Religious Life in Oklahoma

When I came to Tulsa from the St Louis area to attend college, I was surprised by the number of Catholic churches I found. Around St. Louis, there is a Catholic church on almost every corner, while in Tulsa, I had to drive for miles to get to the nearest church.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that Tulsa and all of Oklahoma is still considered to be “mission territory.” This means that there is still much work to be done in evangelization to spread the good news of the Gospel. There are many in our area who are unchurched and others who are “under-churched”—not truly challenged or nourished spiritually.

Religious life is unknown in many places in Oklahoma and, unfortunately, in many parishes. There are few communities serving in Oklahoma and fewer who are headquartered here. Currently, there are five communities of sisters whose motherhouses are in Oklahoma.  

Our sisters came to Oklahoma shortly after the Unassigned Lands were opened for settlement (the Land Run of 1889). We have served throughout the state in schools, hospitals and parishes. We are now concentrated in Tulsa and while a number of our sisters are involved in our Benedictine school, Monte Cassino, we have other sisters involved in a variety of ministries, including Catholic Charities.

Oklahoma is a great place to live and a rewarding place in which to minister and to live religious life. Our pioneer heritage gives our community a sense of history in Oklahoma as well as an understanding of missionary life and zeal.

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” Luke 10:2