St. Mary Parish, West Plains, MO, Founded 1902

St. Mary Church, West Plains, MO (circa 2010)
St. Mary Church, West Plains, MO (circa 2010)

General parish info

Contact info
Pastor: Fr. Shoby Chettiyath
Pastoral Associate: Deacon Patrick J. Keefe
Administrative Assistant:
 Ann Hall

Phone: (417) 256-2556
Mailing address: St. Mary Church, PO Box 67 West Plains, MO 65775-0067

Email: stmarychurchwestplains@gmail.com


Weekend Mass times

Sunday
10:30 a.m.
Saturday
5 p.m.

Daily Mass Times

Tuesday – Friday
8 a.m.

Confession

Saturday
4 p.m., or by appointment

Adoration

Wednesday
8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Devotions

Monday
8 a.m. morning prayer

Office hours

Monday – Thursday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Updated: 10-07-16

History

St. Mary Parish celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding in September 2002. The current church building was dedicated on June 6, 1983, its 81st anniversary.

For the first Catholics in the Ozarks, priests came on horseback from the remote areas of Poplar Bluff, Salem, or Rolla to celebrate Mass in private homes. The probable site of the first Mass was at the home of Mike and Annie Fitzgerald. Church services were soon held regularly in the room above Fitzgerald’s Tin and Plumbing Shop on Washington Avenue until the church was built on South Hill Street and dedicated to the Mother of God, St. Mary.

A financial report of 1910 shows a congregation of 52 families. One third of the income for that year came from businesses and citizens of West Plains who were not Catholic, which reflected the public interest in building a Catholic church in the community. In 1948, St. Mary’s was given parish status with Fr. Francis Donovan as the first resident pastor. Soon, St. Mary’s began branching out to its own mission work.

During the 1950’s, St. Mary’s was a Mission Center for young priests working in the vast area of the Central Deanery of the Archdiocese of St. Louis under the Missionary Apostolate Plan. The area included five counties: Howell; Oregon; Ozark; Shannon; and Texas.

In 1957, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Butler donated the seven-acre tract of land on which the current church complex was eventually built. It was not until 1982 that the actual church building project took place on south Thayer Avenue. In February 2003, a gathering area joining the church with the parish center was completed.

Priests served

Donovan, Fr. Francis P., Sep 8, 1950 – May 14, 1951
Bauer, Fr. Sylvester W., 
Apr. 19, 1955 – Apr. 22, 1960
Deragowski, Msgr. Eugene J., Apr. 23, 1960 – June 14, 1965
Rolwing, Msgr. Richard C., June 15, 1965 – Aug. 16, 1966
Hirtz, Msgr. Nicholas J., Aug. 17, 1966 – May, 1967
Kunkel, Fr. Raymond W., Aug. 19, 1967 – Aug. 22, 1972
Huggins, Fr. William A., Aug. 23, 1972 – July 31, 1977
Schneider, Fr. Stephen A., Aug. 1, 1977 – July 14, 1979
McLoughlin, Fr. Paul J., July 15, 1979 – Mar 10, 1981
Baker, Fr. John W. (interim pastor), Mar. 11, 1981 – June 22, 1981
Bauer, Fr. Sylvester W., July 1, 1981 – Aug. 14, 1984
Hodgson, Fr. William M. (Administrator then pastor), Aug. 15, 1984 – Dec. 27, 1984; *Pastor, Dec. 28, 1984 – Aug. 11, 1985
Suit, Fr. Robert, D, 1991-1992, 1992-1993, 1993-1994
Monaghan, Fr. Justin D. (temp. Administrator then pastor), May 25, 1994 – Aug. 16, 1994; *Pastor, Aug. 17, 1994 – Aug. 16, 1999
Carr, Fr. Gary M., Aug. 17, 1999 – Aug. 16, 2001
Brath, Fr. John A., Aug. 17, 2001 – Aug. 17, 2004
Reynolds, Fr. James L., Aug. 18, 2004 – Jun 3, 2008
Weidenbenner, Fr. Joseph (Parochial administrator then pastor), Jul 1, 2008 – Jun 30, 2009; Pastor, Jul 1, 2009 – Jun 30, 2015
Chettiyath, Fr. Shoby M., Jul 1, 2015 –

Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.

Parish related

GPS coordinates: N36° 43.128’, W091° 50.030’ (click here for map)
Physical address: St. Mary Church, 965 S Thayer Ave, West Plains, MO

Attends to: Sacred Heart Church, Thayer, MO

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