Hostyn Catholic Church


From La Grange, take Highway 77 south about 5 miles then go northwest on FM 2436 about one mile to Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church

Historical Marker

Czech Catholic Union of Texas

On March 24, 1889, a group of Czech immigrants gathered here to form the Katolicka Jednota Texaska (KJT), or Czech Catholic Union of Texas. A fraternal benefit society, the KJT was chartered on July 4, 1889, with six individual lodges. Through programs such as life insurance, financial aid to members, churches, and educational scholarships, the organization has served people throughout the state and has grown to number over one hundred lodges. The KJT continues to uphold the purpose of its founders in the same fraternal spirit. [1989]

Photo contributed by Marion and Steve Daughtry


KJT Photograph, 1895
The white-bearded man standing next to the flag is Joseph Psencik, first president of the Czech Catholic Union of Texas.
The first man seated on left is Alois Polansky of Fayetteville, State President 1895 - 1898. The priest is Father Benes. The fourth seated man from the left is Joseph Klecka. Seated on far right is F.C. Janda of Bluff, State Secretary 1889-1902. Please contact Rox Ann Johnson if you can identify others.
Elaine Naiser Hicks has the original photo; contributed to this site by Angelina Kretzschmar
Postcard of the old Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church

Footprints of Fayette article transcribed by Connie F. Sneed:

Texas Grotto Reproduces French Shrine of Miracles

Dallas Morning News—March 24, 1929. Built from part of an old church wall and stones gathered from the banks of the Colorado, the Hostyn chapel to our Lady of Lourdes is often the scene of weddings and provides a haven of rest to passers-by.

Desiring to create something beautiful out of the unattractive old rock wall which surrounding the Holy Rosary Church, the Rev. Paul D. [Kasper] of Plum had the wall torn down and with it laid the foundation of the now famous Grotto located at Hostyn, Texas five miles south of La Grange.

Standing high on Hostyn hill where it can easily be seen for miles, the Grotto is an exact reproduction of the world-renowned shrine of miracles in Lourdes, France. Around this beautiful grotto in Lourdes centers the story of the shepherdess girl, the latest canonized virgin of the Roman Catholic Church. It is said that the Virgin Mary appeared to the little shepherdess in 1858 and told her to erect a shrine.  On the spot where she stood was found a spring of water and there the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes was erected. Today it is a place of pilgrimages and remarkable cures are performed through its waters. Stacks of crutches remain beside the shrine, left by those who came as cripples and went away healed.

Having drawn up his own plans [Rev. Kasper], with the aid of Mexican masons from San Antonio, built this Grotto from the old rock wall and from pieces of petrified wood and rocks secured from the banks of the Colorado River near by. The various and peculiar shapes and sizes of the stone add to its architectural design.

In keeping with the Lourdes custom, pilgrimages are made to this county by people from the surrounding country and there prayers are offered up for the less fortunate ones. Occasionally a wedding is performed at the Grotto but only once a year do they say mass in the chapel and that is on the feast of the Holy Rosary, the first Sunday in the month of October.

Thousands of people from all over Texas and from other states also, have viewed the shrine and it has aroused the admiration of all who see it. Over 400 loads of stone, seventy-nine loads of sand and 258 sacks of cement were used in its construction. The cost of building and equipment was $4000.00. It measures forty-three feet in length, twenty feet high and twenty-six feet wide.

Seventeen Priests and 7,000 people were present at the dedication services, held in the fall of 1925. The Most Rev. Arthur J. Drossaerts, D.D., Archbishop of San Antonio, was in charge of the ceremonies.

1925 Hostyn grotto and another earlier grotto on the church grounds
Weimar Mercury
May 6, 1932


Another object of beauty is now to be seen on the grounds of the Hostyn Catholic church since the recent completion of the memorial chapel built by Mr. and Mrs. Francis C. Janda in honor of their parents, who pioneered in that section 75 years ago.

The structure was erected under the supervision of an able architect from New Orleans. It is made largely of a native stone known as "flower stone", which was quarried on the F. J. Janacek estate. Above the altar and embedded in the wall are a number of pieces of petrified wood and strange stone formations. A place is also provided for a statue which is to be placed there later.

The structure as a whole presents a very neat appearance and is one which compares well with the already widely known and famous grotto built on an opposite corner of the church yard in 1925. Although considerably smaller, the chapel fits well into the picture of improvements to be seen there.

The Rev. Paul P. Kaspar, pastor of the church, said that the chapel will not be the last structure to be created there, but that a number of other improvements will be put into effect in the near future. He intends to make the spot, which now attracts tourists from many states, one of even greater beauty.—LaGrange Record.

Related Links



Hostyn Catholic Cemetery

See photos of tombstones at the Hostyn Catholic Cemetery taken by Jessica Sims.