Saint William Catholic Church in Durant is currently celebrating its centennial as a Parish. The local church’s history is also now in print and on sale to the public.
Dr. Henry Harder held a book signing at the Donald W Reynolds Community Center and Library Monday last week, introducing his book “Saint William Church, Durant: A Centennial history.”
Dr. Harder of Tulsa received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He served as an instructor in the U.S. Naval Academy before teaching at two other colleges.
Dr. Harder retired in 1998. He became Chancellor at Diocese of Tulsa where he remained from 2000 to 2006.
Harder is also a Distinguished Alumnus of Subiaco Academy in Arkansas, an honor he said he is most proud of.
Harder was asked to by St. William Church to aid in a project that consisted of a large amount of historical research.
While helping with this project Harder said he found a story that needed to be told, the story of St. William Church in Durant.
The book follows the journey of a church as old as Durant itself. From its beginning as Saint Catherine’s Church to its relocation and name change to Saint William Church.
Although the church began with the birth of Durant it did not become a Parish until 1912. This year marks the church’s centennial year as a Parish.
The book tells the history of the church itself and the Catholic families of Durant from the church’s beginning to the present day.
Dr. Harder wrote the book for the benefit of the church.
“We’re terribly grateful for the time he put in,” said Dr. L. David Norris of St. William Church.
Harder signed over copyright to the church enabling all profit from book sales to go directly to Saint William Church. The book is now for sale for $20.