The roots of Raider Catholic (The Catholic Student Center at Texas Tech University) go back to the founding of Texas Tech University in 1923. In the early years, it was an outreach of St. Joseph Catholic Church, at that time Lubbock's only Catholic Church, located three miles from campus.
On May 11, 1935, Bishop Lucey, later Archbishop of San Antonio, met with a group of Lubbock Catholics to consider building a church within walking distance of Texas Technological College. St. Elizabeth Church, the second Catholic Church in Lubbock, was completed 1935. It was built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style to complement the architecture of the university. On Sunday, March 29, 1936, the ceremony of dedication took place with Bishop Lucey presiding at the dedication.
St. Elizabeth serves as the University Parish, ministering not only to the many permanent parishioner families, but also to the students of Texas Tech University through many organizations and ministries.
In June 1981 the Parish voted to erect a new Catholic Student Center at the corner of Broadway and Avenue W. The center, paid in full by the generous donations of the parishioners, was dedicated by Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan, the first Bishop of Lubbock, and later Archbishop of Santa Fe, on October 9, 1983. The Catholic Student Center, through the sole support of St. Elizabeth Parish, continues to minister to a growing population of university students.
Over the years St. Elizabeth has expanded to accommodate the growing needs of the parish. An expansion of the parish hall in the early 1980s allowed the ever-growing population of the parish to conduct dual masses, with standing room only for Sunday masses. After planning and contributing to a new church building fund for more than twenty years, a new sanctuary, featuring beautiful faceted windows, a Reservation Chapel, bell tower, and seating for 900, was completed in November of 2002 and dedicated on May 4, 2003 by Most Rev. Plácido Rodríguez, C.M.F., the second Bishop of Lubbock.
The Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Martin de Porres have served St. Elizabeth University Parish and Raider Catholic, the Catholic Student Center at Texas Tech University since 2010.
From its humble beginnings, to the present day, St. Elizabeth University Parish has seen tremendous growth. Today it is a thriving parish catering to the spiritual and social needs of a large spectrum of the Catholic population of Lubbock and the South Plains area.