Holy Family Catholic School traces its lineage back to 1847, when a group of Ursuline nuns, recruited from New Orleans by the Bishop for the Diocese of Galveston, Bishop Odin, landed on Galveston Island. These pioneers of not only Galveston, but Catholic schools in Texas, established the Ursuline Academy. The nuns eventually built a convent, chapel, and school building that occupied the property where the current Holy Family School is located today. Many Ursuline nuns are buried on its premisis, a monument to the many brave women who came to the Island to serve.
In 1894, Architect Nicholas Clayton created an architectural masterpiece that served as the school building and occupied the space at 27th and Avenue N. This building was demolished after it was damaged by Hurricane Carla and the nuns raised the money to rebuild. The Academy moved into this modern structure, now the current HFCS building.
Ursuline Academy remained a constant in Galveston until 1968, when its high school merged with Dominican High and Kirwin High, to form O'Connell High School. At that time, the Ursuline Academy elementary school closed. O'Connell Junior High occupied the old Ursuline building and served all the Catholic school students in Galveston in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.
The education of the elementary students was left to the Parish schools of Galveston -- Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart and St. Patrick's. Due to rising costs, it was decided that the elementary schools would consolidate and form one regional school, which became Galveston Catholic School, serving children in grades PreK3-8th Grade. Initially at several campuses, Galveston Catholic School was eventually moved to one location in 1994, and housed in the previous Ursuline Academy/O'Connell Junior High and current Holy Family Catholic School building.
Once again, a hurricane impacted the Catholic schools in Galveston, when Hurricane Ike roared ashore in 2008. After sustaining damage to multiple properties on the Island, the Archdiocese decided to consolidate the individual churches into one parish which became Holy Family. Galveston Catholic ceased to be a regional school at that time and became a parish school, Holy Family Catholic School.