Oblates Taking on New Parishes in Texas

From Fr. Louis Studer, OMI, U.S. Provincial

Fr. Andy Sensenig, OMI at the front door of Our Lady of Consolation

Oblate Andy Sensenig takes a first look at the Oblate parish of Our Lady of Consolation in Vottmann, Texas, where he will be Pastor in July. The Oblates are taking on this parish and two other mission churches in southeast Texas in July.

Our Lady of Consolation is now over 100 years old. Here is some history on the parish from their website:

In 1907, Theodore Koch, a land developer, purchased 20,000 acres of land from the King Ranch. He proposed to develop this land into three areas: Riviera, Riviera Beach and Vattmannville (later shortened to Vattmann). Mr. Koch sought the help of Father Edward J. Vattmann, the then secretary of the Catholic Colonization Society of America, to help him populate the area that came to be known as Vattmannville, later shortened to Vattmann. Soon a Church was built and dedicated as Our Lady of Consolation

The original Our Lady of Consolation Church was destroyed in the Hurricane of 1916, except for its bell. This bell is now located in the present Church. The existing Church was built in 1919 and dedicated in 1920.  The inside bricks of the Church were made by its parishioners, using sand, mud and clay from the Baffin Bay area. The outside bricks were brought in from a brick factory in D’Hannis, Texas. The beautiful Crucifixion on the High Altar was imported from Germany. The stained glass windows in the upper balcony and front of the Church were originally located on either side of the Main Altar. The stained glass windows on each wall of the Church, also from Germany, were added in the 1930’s.