On April 6, 1956, the parish was officially established by Father Walter J. Dalton, C.S.P., who was named as its first pastor. The first meeting was held on April 15 in the Richardson High School cafeteria, located at that time in the R.I.S.D. Administration Building. There were 90 families. The first Mass was celebrated in this facility on April 22, 1956. Plans for a parish school were made and approved that same month. In the summer months the first C.C.D. Vacation School was conducted in tents in the open field that was St. Paul’s property with more than 90 students. Ground was broken for a 10 classroom school on September 15 with Sister M. Cyprianna, C.S.C., the new principal, and eight other Holy Cross Sisters in attendance. The school opened in 1957, with a dedication in November. On May 2, 1965, the first class of 8th graders graduated. Since then, many priests and nuns have dedicated their lives to the spiritual and educational growth of our parish.
By 1962, St. Paul’s had grown to 975 families and Bishop Gorman dedicated a new church auditorium and four additional classrooms. The parish continued to grow and by 1966 there were 1,300 families. In May, 1967, the Dallas Diocese ceased its contract with the Paulist Fathers, and appointed Fr. Edwin J. Johnson as pastor. Fr. Michael Irwin and Fr. Leon Duesman were associate pastors. Under Vatican II guidelines a Parish Advisory Council was established to assist the pastor with decisions for the parish.
The early 70’s were growth years for the parish. Under Fr. Johnson many assistants served St. Paul’s including Fr. John E. O’Connell, Fr. William Doran, Fr. Robert Crisp, Fr. Clayton, Fr. Gayle White, and Fr. Ramon Torres. Monsignor Robert Johnson became pastor in 1981 with Fr. Arthur Malinson as assistant. Fr. Edward P. Fernandez became pastor in 1983 with assistants including Fr. John Alphonso, Fr. Bruce Bradley, Fr. Frank Zakshesky, Fr. Frank Draude, Fr. David Flori, Fr. John Bell, and Fr. Richard Kubiak.
On April 6, 1986 groundbreaking for the new church sanctuary took place exactly 30 years from the founding of the parish. The sanctuary was dedicated on October 29, 1988, and the former church was converted into an activity center. In 1991, a Spanish Mass was instituted and our new Hispanic Ministry reached out to new members of our community. Fr. Henry Petter was named pastor in 1992 with Fr. Paul, Parochial Vicar, in his 90’s, inspired parish members with his wisdom and charisma. In 1998, the Parish Pastoral Council was formed from new conceptual directions to "share their wisdom" through the guidance of the Holy Spirit with our current pastor, Fr. David Flori, as we move into the Third Millennium and continue to serve the many needs of the community.
Today, St. Paul the Apostle Parish has more than 2,000 families in its community. St. Paul School is an important part of the community and was awarded the President’s Blue Ribbon Award in 1999. St. Paul’s has many active ministries and, with the diversity of our Richardson community, has begun a Multicultural Task Force. Our Hispanic Ministry continues to grow in magnitude and enthusiasm. Our Women’s Guild, Catholic Daughters, Men’s Club, Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Silver Set, Families with Young Children, and our school organizations continue the work of the Spirit as they serve the many needs of their members and the entire parish. Communication is an important aspect of parish life and a newly formed Communications Ministry has begun to develop the vision of how communication helps tell our story and the spread of the Good News. We look forward to the new Millennium of our Christian Faith!