Current Events

August 2, 2021, 2:32 PM

Welcome Back to church building for Sunday Mass.

Dear St. William, Durant parishioners,

     After over a year of Sunday Masses in Holy Family Parish Hall/Religious Education Building, we are returning to St. William Church for Sunday Masses.  Daily Masses have alternated between the church and Education Building as renovation needs required.  Hopefully, COVID-19 conditions will lessen and construction will be able to continue without necessitating evacuation of the church building for Sunday Masses.  As the saying goes, "Time will tell."  

     Last week the new church nave epoxy floor received one top coat on Friday and another on Saturday after the floor had been poured on Thursday.  On Thursday morning of this week the Department of Corrections brought most of the refurbished pews back to church after the church floor had been mopped in anticipation, before noon Mass and Holy Hour of Adoration.  Many of the church furnishings have been moved from Holy Family to St. William Church.  

     Thanks to all who have aided with transition back to the church building.  Early Friday morning the overhead spotlights which were most likely redirected during painting of the church were aimed to highlight focal points, especially the altar.  A little later in the morning a crew arrived to dust the pews that were delivered the day before.  The sound system equipment was put in place, employing the new hookups provided by an electrician.  Restrooms were cleaned and pews were put in place.  BEWARE that the church pews have not been attached to the floor yet.  They are likely to rock and creak.  Please consider providing input for the configuration being evaluated as described in the next paragraph. 

     As a result of walking into St. Joseph Church during vacation in Louisiana, Missouri, an historic town along the Mississippi River full of unique, architecturally interesting, older buildings as my friend Chuck and I walked around town after a day of bicycling from my brother's house in Hannibal, Missouri downriver to Louisiana, Missouri (on the Illinois side of the Mighty Mississippi River to avoid a lot of very steep hills), a satisfying dinner, and ice cream, I was immediately struck by the placement of the church pews.  I immediately thought that we might be able to employ deviation from straight line pews to give a little change to the church's look, a little enhancement from my perspective.

     Wednesday of this week many Masses had the option of celebrating an Oklahoma memorial.  Being on the home court, with Bishop's permission (I think for the third year) we have permission and encouragement to celebrate a Votive Mass transferred to Sunday in honor of Blessed Stanley Rother, Martyr.  I hope we have a full church for the celebrations.  

     A handful of people responded to an inquiry as to when an additional Sunday Mass might be started.  This Sunday a survey is available to solicit additional input on a variety of topics.  If you want your input to be considered, be sure to complete a survey.  I desire to emphasize the Lord's Day and not an additional Vigil Mass that is ideally out of  necessity for those who can't reasonably attend Mass on Sunday.  Several parishioners have commented on their work schedules in the service industry of restaurants and hotels, being busy Saturday evenings and mid-day Sundays.  I'm seriously considering a Sunday evening Mass that could accommodate students returning to campus at the end of the weekend, lake traffic completing their weekend activities, and travelers returning home.

     I'm delighted that after returning from vacation several parishioners asked to meet with me to gain permission to plan a Welcome Back Event (Sunday, August 22 after the mid-day Mass) with picnic, hopefully RE registrations, and various parish groups being encouraged to promote themselves and solicit new members, including a women's bible study in English and another in Spanish, positive response to a Catholic men's leadership video program (being offered for the first time in Spanish, Ese Hombre Es Usted!), an expanded sponsorship effort by seasoned parishioners to welcome an anticipated, substantially increased population in Durant, and SOSU Catholic campus ministry being organized.  An apologetics live stream is available from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Franciscan University of Steubenville in our St. William Parish Hall with dinner included.  

     You are invited to worship God in church, participate in parish events, and evangelize our families and our community.  See a photograph of our renovated worship space with additional enhancements to come and some of the parish volunteers who helped with the transition into the church building.

     God bless you and yours.

Fr. Carl Kerkemeyer