Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery | Bryan and Smetana, Texas Catholic Cemetery located in Bryan and Smetana, Texas

Bryan Mt. Calvary Cemetery History

Bryan Mt.Calvary Cemetery HistoryIn 1873 St. Joseph Parish was the first Roman Catholic Church that opened its doors in Bryan, Texas. In 1896 St. Anthony Catholic Church was established. Both congregations drew from the city as well as rural communities in the area. The Rev. Joseph Pelnar began his tenure at St. Joseph in July 1890, and directed early efforts to establish a Catholic Cemetery. It was not until 1896 when the Bryan city council declared that only residents from the city proper could be buried in the city Cemetery that prompted an immediate need for a Catholic Cemetery. A number of parishioners from both Churches lived in the rural communities thereby excluding them from burial in the city Cemetery. In December 1897, Bishop Nicholas A. Gallagher bought a ten-acre tract of land at the current location. In March 1898, the land was blessed and initially named Calvary Cemetery and each Church maintained a portion of the Cemetery.

In the late 1940’s a group of St. Anthony parishioners contributed labor and materials to build a chapel on the Cemetery grounds as a place to offer Mass on All Saints‘ and All Souls’ days.

In the 1960’s Cemetery Boards were established to help the parish priests oversee the Cemetery grounds and records.

In 1969, under the direction of Msgr. Tim Valenta, the idea of building a mausoleum began. On October 31, 1971, the first mausoleum was completed and dedicated in memory of Msgr. John B. Gleissner. A second mausoleum was completed in 1994.

In 1970, St. Anthony Church acquired two five-acre tracts through memorials and donations. Another 1.37 acres was acquired in 1984.

With the dedication of Cemetery Board members and area parish priests Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery Bryan has grown to approximately 33 acres. The Cemetery is currently governed and maintained by its Board of Directors under the direction of the Bishop of the Diocese of Austin. In May 2006 Bishop Gregory Aymond dedicated the Cemetery as a Historic Texas Cemetery.

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