Holy Cross, Atlanta
In 1956, the Tucker Mission of Saint Thomas More parish began celebrating masses at Tucker High School. After Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish was established, the mission was transferred and named for Saint Francis de Sales. By 1962, the mission served 122 Catholics and held weekend services at the Tucker Federal Savings and Loan Building. By the time the mission was officially established as the Church of the Holy Cross parish on June 20, 1964 by Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan, there were approximately 600 families.
Property for a church structure was sought, and a house on David Road in Embry Hills was purchased to be used as the residence for the first pastor, Father Leonard F. X. Mayhew. Daily Mass was celebrated there, while Sunday Masses were celebrated at Cary Reynolds Elementary School. By 1967, a new parish center was constructed on Hathaway Court. The multi- purpose building, designed by Locatell, Inc., Architects & Engineers accommodated worship space, as well as a place for social functions. The first Mass was celebrated by the second pastor, Father Eusebius J. Beltran, now Archbishop of Oklahoma City. In 1968, Holy Cross constructed a sixteen classroom School of Religion building across from the Parish Center. A new rectory followed in 1970 and the church had grown to 1200 families. In June 1972, Father Michael A. Morris became the third pastor, followed the next year by Edward O’Connor.
The priests of the Dominican Friars of the Saint Joseph Province assumed administration of Holy Cross on June 1, 1976 with Father Mark P. Geary as the fifth pastor. Father Geary was succeeded by Father John P. O’Brien (1982-1983), Father Alberto Rodriguez (1983-1986), and Father Daniel A. Shanahan (1986-1989). On June 5, 1988, ground was broken for a new sanctuary designed by Barker, Cunningham & Barrington, Architects. Archbishop Eugene Marino dedicated the new church and installed the new pastor, Father Edward E. Everitt, on September 9, 1989. Father Everitt served Holy Cross until May 1995 when the administration of the parish was returned from the Dominicans to the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
After the transition, Monsignor Paul Fogarty was installed as the seventh pastor. During the 1980s and 1990s approximately twenty men from Holy Cross were ordained to the Diaconate. Some of these Deacons continue to serve Holy Cross. Many outreach programs have evolved to meet the needs of the community, including: The Cursillo Movement; the Stephen Ministry; the St. Martin de Porres Food Ministry; Prison Ministry; Kaleidoscope [summer program for children]; and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The choirs at Holy Cross have a long tradition, beginning with Al Hogan as the first choir director. In the early days of Holy Cross, neighborhood circles were formed and every woman in the parish was assigned membership in a circle. A very active Woman’s Club has replaced the circles today and every woman in the church is considered a member.
Beginning in the early 1990's, Holy Cross grew to become a very diverse parish, which included a large Hispanic and Vietnamese population. Ministries and activities were established, including the AIDS ministry, the adult education program with weekly scripture study, the OCIA, The Knights of Columbus, the welcoming committee, the funeral luncheon ministry, and the recent aid to a sister parish in New Orleans. The music ministry, under the direction of Gail Goodman, supports a Celebration Choir, Adoration Choir, Cross Fire Teen Mass Choir, and the Children’s Joy Choir. A newly added ministry is the Holy Cross Theater Ministry whose mission is to annually provide the best musical production to financially support the St. Martin de Porres Food Pantry.
Father Patrick Kingery served as pastor from 2003 to 2009. In July, 2009, Father Richard Tibbetts was assigned to Holy Cross as pastor. Father Javier Munoz was assigned at the same time as parochial vicar and with Father Gregory Anatuanya, parochial vicar, the clergy staff consisted of three priests. Father Edward Danneker, retired and in residence at Holy Cross, has assisted with Masses.
September 28, 2010