St. Luke's - Loire Catholic Church

History and community facts

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The 3rd St. Luke's - Loire Church 1901-1969

The first three St. Luke's Churches

St. Luke's - Loire Catholic Church was built in 1878 and was on Leander Hayden's property near the St. Luke's Cemetery. The priest came from San Antonio once a month to conduct mass. Prior to the building of the church a priest would hold services in parishioner's homes.

St. Luke's Cemetery was started in 1869 with the death of Dr. Joseph Hayden, one of the earliest settlers in this area. Other early families on the 1860's were the Hills, Haydens, Palmers, Wrights, and Matulas.

In 1886 a storm destroyed the church and the 2nd St. Luke's Church was built on Basil Hayden's property also near the current cemetery. At this time a school was built next to the church.

In 1901, the 3rd St. Luke's Church was built on FM 536 and its intersection with the current cemetery road. A rectory was added in 1902. This church building was used until July 13, 1969.

St. Luke's had a school with about 30 students in 1894 according to a January 22, 1894 article from the Floresville Chronicle. Mrs. Alice Swift was the teacher at that time. In 1917, a two story St. Luke's School was built. (Information from the "Verdi" book)

Loire community name

In 1892 James Swindler became part owner and postmaster of the Verdi store. In 1895 James sold out to his partner, Joseph Petigrous. James bought 3 acres of land from George Palmer. Mr. Swindler built a three-room dwelling and set up a post office and store in the largest room. He asked his former partner to name the post office for him. Joseph Petigrous gave it the name of "Loire" after a river in France near which he was born. The post office was located in what is now Atascosa County, just outside both Bexar and Wilson Counties. (from the "Verdi" book)
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Benedictine Sisters in Las Gallinas in 1918 - early 1920's


The Benedictines began their outreach work in Catholic education in the communities of Loire, Leming, Las Gallinas, and Rockne. In the early 1920’s, the Sisters moved their Motherhouse from Las Gallinas to San Antonio where they continued to teach.(

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The 4th St. Luke's - Loire Church: Built in 1969

In the early 1960's the parishioners of St. Luke's met and appointed a committee to look into the building of a new church. The committee members were Wallace Adamitz, Tony Divin, Steve Ridgway, and Leo Jasik. The land that the church now stands on was donated by the Lloyd and Tony Divin families and the Meaney family. The design of the church was taken from a cross shaped church in port Aransas. The Port Aransas parish was kind enough to loan the blueprints to the building committee.

The current church hall was added in the early 70's. The St. Luke's parish held a monthly dance at the hall for several years in order to fund the improvements at the new location just off IH37. Some of the bands that performed at Loire Hall were The Abbey, Wheat Straw, The Taylor Brothers, Leonard Rodriguez, and many others. The parish also had an annual St. Luke's Picnic with one or two dances, a BBQ meal, Bingo, and an auction.

A mobile home, located behind the church was originally set up for the priest to live in. In the early 1980's the current rectory was built and the mobile home was removed. (Information from the "Verdi" book and St. Luke's Church dedication)

10th Annual St. Luke's - Loire Catholic Church Fall Festival

Sunday, Oct. 4th, 10am

3930 FM 536 Traveling North or South take exit 117 @ FM 536

BBQ Plate Sale, Giant Raffle, Live Auction, Silent Auction, The Incredible Music Makers Band, Hunter Chavez Band, Car show, and more!