In 1922 the Diocesan Vicar for Missions, Father Renier Sevens, had organized African-American Catholics on the east side of Oklahoma City in what became St. Peter Claver Parish. Mass was offered for a few years in the hall at Northeast Second and Stiles.
In 1925 Bishop Kelley invited an Irish order, the Holy Ghost Fathers, to take charge of the community. Property was purchased on Laird Avenue between Northeast Third and Fourth and a small church was built, but this proved undesirable and so Saint Peter Claver Parish moved to the 1100 block of Northeast Seventh and there built a church/school combination building that was dedicated on November 3, 1940.
For over 40 years the Holy Ghost Fathers operated a very active apostolate in the African-American community of Oklahoma City, but in 1967, facing reducing numbers, they were forced to withdraw from Oklahoma.
At the same time, Corpus Christi Church was experiencing growth of the African-American population on the east side, along with concomitant white flight. Bishop Reed, advised that it was time for a dramatic moves to help integrate the neighborhood, decided to close St. Peter Claver Parish and combine its membership with that of Corpus Christi.
With the closing of St. Peter Claver Parish, many of the St. Peter Claver parishioners depart from the Catholic faith.
405-236-4301 † Fax: 405-235-2122
1616 North Kelley Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117 † Mailing Address: 1005 NE 15th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117
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