The first Catholic priest to come to McGehee was a Benedictine missionary, Reverend Matthew Saettele. The first church, St. Winand, opened on May 17, 1908, followed shortly thereafter by a new parish rectory and then a combined school and convent, opened in 1917 by the Benedictine Sisters of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The lovely original brick St. Winand Church withstood the 1927 flood, and witnessed many joyous parish events over the years before being replaced by a new, larger church in 1957. The new church, now called St. Mary, is still used to celebrate mass. The school and convent have long since closed, but still function as the parish hall. –Adapted from a May 5, 1991 article in the Arkansas Catholic written by Sister Eugenia Pellin.
St. Winand Church in the early 20th Century
St. Mary Catholic Church
401 N 3rd St.
McGehee, AR 71634
Mass: Saturday 5:00 PM