The State Senate has given unanimous approval to a resolution honoring the centennial of the Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma. Sen. Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher, is author of the measure which was approved during Wednesday’s special session at the State Capitol.
“The Catholic Church has played an important role in Oklahoma, with the first missionaries actually arriving in Indian Territory more than a quarter of a century before statehood. It continues to play an important role in our state, with ministries that serve not just Catholics, but thousands of Oklahomans of all denominations who need their help,” Johnson said.
The Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma was formally established on August 17, 1905. It was later divided into the Diocese of Tulsa and the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Catholic Charities and various outreach ministries help provide family counseling, immigrant and refugee assistance and other services throughout Oklahoma. In addition, parishes across the state are collecting money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City addressed the Senate after passage of the resolution.
“I am so pleased to recognize that throughout this whole 100 year period the Catholic people have been a very, very important part of the life of Oklahoma and so happy that I can join you today and receive this proclamation,” said Archbishop Beltran. “I’d like to assure you on behalf of over 200,000 Catholic people in Oklahoma who celebrate their services in more than 200 churches and schools that we are very happy to be a part of this state.”