The Journey of the Diocese of Amarillo: 75 Years on the Llano Estacado, 1926-2001

Article excerpt

The Journey of the Diocese of Amartllo: 75 Years on the Llano Estacado, 19262001. (Amarillo: Diocese of Amarillo. 2001. Pp. xvi, 183.)

This diocesan anniversary publication, coordinated by Sister Hildegard Varga, O.S.B., vice-chancellor and archivist, concentrates on the diocesan and parish/mission histories. The original Amarillo diocese of northwest Texas, established in 1926, was three times as large as at present. In 1961 the southmost portion became the diocese of San Angelo, and in 1983 the former middle portion (South Plains) became the diocese of Lubbock. This reduced the Amarillo diocese to the Texas Panhandle, in between northeast New Mexico and Oklahoma.

The diocesan history (pp. 1-66) was skillfully written by J. Michael Harter, who traces the Catholic story from the earliest Spanish explorations in 1541 within the original territory of the diocese down through its successive reductions in size to the present day. Throughout, however, the principal focus is upon locations within the current diocese, with only the more significant developments given for those areas it once included. The parish and mission section (pp. 81-183) is limited to accounts of the fifty parishes and missions still existing within the present diocese. However, there is also a briefly annotated chronological list of all the "parishes, missions, and stations"of the diocese in its three different geographical stages (pp. 67-78). All of these sections attest to the enduring reality of Catholic minority communities scattered in mostly small towns across West Texas, with the recurring challenge of providing them buildings and full-time ministers. …