Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church began as a parish on September 29, 1981, by the decree of Archbishop Patrick F. Flores, DD (born , died ). The parish was taken from the western sections of Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Monsignor Kevin Ryan was appointed as the founding pastor, and served the parish from 1981 to 1991. In February 1982, the parish acquired 10.3 acres of land to serve as the site for future buildings. Initially gatherings took place at the “Pete and Bernice Pavilion”, but later, an old barracks building was acquired and used as a worship space for 5 years. In 1987 the present Parish Hall was built and utilized as a meeting space and a worship space, until the building of the current church in 2005.
The parish originally started with only 350 families but has grown to well over two thousand families, and shows no signs of decline. A Religious Education Center, with 16 classrooms and an office, was completed in 1997, to care for the thousands of children registered in religious education. On December 4, 2005 Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, STD dedicated the present day church which is one of the largest in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
There are many tremendous parish ministries, organizations, and groups who work to serve the parish community. To name some of the inaugural groups: a Ladies Society was established in November 1981, and a Men’s Club in January 1982, along with the St. Vincent de Paul Society to help the needy within our parish boundaries. A Catholic Youth Organization (CYO – Sports) was also formed in May of that same year. Our annual parish festival, ROSEFEST, was started in August 1982 and has been held every year up to the present.
Monsignor Juan I. Alfaro was appointed pastor in November 1991 and led the parish until June 30, 2016. It was under his leadership and vision that in 1996 additional land, 3.5 acres, was obtained for the present day church. And in October, 2013 an additional 13.9 acres of land was purchased adjacent to the parish for future expansion, and was paid off in only 2-1/2 years.
Father Virgil Elizondo was assigned to the parish as Parochial Vicar in 1996 until his passing in 2016. From 1997 to 2008, Monsignor Juan Alfaro welcomed the service of priests from the Philippines, who helped meet the growing needs of the community.
In October, 1995, Rev. Mr. Tony Lira, Rev. Mr. Rey Jasso and Rev. Mr. Chester Ostaszewski were ordained Deacons and assigned to serve their community. In June, 2011, they were joined by Rev. Mr. Robert Espinosa, and Rev. Mr. Frank Garcia. In 2015, Rev. Mr. Robert Espinosa and Rev. Mr. Chester Ostaszewski passed away and in 2016 Rev. Mr. Frank Garcia entered Assumption Seminary. In 2017 Rev. Mr. Rafael Lopez Negroni and Rev. Mr. John Gearhart were assigned to serve St. Rose of Lima parish as deacons.
Parish activity has continued to grow with the involvement of over 800 adults in various ministries, groups, organizations, and services. Saint Rose of Lima Church was named an “Excellent Parish” in a national survey in 2001. In 2006, ACTS Retreats began at St. Rose of Lima to help the community better understand their faith. There is also a Homebound Ministry that faithfully serves those members of the parish that are unable to attend weekly services by offering and distributing the Most Holy Eucharist.
On July 1, 2016, Reverend Steven Anthony Gamez began his first term as the third Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish.