Parish History

Catholics have been meeting to celebrate Mass at Holy Family parish for almost twenty years. However, our parish family has been together for over fifty one years. The original church, St. Barbara's, was established in Lawton in June 1959. Bishop Victor J. Reed, Bishop of the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, appointed Fr. Paul Mollan as the first pastor. For the next eighteen months Fr. Mollan held Sunday services at the small Vaska Theater. Meanwhile, construction on a church and school plant began on a 6.8 acre tract of land donated by Blessed Sacrament Parish.

The first services in the new church were held on Sunday, November 13, 1960. On December 4, thefeast day of St. Barbara, the patroness of artillerymen, the new church and school were dedicated. Staffed by members of the Grail International Movement, the school opened that fall with an enrollment of 312 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties, the school closed in May 1967.

Fr. James H. Ross succeeded Fr. Paul Mollan in June 1967. In June 1975, with the transfer of Fr. Ross, Father James Stafford was appointed pastor. He served as pastor until June 1987. Then Fr. Gerard MacAulay took over and was assisted by Deacons Herman Lawrence and James Doherty. Later, Fr. Larry Kolwalski was named pastor and assisted by Deacons Charlie Wade, Herman Lawrence, and Norman Christophe. In 1994, Fr. Leven served as pastor until his retirement in June 1998. At that time, Fr. Robert T. Wood was appointed pastor. Deacons Herman Lawrence, Leo Martinez, and Pete Dulcamara assisted him. Fr. Philip Seeton succeeded Fr. Wood in June 2000.

By 1978, it was clear that the parish had outgrown its present location and plans to move began. The Lawton Public School system purchased St. Barbara's Church and school plant with the stipulation that the parish could use the church for a period of two years.

New land was purchased at 82nd Street and Cache Road. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on Sunday, June 17, 1979 for a new church, rectory, and religious education classrooms. Names for the new parish were submitted to the Archbishop for consideration. On November 1, 1979, the name "Holy Family" was selected by the Archbishop. So on October 30, 1980, Holy Family Church was officially dedicated with the Oklahoma City Archbishop, Charles Salatka, celebrating the dedication mass.

By 1993, the parish numbered more than one-thousand families. Their vision continued to unfold. This new challenge revealed that more space was a step to the future. The construction of the "Family Life Center" has us poised to do greater things in this part of God's kingdom, Lawton's Holy Family Parish. It is a nineteen-thousand square foot multi-purpose building to help the next generation to work on preparing their vision ... young people attracted to, involved in, and dedicated to the spiritual and social excellence in their Christian walk with Jesus. In Him we have not labored in vain!

On Saturday, October 4, 2008, the parish had a picnic in the area on the back of the parish property. An outdoor Mass was conducted by Father Larkin under a large tent, followed by dinner and fun. The parish provided the meat (roasted pig and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs) and everyone brought a side dish and a desert. Although bingo and cards were available under the tent, as well as volleyball, horseshoes and other games for the kids, the highlight of the picnic was the burning of the note to the Family Life Center. Nearly 500 people watched as Father Larkin touched flame to mortgage to a hearty round of applause and cheers. A job well done by all!

Our Clergy Through the Years

Pastors Associates Deacons
Father Paul Mollan, 1959 - 1967 Fr. John Lundberg, 1960 - 1961 Deacon Herman Lawrence, 1979 - 2009
Father James Ross, 1967 - 1975 Fr. Lawrence Courtright, 1961-1963 Deacon James Doherty, 1987 - 1992
Father James Stafford, 1975 - 1987 Fr. Donald Brooks, 1963 - 1965 Deacon Charley Wade, 1991 - 1995
Father Gerald McAuley, 1987 - 1990 Fr. Alfred Kelly, 1965 - 1967 Deacon Norman Christopher, 1992 1996
Father Larry Kowalski, 1990 - 1994 Fr. Bernard Schwarz, 1967 - 1969 Deacon Leo Martinez, 1996 - 2006
Father Marvin Leven, 1994 - 1998 Fr. William King, 1969 - 1970 Deacon Peter Dulcamara, 1999 -  2009
Father Robert Wood, 1998 - 2000 Fr. Alan Loth, 1971 - 1975 Deacon Jim Coe, 2006 -
Father Philip Seeton, 2000 – 2006 Fr. Gary Kaylor, 1977 - 1978 Deacon David Bunch, 2006 -
Father Timothy Fuller 2006 - 2007 Fr. Alphonse Mani, 1994 - 1995 Deacon Mike Romaka, 2010 -
Father Kirk Larkin 2007 - 2010 Fr. Jim Goin, 1995 - 1997
Father Philip Seeton, 2010