About Our Parish

A Brief History of St. Joseph Church, Port Aransas

Secondary sources tell us that priests were visiting the settlement now known as Port Aransas as early as 1860. Unfortunately, we are unable to verify this information at this time since records in the diocesan archives do not date back that far and the Official Catholic Directory does not specifically reference that location until 1885. However, we believe the area was most likely visited by either Corpus Christi or Refugio.

Port Aransas is first referenced in the 1885 OCD which notes that Mustang Island was visited from Corpus Christi. Mustang Island is consistently referenced between 1885 and 1903 and was being visited either by Corpus Christi or Rockport. In 1904, Mustang Island was no longer named but was instead replaced by St. Anthony Mission located in Tarpon, Nueces County (Tarpon being an earlier name given to Port Aransas.) This continues until 1913 when Tarpon is now referred to in the OCD as Port Aransas. In 1913, St. Anthony Mission, Port Aransas comes under the care of Sacred Heart, Rockport. This continues through 1947.

Between 1948 and 1970 the OCD lists the mission as Port Aransas as under the care of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Aransas Pass. The first time the mission is listed as "St. Joseph" is in 1954, however , it may have changed names sooner. The name change is unclear from the OCD and would require further research in the diocesan archives. From 1971 to 1988, Port Aransas is listed under the care of Our Lady of Assumption in Ingleside. It is listed as an independent mission from 1989 - 1992 and as a parish from 1993 to the present.