St. Andrew's was originally a mission of St. Joseph Parish in Norman, Oklahoma. The first Masses celebrated specifically for Catholics living in the Moore area were held at Holy Childhood School on Western Avenue (which subsequently became Villa Theresa). In 1962 Bishop Victor J. Reed appointed Father Jack Joyce, the editor of the diocesan newspaper, as the first resident Pastor of St. Andrew's 45 Catholic families. By the time of the dedication of the Parish Activities Center at 800 NW 5th Street in February 1965, the parish had grown to 140 families.
In June 1969, Bishop Victor J. Reed appointed Father Joyce as pastor of St. Charles Borremeo in Oklahoma City and named Father David Jones to succeed him. During his tenure, Father Jones placed a strong emphasis on the importance of catechetics by hiring the parish's first Director of Religious Education and by adding a 3,600 square foot educational wing to the original building.
In the spring of 1974, Father Jones announced his resignation from active priestly ministry. Archbishop John Quinn appointed Father Ben Zoeller to succeed him as the third Pastor of St. Andrew's. During his pastorate, the parish increased in size from 280 to over 600 families. With the active assistance of the Parish Council and a Parish Goals Committee, the physical facilities were expanded to include ten additional classrooms in August, 1976; a new rectory in June, 1979; and the parish church in November, 1979. In 1978 Father Ken Kulinski was appointed the parish's first Associate Pastor. In 1983, Victor Galier was ordained as St. Andrew's first permanent deacon. After serving as a deacon for a brief time, Deacon Galier was diagnosed with a cancer that would soon claim his life. It was a time of great sadness for the whole parish.
In June 1984, Archbishop Charles Salatka transferred Father Zoeller to St. Eugene's in Weatherford and appointed Father George Pupius as the fourth Pastor of St. Andrew's. The parish’s continuing growth necessitated the expansion of the parish staff to include an associate DRE, an RCIA coordinator, director of youth ministry, and a music director. In 1984 Jim (Marilyn) Barton, Thomas (Susan) Schott and Angus (Betty Jo) Watford were ordained permanent deacons. In 1989, Sister Paulette Schifflebein was hired as Director of Religious Education and Sister Ursula Schones was hired as Assistant Director of Religious Education. Both Sisters belonged to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and had been living in the parish for some time as teachers in the Moore school district. George (Nora) Leal was ordained a permanent deacon in the fall of 1988; and Jim (Dee) Knight was ordained a permanent deacon in 1990. After the untimely death of his wife, Deacon Knight was ordained a priest and served faithfully until his death in 2007. For a short time, Father Henry Roberson served as Associate Pastor. Later, Deacon Leal was reassigned to Sacred Heart Parish to help with their growing ministry to Hispanics; and Deacon Barton was transferred to Corpus Christi Parish in Oklahoma City. In 1994, Mr. James (Bonnie) Keene was ordained a deacon.
In June 1997, after serving thirteen years as pastor, Father George was transferred to St. Joseph Parish in Ada. Archbishop Beltran appointed Father Jack Feehily as fifth Pastor of St. Andrews. Under Father Feehily's tenure, the religious education program developed into a more comprehensive Continuing Christian Development program with added emphasis on pre-school and adult participation. Lee Schoo was hired as the parish's first business manager and maintenance coordinator. Bill and Linda Fisher were hired as Directors of Youth Ministries and empowered to begin a dynamic new program for junior and senior high school youth called Life Teen. A functioning Pastoral Council was re-established in the fall of 1997 and shortly thereafter a new Finance Council was appointed. Further staff changes were occasioned by the retirement of Sister Paulette in the fall of 1997 and the subsequent decision of Sister Ursula in 1998 to take a less demanding position at St. Thomas Moore in Norman. That same year, Deacon James Keene was assigned to neighboring Immaculate Conception Parish in Oklahoma City. Trish McConnell, who had been serving as Music Director, took on new duties as Pastoral Associate for CCD. Linda Hartley joined the staff in 1998 as part-time coordinator for the new Life Kids program for grades one through six. Karen Novak became the first director of the new Life Tots program for pre-school children while continuing as nursery director. In 1999, a killer tornado ripped through the parish causing damage or the complete destruction of the homes of more than a hundred of our members. Caryl Prati, a registered nurse who had only recently moved into the parish, took on an important role as liason with Catholic Charities in their recovery efforts. She did such an exemplary job that she was hired as our first Parish Nurse.
Under the leadership of the Pastoral and Finance Councils, the refurbishing of the parish grounds and facilities was assigned a high priority. The following projects were completed between July of 1997 and February of 1999: The church was refurbished through the addition of new carpeting, a tile floor in the sanctuary, and the upholstering of the pews with new padded kneelers. A new sheetrock wall was fashioned in the sanctuary to enhance its vertical dimension. A new glass wall was installed to provide visible access to the Blessed Sacrament chapel and its new tabernacle. The sanctuary was enhanced by the addition of an Ambry for the holy oils; and the hanging of tapestries depicting St. Andrew and St. Peter. A new devotional area with beautiful frescoes of the Holy Family and Jesus with the Children of the World was added in the area adjacent to the tabernacle. A new area for the choir and musicians was built on the north side of the church.
In 2000 a beautiful Baptistry was constructed to house a striking new baptismal font with flowing water. A new glass wall was installed to provide worshippers with clear site lines from their pews to view baptisms being conducted. In late 2001, Trish McConnell resigned for the wonderful purpose of joining the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Shortly thereafter, Margaret Hochla, an accomplished organist, vocalist, and choir director was hired to serve as both Music Director and Coordinator of Adult Christian formation. On November 3, 2000, Jerome (Cynthia) Caplinger became the eighth son of St. Andrew’s to be ordained a permanent deacon.
In 2001 an exciting and comprehensive Parish Development Plan was finalized by parish leaders with lots of input from parishioners. After raising one half of the total cost through the generous donations of faithful stewards, construction was begun in the summer of 2004. Sixteen thousand square feet were added to the west of the original parish activities center and church, encompassing the old plaza and physically uniting the church to the rest of the facilities. This made possible a large commons area where the people gather before and after Mass. A large youth center, a new parish kitchen, new child care areas, new restrooms, and a beautiful new main entrance rounded out the expanded facilities. In addition the PAC, renamed the Joyce Center on the occasion of our 40th anniversary, was completely remodeled to provide a first class area for wedding receptions and other parish functions.
Since the parish was formed, there has always been an important emphasis on the promotion of vocations. At least seven of its sons have entered the seminary and five of them have been ordained priests: Scott Adams (who has since resigned from active ministry), Rusty Hewes, Victor Galier, Joe Arledge, and Billy Lewis. We presently have one seminarian, Danny Grover, who in 2012 is serving as a pastoral intern at St. Charles Borromeo after completing second theology at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. Dan’s father, Clyde (Ann) Grover was installed an acolyte in November, 2012 and is on track to be ordained a permanent deacon in 2013. Sister Patricia (Trish) McConnell, the first woman from St. Andrew’s to profess vows in a religious order, tragically succumbed to cancer in 2011.
A survey of Mass attendance during October 2012 indicated that approximately 1200 men, women, and children gather each weekend to worship God at one of our three Masses. While among our parish family members are about 150 families with Hispanic surnames, very few of them are recent immigrants thus obviating the need for a Mass in Spanish. St. Andrew parishioners have become known for their hospitality, for their full, conscious, and active offering of Holy Mass, and for their practice of good stewardship of time, talent, and treasure. Each member is made aware of the call to holiness and the responsibility to actively pursue the mission of the Church.