Above: Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 2022
As we have journeyed down the road of Corpus Christi Catholic Church’s history for the last forty years, we have been continually blessed by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We strive to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, obey His word and serve Him in the poor, and Our Lord has blessed our parish in countless ways, allowing it to grow.
In 1982, we had only twenty people in our parish; as of today, we have over seven hundred registered families. There have been so many people, Anglo and Hispanic, who have worked diligently together throughout the years for the good of our parish. We could never mention them all, but we are so thankful they said yes to the opportunity to work for Our Lord.
In 1975, the Catholics of Oneonta in Blount County had no parish to call their own. They were forced to travel to churches in neighboring counties for Mass. Responding to this need, Fr. Charles Bordenca, pastor of Holy Infant of Prague parish in Trussville, began to say Sunday Mass in Oneonta parishioners’ homes and later in the Chamber of Commerce building, as well as in the Methodist Church.
When Fr. Joseph Kula was appointed pastor of Holy Infant of Prague, he was kind enough to celebrate Mass in the Oneonta Elementary School auditorium, but because of declining numbers, the Catholics of Oneonta were encouraged to go to their nearest parish church. When Fr. Inkel came to Holy Infant, he too tried to have Mass in Oneonta at the home of Rita Porter, but once again there were not sufficient numbers.
On October 3, 1982, six Catholics (Rita Porter, Gloria Cook, Steve Majerik, Ruth Miller, Rita Hawkins, and Anne Woods) met with Fr. James O’Reilly, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Church in Pell City, requesting his help in establishing a Catholic Church in Oneonta.
The following Sunday, with the approval of Bishop Vath, Fr. O’Reilly offered Mass for this small community in the upstairs room of the Oneonta Public Library.
Above: Formerly the Oneonta Public Library, where Mass was first held in the “Upper Room” (now Oneonta City Hall)
“The Upper Room” (as it was popularly referred to) soon could not accommodate the growing numbers of this mission church, so the community moved to Valley Funeral Home Chapel where Sunday Mass was celebrated during November and December of 1982. On November 7, 1982, the community received its official title as a mission church from Bishop Vath.
Above: Valley Funeral Home Chapel