted the construction of a new church. In 2006, Rev. Paul Cleary had completed his tenure at St. Dominic. He left behind a Building Board that had been established in 2002 and $1.6M in savings. Rev. Cleary passed the project to Rev. Eric J. Ritter when he became the new pastor and took on the challenge of building a new church.
The following year, 2007, the proposed financial and constructional plant of the new church was proposed to the Archdiocese of San Antonio and approved in October 2007. The next two years and two months that followed was the period that it took to build the church. Within that period, the Capital Campaign Committee raised funds in excess of $2.4M. A new temple was completed and dedicated on December 19, 2009. Rev. Ritter as our Shepherd, along with his flock, “competed well, finished the race, and kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7.
The old church had a capacity of 400 people. At that time, the registered parishioners numbered about 1,500. This area is an older neighborhood but the surrounding community consists of various age groups. Ethnic groups vary somewhat, but the majority are Hispanic. Most of the parishioners are middle income bracket. We have many retired people with fixed incomes who have helped carry the church financially with their treasures but also with their time and talents. We have many founders who can share the history of this church.
Today, the congregation has grown to over 2,300 people who attend Saturday Vigil and Sunday masses. This is an increase of over 25 percent from attendance at our old church. Our parishioner base has increased to approximately 1,800 registered parishioners. We have added a Spanish mass to accommodate our Spanish speaking community and welcome them to worship with us. This effort has proven to be very successful in reaching out to our parishioners who prefer a Spanish mass because either that is their primary language or it is the culture that they grew up in.
Approximately 80 percent of our community is Hispanic. We also have a Nigerian mass once a month where we welcome the Nigerian community not only to use our chapel to celebrate mass but share our community center (our former church) for them to gather in fellowship.
St. Dominic Catholic Church is located at 5919 Ingram Rd, San Antonio, TX 78228. The church is located inside Loop 410 in an older well established neighborhood. The community is growing and bringing in people from all over the city.