OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE CHURCH, TULSA
As early as 1908 Mexican nationals were at work in the coal fields of the McAlester area. In that year St. Edward's Catholic Church, at Pittsburg, Pittsburg County, was built to serve their spiritual needs; it was still in use at the end of the twentieth century, serving a predominately Hispanic congregation. A decade later there were Mexicans among the zinc smelter workers at Henryetta and Collinsville, and by 1925 the Catholics in Dewey were primarily Mexican smelter workers. In the 1920s there were also Mexican coal miners working near what is now Fifteenth Street and Sheridan Road in Tulsa. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church was built for them in 1928. Priests exiled from Mexico ministered to them until 1937, at which time the Seher Coal Company closed.
The church stood vacant until 1940, when it was moved to Tulsa's north side, at Newton Street and Trenton Avenue. A more substantial complex was later built at the same site. As the Hispanic population of Tulsa expanded beyond the capacity of this church, Our Lady of Guadalupe was merged with the nearby parish of St. Francis Xavier in 1992. At the beginning of the twenty-first century the former Our Lady of Guadalupe church served as a Hispanic cultural center.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Urban De Hasque, Catholic Churches That Were (Perry, Okla.: St. Rose of Lima Parish, Vol. 7, No. 5, August 1938). James D. White, This Far by Faith 1875-2000, 125 Years of Catholic Life in Oklahoma (Strasbourg, France: Editions du Signe, 2001).
James D. White
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