Today and Sunday, Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, O.S.B., of St. Gregory’s Abbey will be the homilist at all Masses at St. Benedict Catholic Church. The services mark the beginning of the Benedictine farewell events.


Today and Sunday, Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, O.S.B., of St. Gregory’s Abbey will be the homilist at all Masses at St. Benedict Catholic Church. The services mark the beginning of the Benedictine farewell events.
For more than a century, the monks of St. Gregory’s Abbey have served many areas across Oklahoma, but especially the churches in Pottawatomie and Seminole counties. Because of personnel shortages and in order to emphasize their monastic charism, the Abbey will no longer be responsible for these parishes, with one exception, Scared Heart Church in Konawa. Because Scared Heart has a historical connection to the original monastery, it will remain a parish of the Benedictine monks.
Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran of Oklahoma City said there are a declining number of priests in the archdiocese and, with withdrawal of the monks, there is a need for assignment changes. Those changes are:
• St. Benedict Church, Shawnee, as a parish, will encompass all of Pottawatomie County except for the extreme southern part of the county.
• Saint Vincent DePaul Church, McLoud, will be a mission of St. Benedict Church with a priest administrator in residence.
• Immaculate Conception Church, Seminole, continues to include all of Seminole County.
• Saint Cecelia Church, Maud, will be closed.
• Saint Joseph Church, Wewoka, has been designated as a chapel.
• Scared Heart Church, Konawa, remains under the care of St. Gregory’s Abbey along with its mission, St. Mary Church, Wanette.
Following  the 10 a.m. Mass Sunday, a parish potluck dinner and Benedictine farewell will be held in the Benedict Center. St. Benedict parishioners will give a special gift to the Abbey. There also will be a farewell reception for Father Maurus Jaeb, O.S.B. The weekend of June 21-22, parishioners will welcome new priests. A reception will be held after all Masses that weekend to meet the new pastor.