A Roman Catholic Community of faith serving the Lord in word and deed

Madalene History

A Gift of Love Becomes a Community of Faith


Land adjacent to a golf course and over a coal mine was purchased by Christ the King Parish to form a new parish in 1946. The one-room building for a parish of one hundred families, later became the school cafeteria.


In 1948, 1949 and 1953 more classrooms were added and the main church was built. The church was formally dedicated by Most Reverend Eugene J. McGuiness on December 10, 1953. Church of the Madalene received its name from the French form of the name Saint Mary Magdalene.


The church was designed by architect David G. Murry. It was one of the first air-conditioned churches in Oklahoma. The church is built of red brick and Tennessee sandstone, which Earl Neely, a parishioner, personally laid.


Father Walsch designed the crucifix that was made of native clay and formed on church grounds. The Stations of the Cross were designed by parishioner Mrs. Weigl and baked in her home oven.


Reverend James McNamee became the first pastor. He came to the United States at age 19 from Ireland and was ordained at age 23. Father Mac left his imprint, as he was forward-thinking priest. He advocated the liturgy in the vernacular years before Vatican II.

The school opened in 1948 and was in operation for 22 years. at one time the school contained 400 students, eight grades with six teaching sisters and two lay teachers. Due to cost of meeting requirements to maintain state accreditation, the school was closed in 1970