“(It’s) extremely difficult and painful to be here,” said Joe Vasquez, bishop of the Austin Diocese.
“I’m very deeply affected by this and I know the people here are also heartbroken,” he said.
Residents were able to save the tabernacle, which houses the Blessed Sacrament, from the church as the fire burned.
It was the largest wooden structure west of the Mississippi River.
“This architectural beauty is now a loss and that’s what saddens all of us here.”
The congregation was in the midst of planning for the celebration of the 125th anniversary of completion of the church building when the fire broke out Monday morning.
Firefighters from across the area responded to the church Monday, July 29, 2019.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
Work on the building started in 1894, by German immigrants, and the building was designed in the shape of a Latin cross with a bell tower on each side of the center area.
The building contains more than 20 stained glass windows, all shipped to Central Texas from Germany, the largest of which was behind the main altar and depicted the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin.
In May 1996 the church was recognized as a Rural Historic District and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The church’s website lists its congregation as 185 families with 500 parishioners.
Edited from KWTX - Texas
The Video below shows the beauty of the interior of the Church before the fire: