In 1962, plans were made for the construction of Central Catholic High School. The High School opened in the Fall of 1963. Unfortunately, the Catholic citizens of Abilene were unable to support an increasingly expensive educational enterprise. Central Catholic School (high school and elementary) closed in 1971. Shortly afterwards, the school facilities were utilized as Sacred Heart Catholic Center – a mission of the mother parish, Sacred Heart Church located in downtown Abilene. Father James Bridges, then pastor of Sacred Heart, guided the development of the mission with Father Thomas Diab named as the first priest in residence in 1972.
Shortly afterwords, the mission was renamed Holy Family Catholic Center, and in 1976, was established as an independent parish with Father Robert Kelly named as its first pastor. Bishop Stephen Leven blessed the new parish on Sunday, January 9, 1977, claiming a parish roster of 114 families.
On September 1, 1982, Reverend Timothy J. Murphy became pastor of Holy Family Parish. In as much as the parish was growing steadily, an immediate need became apparent, some provision had to be made for adequate worship facilities – a church. One year later approval was received by the Most Reverend Bishop Fiorenza to sell the Sherman Drive property to St. John’s Episcopal School. New property on Buffalo Gap Road was purchased and in late August of 1983, the rectory and church offices moved to that location. Worship services were held at the old St. John’s School on Bowie Drive. Ground breaking for the new church was held in September of 1984.
On November 3, 1985, the Most Reverend Michael D. Pfeifer, Bishop of San Angelo, dedicated Holy Family Catholic Church at 5410 Buffalo Gap Road. The Church Office and Parish Center Building was added in 1994 to meet the needs of the ever-growing congregation.
Rev. Monsignor Frederick G. Nawarskas was named pastor on July 1, 1996. Msgr. Nawarskas appointed a Plant Development Committee in October 1999 to begin the work of expanding the church facilities to provide a safe environment for youth and fellowship. On January 21, 2004 ground was broken for the “Growing Together in Faith” building project. Local architect and parishioner, Ruppert Rangel, masterfully designed additions to both classroom wings of the church building, added an expanded kitchen facility to the parish center, and a new courtyard to join the parish center to the new youth center and gymnasium. On January 27, 2005 the Most Reverend Michael D. Pfeifer, Bishop of San Angelo, led the Dedication and Blessing upon the completion of the $2.2 million project.
Reverend Ruben Covos was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of San Angelo on June 3, 2006. He was assigned Parochial Vicar to Holy Family Parish by Bishop Michael Pfeifer and served from June 2006 to June 2008.
Today Holy Family Parish continues to grow in the Spirit of the Lord with over 1100 registered families.