St. Damien Catholic Church
Home of the Extraordinary Latin Mass of
the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City
St. Damien Catholic Church is an official parish of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City under the spiritual guidance of the Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City.
Pastor Christopher Pelster joined Archbishop Coakley, on June 9th 2016, in signing the official decree declaring that Saint Damien of Molokai Church is a parish of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. St. Damien's has been a chapel in the archdiocese for 6 years. For the complete story go to the official archdiocesan newspaper, the Sooner Catholic, June 26, 2016 edition, page 5 and 6 (scroll to lower right-side).
St. Damien Catholic Church was established October 1, 2010 by Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran.
Short History of the Fraternity in Oklahoma City. Our early history dates back to 1993 when the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter began serving traditional Catholics in the Oklahoma City area. Fraternity priests commuted weekly at first from the Latin Mass Community in Topeka, Kansas and later from the parish of St. Peter in Tulsa, OK. The Sacrifice of the Mass was offered first as a mission on Sundays only. In summer 2000, it became a permanent apostolate and took up full time residence at the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Pastoral Center. Initial efforts were made to establish a parish in 2000. In lieu of a permanent home, Most Reverend Eusebius J. Beltran, Archbishop of Oklahoma City was instrumental in helping the FSSP community to rent a small chapel until Spring 2010.
From the beginning the Fraternity was blessed with the support and pastoral care of the Archbishop Beltran, who wrote in a letter to the young community, "We are very pleased that the Fraternity of St. Peter has so graciously served your community for so many years. The Fraternity is totally faithful to our Catholic Religion and has the blessing and approval of Pope Benedict XVI. For these reasons I continue to support and encourage you. Your community is indeed an integral part of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and therefore of the universal Catholic Church." The Archbishop was a true shepherd of our flock, confirming our youth, supporting our Fraternity priests, and most importantly has given his advice, encouragement and made himself available for the establishment of the parish of St. Damien of Molokai Catholic Church.
Encouraged by the interest in the Extraordinary Rite of the Mass and the growing number of families regularly attending the traditional Latin Mass at the chapel, the Archbishop as well as the Fraternity superiors saw the need to build a larger parish complex to accommodate this growth. The Archbishop again stated "I want to congratulate you on the decision to move to a new location where your community may continue to grow. There you will be able to practice the fullness of our Catholic faith under the spiritual care of your priest."
On Sunday, October 11, 2009, Damien de Veuster was canonized a saint in Rome by His Holiness Benedict XVI. It was not long that Archbishop Beltran gave his support and blessing by naming the future Church, St. Damien of Molokai Catholic Church and the ground breaking took place on All Souls Day, November 2nd 2009. The completed the parish hall and rectory was dedicated October 1, 2010. The hall serves as the temporary church until funds can be raised to build the more beautiful church proper. The facility will also include classrooms, a fully functional kitchen and space to hold dinners and other events. Our transition is underway in becoming a fully operational parish.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1984 authorized the Traditional Latin Mass of the Roman Rite to be offered with approval of the local bishop. This was the Mass as was offered every Roman Rite Catholic Church around the world until Vatican II. The Pope stated: "Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962 (cf. Congregation for Divine Worship, Letter Quattuor abhinc annos. 3 Oct. 1984: AAS 76 (1984) pp. 1088-1089)."
In his Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei, (July 2, 1988), Pope John Paul II made "an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfill the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement."
On July 7, 2007, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI issued his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, which allows every priest in the Latin Rite to offer the Extraordinary Rite of the Mass, effective September 14, 2007. Pope Benedict expanded upon the pastoral concern expressed by his predecessor.
Since 1988, the Latin Indult Mass has grown slowly and steadily in the United States. According to the Coalition of Ecclesia Dei, promoter of the Traditional Latin Mass as sanctioned by the Holy See, 360, Latin Masses are being offered in Latin every Sunday within the USA (November 2009). Statistics support that member families are young and devoted to the Holy See.