History of OLMC

At the invitation of Bishop Nold, the Carmelites of the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (based in Chicago, IL) came to Houston to open a parish, an elementary school and a high school. The new parish was to be located in the southeast section of Houston near Hobby Airport.

Rev. Joel Schevers, O.Carm. (the founding pastor) along with Rev. Gerard Benson, O.Carm. (the first Principal of Mt. Carmel High School) came to Houston together to begin this new foundation.

On Sunday, November 16, 1952 the first Mass was celebrated and the life of the new parish was underway. With the help of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (from St. Louis), the elementary school was opened in 1954. Then, in 1956, Mt. Carmel High School opened its doors, not as a parish high school but a high school under the direction of the Carmelites.

The intervening years have seen many changes, both in the parish facilities and in the demographics of the neighborhood. Through it all, the parish and its Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School continues to serve the Catholic populace of the area. However, since 1986, the elementary school has not been administered by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Today it is administered and staffed by a team of Catholic laity.

In 2007 the Carmelite order withdrew from the state of Texas. Cardinal Danial DiNardo requested that the Companions of the Cross, a religious order based out of Canada take over the shepherding of the faithful.

In 1986, the Carmelites withdrew from the administration of Mt. Carmel High School. Responsibility for the school was assumed by the then Diocese of Galveston-Houston, until 2008 when it was closed as a Diocesan High School. The Jesuits purchased the building and property and it now run as a Cathilolc High School for at risk Students known as Cristo Rey.

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