The first Church of Saint Catherine was erected on the rowdy, bustling west bank of the Arkansas River in the spring of 1925 to serve Catholics that worked for refineries and the Frisco Railroad. By September of that year, the church attained parish status and was located at 905 West 23rd Street, encompassing the Red Fork, Carbondale, Oakhurst and Garden City areas. Saint Catherine pastor Father Ersing wrote of his early parish, “My people are all laborers who live from one payday to another and do have families.” When the city widened 23rd street to facilitate the building of a bridge across the Arkansas River they required not only a large part of the church property but also the land where the current entrance of the church had been. In 1949 the Precious Blood Fathers purchased the tract of land on which St. Catherine now stands, hard work, sacrifice, and the generosity of benefactors brought about the erection of the school building and rectory in 1955. The hopes to have a new church built on that same land dwindled as parish finances simply would not allow for it, however, in 1969 a benefactors gift of $75,000 gave those hopes new light. With the guidance of current pastor, Fr. Vincent Hoying the plans to build became a reality and on September 27, 1986 our current church was completed.
What started as a mission of Holy Family Catholic parish to serve the laboring community on the west side of Tulsa has grown into a successful parish of 190 families and a pre-K through 8th grade school serving over 160 students. Saint Catherine has always been known as a family oriented and hard working community, which seeks the establishment of good faith foundations for their children. We are a Catholic community called together by Jesus to proclaim and serve as witness to the Gospel by caring for the spiritual and temporal needs of God’s people.