Along the way, if we needed a little encouragement, God would send us just what we needed, in the form of gifts and sometimes talents of others. It happened in big ways and small ways. Whether it was electricians offering their talents or plumbers saying they would do what they could. Even non-Catholic graphic artists who stenciled the apes wall and faux painted the ceiling; every moment was a sign from the Lord, that we were on the right path and that He was blessing us all the way. Below are some of the blessings He sent our way and from where they came:
In 2008, I was driving in my car, listening to "Catholic Answers Live" on our local Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting channel, and they were interviewing a priest from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Fr. Stephen Imbarrato. He had a fascinating story of a re-version and a delayed vocation. In addition he was now working in the pro-life ministry, having "built" a brand new ministry in the Archdiocese and housing it in a new building in Albuquerque, right across the street from Planned Parenthood. Fr. Imbarrato said that he and his team were doing all kinds of ministry to save children, and that PP was the only place in New Mexico to get an abortion. He also described a small chapel he had put inside the building, where adoration could occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
From the beginning of the meetings of the committee, we chose as our patrons, first and foremost the Holy Innocents themselves. Those two-year-old boys, whom Herod slaughtered when the Magi, having obtained the time of the birth of the Newborn King, deceived him. However, they are not the only infant martyrs. There are more than 55 million who have died at the hands of their own parents in this new slaughter of the innocent, therefore we invoke all the Holy Innocents' of all time and all places to plead for us and may the spilling of all their blood come to a quick end.
When we began this adventure, I called Mr. Brendan Hamtill, owner of FyndersKeepers in the Kansas City area.
His company is a reclamation company. When churches are closing, Brendan buys what he can and then tries to get them back into the hands of churches that need them. I told him what I was going to do and that I was going to need everything. I was also on a budget and did he know of things that we could get a good rate. He informed me "this was my day, as some sisters from Chicago had called and that they had a tabernacle they wanted to give to somebody."
As things moved along, knowing that the chapel would need a full set of vestments, and all that goes with them, Fr. Oswalt called his favorite vestment manufacturer, The House of Hansen, in Chicago. He has used them for most of his vestments and for parish vestments since his ordination. This is a family run and owned business for more than a century. Father told the owner Jerry Arens what was going on and said we needed a full set of vestments. Jerry asked for clarification and could he call back later?
Above the bookstand and the Scripture passage inscribed upon the wall, which itself is very important – Jeremiah 3:15, which is quoted for the Feast of the Holy Innocents', we find a beautiful icon of three cherubs, who seem to be watching over the entire action of the Holy Innocents' Chapel.
Fr. Oswalt received a phone call one day from Sr. Rose, RSM, at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. She asked if he was looking for some Stations of the Cross. How she knew, no one could figure out. She invited him to lunch at the convent and to see the stations she had in mind. She showed him three beautiful Stations of the Cross, done in heavy plaster. She said that these had been in the sisters' chapel at Mt. St. Mary’s High School (Oklahoma City) since the Sisters of Mercy had first arrived in 1905.
Master Carpenter Charles Wright was one of the original people on the planning committee. He is a long time member of St. Joseph's Parish, Norman. Fr. Oswalt helped bring Charles and his family into the fullness of faith during Father's first years as a priest. Charles was asked if he would give his advise on the furniture and furnishings of the chapel. He went above and beyond the request to the point of making most of what is in the chapel now. From the pews to the ambo, to the altar railing and to the stands the statures stand upon. All of this has been the handiwork of Charles. The Foundation paid for the materials, all the labor and expertise is that of Charles Wright. Following in the Master's footsteps, he has been a true Gift from God.
Brendan Hamptill called a few weeks later and said he had an idea for the altar. He had one that was the only thing sitting in a warehouse that he desperately needed to close. It was stone, a former side altar. It was large, and heavy. He could get it to us relatively cheap, and the freight would not be that much. It was over 100 years old, and we could get it right away. If we had to have someone design and cut it today, it would probably cost us over $100,000.
6114 N.W. 63rd
Warr Acres, OK 73132