The History of St Clement Catholic Church
The founding of St Clement Parish is credited to Bishop Daniel Desmond who authorized work to begin on a church and rectory in Vivian, Louisiana, in July 1945. The property for the parish buildings was donated by Oliver and Helen Smith. Funds for construction came from local contributors, friends of Bishop Desmond, Reverend Waldo Hasenfus of Boston, Massachusetts, and the late Mrs. Mathilda Bullen, who made a substantial gift for that purpose through the Catholic Church Extension Society of the USA.
The Parish of St Clement in Vivian comprises the territory from the Arkansas State line to the Blanchard Road, and from the Red River to the Texas State Line, an area of about 480 square miles.
Bishop Desmond appointed Father Louis P. Senesac first pastor. Father Senesac celebrated the first Mass at St Clement on November 10, 1945. Before the official dedication of the church could take place, Bishop Desmond died.
Dedication ceremonies were delayed until May 12, 1946. Bishop Charles Greco, who had been consecrated for the Alexandria Diocese in February, was present and called the new parish plant a "Jewel of a setup" ( and still is today). The sermon for the ceremony was offered by the Very Rev. Lawrence M. O'Neill, S.J. The Mayor of Vivian, Earl G Williamson, Sr. offered a welcoming address with remarks by the Mayor of Oil City, O. B. Roberts.
The wisdom of the choice of Vivian for a new Catholic Church has proved itself in the number of converts received into the church since it's founding.
Parish organizations of St Clement in 1948 included the Altar Society, Holy Name Society, St. Vincent De Paul Society and Catholic Youth Organization. At the present time, the parish organizations which are active are the St. Vincent De Paul Society, Altar Society, the Men's Club, the Parish and Financial Councils.
During the Pastor ship of Msgr. William Kwaaitaal, the property north of the church was purchased at a nominal fee from Mr. Oliver Smith. Msgr. Kwaaitaal began to make plans for a Parish Hall on that property. The Hall was finally built through the efforts and donations from the friends, the Extension Society and the Parishioners. The Hall was furnished by donations from families in the Parish. In 1986, the Hall was officially named Kwaaitaal Hall.