South of I-10 is the community of Frydek, named by its Czech settlers for a Silesian city of the same name. The name, meaning “peaceful corner,” fits this quiet farming community. Until recent years, worship services were conducted in the Czech language.
The present day community of Frydek was named in about the year 1895. Although Catholics, mostly of Czech origin, settled in and about San Felipe around 1852, St. Mary’s parish did not come into existence until 1908. At that time most of its citizens were Catholic families of Czech origin coming to this country from Silesia, the Czech part of it, and Moravia.
The Frydek community at that time had no church or cemetery of their own. After 1883, Rev. Francis Pridal from Brenham and Rev. Joseph Chromcik of Fayetteville made trips to the private home of John Pavlicek where Holy Masses were held. The Sealy Catholic Church was built about 1887, at which time Frydek was affiliated.
In 1907 a collection was taken for a building of a Catholic school which was to serve the children of Frydek & Sealy. The building was erected at the Frydek cemetery to serve as a school, sisters’ home and church was completed in 1908. St. Mary’s became a mission parish of Immaculate Conception.
Because the new church was not in the center of the Frydek community it was hard for some parishioners to make the long trip to the cemetery. In the fall of 1916 the church was moved to the center of Frydek.
The church grew rapidly with almost 100 families and with so many families in attendance, Frydek made the decision to become an independent parish. In 1917 the rectory was completed and in June of 1922 the second St. Mary’s Church was built.
In 1944 on the grounds of Our Lady of Frydek Church a grotto of concrete and stone was built by the thankful families and friends of 67 men and women of the Frydek Parish who served in World War II, ALL of whom returned. And the legacy began of the “Grotto Celebration” which has become known far and wide for the vast crowds it attracts.