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History

St. John Neumann parish was officially established in the West Lake area of Austin in May of 1984, with its earliest Masses held at Valley View Elementary School and later at Cedar Creek Elementary School. By the fall of 1986, the congregation moved to the site at Bee Caves Road and Westlake Drive. Originally intended as the temporary location until a permanent church could be built on land purchased off of River Hills Road, the congregation ultimately faced the economic realities, sold the land and renovated their temporary facility into St. John Neumann’s “home” site by 1988.

The office building across the street at 102 Westlake Drive was purchased in 1995 to meet the growing needs of the parish. In addition, St. John Neumann purchased three home sites adjacent to the parish grounds, with long-range hopes for more parking spaces and a larger church in the same location. Regrettably, zoning restrictions and neighborhood concerns stifled any expansion efforts.

A steering committee pursued an alternative plan to acquire land within the West Lake Hills neighborhood that could be rezoned for the parish’s needs. Construction of the new church at the 28-acre site between Loop 360 and Bee Caves Road began in the spring of 2000, and the parish officially moved to the new site in January of 2003.

Over the years, diocesan priests have nurtured this growing community. Father Vaughn Meiler served as St. John Neumann’s first pastor from 1984 to 1992. Father Patrick Zurek served the parish from 1992 until his ordination as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio in February 1998.

Father David Jaeger, a Franciscan Friar of the Holy Land, became pastor in 1998 until he was called to Rome in May of 1999. Monsignor Edward Jordan assumed parish responsibilities here in June of 1999 to lead the congregation through its Capital Campaign and organizational move to the new facility.

Father Kirby Garner joined the parish in July 2006 and led the parish Capital Campaign to build a new church. Under his leadership, the parishioners of St. John Neumann pledged $12 million for this effort.

Father Bud Roland joined our parish in July of 2008, leading the way for the continued growth of our parish. Under his shepherding, St. John Neumann has reached  new heights of membership, stewardship, and spirituality.

From a relatively small beginning of several hundred families, St. John Neumann has grown to over 2,800 families, with a faith formation program that supports Christian formation for many children and adults. A full compliment of vital ministries, too numerous to identify in this brief history, has been established. These ministries enable the parish to not only serve her members but also thousands of our brothers and sisters throughout the Austin community and far beyond. SJN is a strong parish, still young, and committed to spreading God’s Word through Catholic living and outreach.

 

 

 

 

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