St. Stephens Catholic Chapel
211 South Main Street
The first Catholic Church in Weatherford was a wooden structure constructed in 1882. It was built on land purchased by the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese in Galveston for $300.00. Sometime between the years of 1888 and 1889 the wooden church was consumed by fire. The red brick church built to replace the original structure was completed in 1902. The basically Queen Anne style has elements of English Gothic design. The stained glass windows are original throughout the building. Notable is the circular rose window with the Virgin in the center. Father Joseph Patrick Lynch from Ireland oversaw the construction.
Originally the red brick building had no basement. However, in 1923, a group of parishioners led by the Czech contingent dug a basement by hand, utilizing donkeys and carts to pull out the earth. Then in 1950 Father E.J. Johnson contacted famous British portrait artist and Weatherford resident, Douglas Chandor about redecorating the interior of the church. Although he was not a catholic, he refused pay for the work, and remained dedicated to it, despite being called away to England to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth. While on his way to England he stopped in New York to phone and check to see if the red carpet had been delivered. Tragically he was not able to see his work at the church completed. While in England, he fell ill and soon thereafter passed away.
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