Parish History

 

                                          In the beginning…..                                                                                             

St. Mary 1889

St. Mary Catholic Church began shortly after the land run on April 22, 1889 with the first Mass offered by Fr. Felix deGrassse, O.S.B.  Fr. Felix built our first church which he dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary on the feast of her Nativity, September 8, 1889.

 

St. Mary was destined to become the First Cathedral (1891-1905) of the Vicariate Apostolic with the arrival of Bishop Theopile Meerschart on September 18, 1891.  Bishop Meerschart was welcomed by many people from the community including Governor Steel, Mayor Spengler and a musical band.  His festive arrival began with a parade starting at the Santa Fe Depot then to the Opera House for a public reception and finally to St. Mary Church for the installation of the Bishop and his clergy.  Two days later Bishop Meerschart celebrated his first pontifical Mass in St. Mary Church.

 

The year 1892 held firsts not only for St. Mary’s Church but also for the Oklahoma Territory.  On March 13, 1892 William Henry Ketcham was the first man to be elevated to the priesthood.  Fr. Ketcham  is well noted for his work with the Indians.  Also on May 3, 1892 M. Genevieve Smith was the first woman in the territory to take her religious profession in the Order of Saint Benedict.

 

In the early 1900’s the Old Cathedral once located on the site of the current rectory. was razed to provide a lawn in front of the previous rectory.  Our present church was constructed under the pastorate of  Fr. John Van Castel, and was dedicated on December 27, 1921.  The style is predominately Gothic with the rounded arches adding a Romanesque influence, the lead stained-glass windows were hand painted by the Munich Studio out of Chicago, Illinois in 1920.  The larger windows of the side walls depict the joyful and glorious mysteries of the Rosary.

 

The parishioners at St. Mary have remained committed to our community and our faith.  We are actively involved in our community, while at the same time maintaining Guthrie’s rich Catholic heritage.  A strong sense of belonging and family are among the chief characteristics of parishioners who come from all over Logan County to worship.