On Mission: St. Philip flourishes in northern part of diocese
China Spring, which is located about 12 miles northwest of Waco, got
its name when early settlers noticed a natural spring near a
chinaberry tree. The Catholic presence in the town with a current
population of about 5,000 sprang in 1995 and was named for St. Philip,
one of the disciples (Acts 8).
Beginning with 14 families and now more than 100, the community shared
space with the Evangelical Church, moved to the town community center,
and then to the Methodist Church –– a true example of sharing
facilities and ecumenism.
In 2008, 18 acres were purchased on the China Spring Spur and
functional building was established for Mass, religious education and
other gatherings. A large kitchen makes food preparation manageable
for large crowds; Reicher Catholic High School and St. Louis Parish in
Waco often use the building for retreats.
Stations of the Cross and a prayer labyrinth invite people to pray on
the parish grounds. Volunteers see to the maintenance and upkeep of
the building and the grounds.
Because China Spring is growing, there is hope for a church building
in the future.
The mission was first assigned to St. Eugene Parish in McGregor, but
was assigned to St. Louis Parish in Waco in 2012.
Mass is celebrated on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. At the Mass I celebrated
recently, the ministers were well-trained and the choir sang
beautifully. After the Mass, I was welcomed with much conversation and
St. Philip Mission is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
from 9 a.m. to noon. Visitors are welcome to come and experience the
strong and dynamic faith that is growing just outside of Waco.
For more information, call (254) 836-1825 or visit www.stphilipcs.com.