Our Lady of Victory Parish was formally established July 1958, but her history dates back to November 1955, when local Catholics joined together in an effort to raise the necessary funds for the acquisition of land for a parish church. The twenty acres of land, at the corner of Laurent Street and Mesquite Lane, was a contribution from the estate of Tom and Martin O’Connor. Through the generous contribution of Mr. Tom O’Connor, Jr., the funds for the church were provided, and the church was dedicated in loving memory of his wife, Junie B. O’Connor, who died earlier that year. The cornerstone was laid and blessed by Archbishop Robert E. Lucey of San Antonio on April 7, 1957, with the inscription reading:
“Church of Our Lady of Victory Dedicated to the Glory of God. Erected in Loving Memory of Mrs. Junie B. O’Connor.”
The church was completed in the summer of 1958 and on July 14, 1958, the church was dedicated by Bishop Stephen A. Leven, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The Solemn Consecration occurred on November 4, 1958, at which time the church and altars were consecrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the relics of St. Severian, 5th century Bishop and Martyr, and St. Urban, 17th Pope, were included in the altar stone. Monsignor Henry Rolf was the first pastor of
Our Lady of Victory Parish (1958 – 1962).
The name of the church derives from a title attributed to Mary, the Mother of God. Pope Pius V established the feast of Our Lady of Victory in commemoration of the victory won over the Ottoman Turks by a much smaller Christian fleet in the battle of Lepanto, on October 7, 1571. That victory was attributed to the help of the Holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through the praying of the rosary. Pope Gregory XIII changed the title to the feast of The Most Holy Rosary, which is the parish’s feast day and celebrated each year on October 7th.
Our Lady of Victory was designated the Cathedral Church when the Diocese of Victoria in Texas was established on May 29, 1982. The Most Reverend Charles V. Grahmann was installed as the diocese’s first bishop. The Cathedral now serves both as a parish church and as the liturgical center of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria in Texas, united around the cathedra, the authoritative teaching chair of the bishop.
Through the generosity of many parish and school families, along with other benefactors over the years since 1958, school classrooms, a convent, gymnasium, administration building, rectory for priests and parish offices, as well as Early Childhood Center, Library, Art Center, Youth Center and Religious Education building have all been added to the parish grounds. The Sisters of the Incarnate Word & Blessed Sacrament have administered the school since its opening in 1957 to the present.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory is excited about the upcoming dedication of the Cathedral Center, which will house a parish hall and meeting rooms for various parish and school functions.