Historical Timeline of Catholic Influence in Miami, OK Area

1541 - Catholic faith brought to Oklahoma by Fray Juan de Padilla on the Coronado expedition of 1541. Fr. Padilla remained with the Indians and was cruelly put to death by them. 

1673 - Father Marquette, a Jesuit priest, visited the Arkansea (Quapaw) living along the Arkansas River. 

1778 - Priests began serving Arkansea (Quapaw) Indians.

1887 - Osage Mission established by Jesuit priests at present day St. Paul, Kansas.

1891 - Rt. Rev. Theophile Meerschaert was named Vicar Apostolic of Indian Territory.

1893 - St. Mary’s of the Quapaws Mission and School was founded by Rev. William H. Ketcham.

1899 - Quapaw tribe deeded one-acre of land to the Catholic Church to be set aside for a cemetery and consecrated by Bishop Meerschaert.

1899 - November 29th Bishop Theophile Meerschaert and Fr. Alphonse Herenthals purchased land in Miami to build Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.

1900 - Sacred Heart Church of Miami was established as a mission of St. Mary’s of the Quapaws.

1900 - April 22nd Sacred Heart Church at West Central and E Street was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Theophile Meerschaert.  It was the first church dedicated in the new century by Oklahoma’s first Catholic Bishop.  The building cost $3,500.

1905 - Diocese of Oklahoma was created.

1905 - Rt. Reverend Theophile Meerschaert named First Bishop of Oklahoma.

1927 - St. Mary’s of the Quapaws’ school closed.

1927 - Sacred Heart Church moved from “mission” status to “independent parish” status.

1948 - May 11th groundbreaking for Sacred Heart School under pastorate of Rev. Robert L. Roster, C.PP.S.

1948 - September 7th Sacred Heart School ready for students at a cost of $16,500. The first term of school 40 pupils enrolled and six grades were taught.

1948 - November 28th the Most Rev. Eugene J. McGuinness (second Bishop of Oklahoma) blessed the school as “Sacred Heart Parochial School.”

1950 - First 8th Grade graduates of Sacred Heart School:  Jerry Lorenson and John Lish.

1953 - Sacred Heart School Chorus received a superior rating at Tulsa National Music Association. 

1959 - January 1st, Father John Wilson, C.PP.S. became pastor with instruction from his Provincial “to build.”

1960 - October 13th 19-acres on Highway 66, north of Miami was blessed for the new church and parish hall. Construction began immediately.

1961 - Sacred Heart School closed due to a shortage of teaching Sisters.

1961 - February – March: A campaign plan for the parish expansion began with a goal of $135,000 to be paid in weekly pledges over the next three years.

1961 - Thanksgiving: First Mass in the new Church.

1962 - September 25th, the new church was dedicated by the Most Rev. Victor J. Reed, Bishop of Oklahoma, and by the Very Rev. John E. Byrne, Provincial of the Society of Fathers of the Precious Blood.

1962 - Parish Hall construction blessed during church dedication.

1963 - January, Parish Hall construction completed.

1972 - February 20th, The Legion of Mary organized under the direction of Fr. James Schrader. 

1975 - The 40-acres of land given by the Quapaw Tribe to the Catholic Church for St. Mary’s Mission and School were returned by Bishop Ganter to the tribe in a special ceremony.

1975 - 75th Anniversary of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

1982 - The Sacred Heart Religious Education Building was dedicated by Bishop Eusebius Beltran, Bishop of Tulsa Diocese, while Fr. Albert Fey was pastor.

2000 - June 30th, Centennial Mass  celebration of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.