Pat Behnke

LUBBOCK, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF. The Catholic Diocese of Lubbock was instituted by Pope John Paul II on June 17, 1983, and Michael Jarboe Sheehan was made its first bishop. The diocese was carved from the dioceses of Amarillo and San Angelo and includes twenty-five counties covering 23,382 square miles. Twenty counties came from the Catholic Diocese of Amarillo, five from San Angelo. On the High Plains the Catholic population is widely distributed; long distances make the term "mission diocese" apposite. The Catholic population in 1991 was 51,846; 80 percent were of Hispanic origin. The diocese's cathedral is Christ the King in Lubbock. The Kenedy East Foundation of Corpus Christi awarded the diocese numerous grants that funded the building of the Catholic Center, religious-education buildings, and school and church improvements. In 1991 serving in the thirty-six parishes and twenty-seven missions were thirty-nine priests, both diocesan and religious, and twenty-five deacons. Forty-two religious sisters ministered in parishes and schools, in a hospital, on the Texas Tech University campus, and at the Catholic Center's offices of Renew and Christian Formation; St. Mary of the Plains Hospital, operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, California, treated 56,396 people in 1991. Catholic Family Services, which offers a broad range of social and economic services to the needy, helped over 28,000 persons in 1991. Approximately 600 elementary children are instructed in parochial schools, and 10,422 elementary and high school students attend weekly religious-education classes. The Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, Catholic Youth organizations, and numerous other lay organizations share in the work of identifying and serving the needs of the people. The South Plains Catholic, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Lubbock, is published biweekly. On June 1, 1994, Placido Rodriguez, C.M.S., became bishop of the diocese after Bishop Sheehan had been transferred to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Pat Behnke, "LUBBOCK, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF," accessed February 17, 2020,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...