Influx into the Choctaw Nation in the late nineteenth century included the development of a town that began when a wheel-less boxcar was left beside the KATY railroad tracks. That town is Durant.
The Catholic Church received a visible, permanent status in Durant with the establishment of Saint Catherine’s Mission. The mission became a parish in 1912 with the assignment of a resident pastor. By the middle of the twentieth century, new facilities were necessary and, when a new church was built, the name of the parish was changed to Saint William.
The author sketches the history of Saint Catherine’s and Saint William’s from its beginnings to the present day, which is the centennial of the congregation’s status as a parish. Not only are the clergy and religious who served the people featured, issues faced over the years are detailed. Also, a few of those laypersons whose support escapes the anonymity normally afforded the congregants are mentioned.