About Our Parish
Sacred Heart Parish History
The first Catholics in the Skiatook area moved here in the early 1870's, following the Osage removal from Kansas. 1872 and 1879 Skiatook Catholics were visited by the well-known Italian Jesuit missionary Father Paul Ponziglione about four times a year, meeting in area homes.
After the Holy Family Church was built in Tulsa, Father John Heiring, who became a one-man Catholic development agency, was instrumental in construction of the Sacred Heart Church in Skiatook. This first structure, dedicated on May 30 1921, stood at the southwest corner of Osage and Fifth streets. It was built of brick, nicely furnished with beautiful oak pews. Father Joseph Woucters was the first pastor. In 1925 he built the two-story rectory which still stands at 109 West 5th Street. The parish counted 33 families, including the Tinkers, Guilfoyles, Foxes, Hoots, Riries and Coyle.
In 1950 Father George Forner had the task of building a new church across the street north of the former one, which had been damaged by shifting soil conditions. The new structure was built of native stone donated by the county. A missionary funding organization, the Catholic Church Extension Society, contributed toward the cost of the new church. As a condition of the grant, the Society stipulated that the church be named in honor of St. William. The old church was razed and a new parish hall was built on its location in 1954, using some of the brick from the old church.
In 1988 a new parish hall was built west of the rectory.
In 1991 the parish council successfully petitioned the Bishop of Tulsa to have the name changed back to Sacred Heart.
In 1996 an addition to the parish hall provided space for offices and a meeting room.
Edited from an article published circa 1999 by the Skiatook Museum. The article was submitted by Father James D. White.