St. Mary of the Angels:
A small faith community with a big heart
By Claire Kenney
A driver on the back roads of Hudson, Ind., in time will come across a tiny, white church. The somehow-comforting, rural surroundings are fitting for this intimate faith community known as St. Mary of the Angels Oratory.
According to Mary Bartlett, the oratory’s secretary and bookkeeper, “We are a close community partly because of our numbers and partly because we are … as long as I have been attending St. Mary’s, a very welcoming community.”
Bartlett first started attending Mass at the church as a young girl and has worked at St. Mary’s in some capacity since 2001.
She has witnessed firsthand some of the church’s history. Built by the Franciscans, the church’s design very much aligns with the order’s simplistic nature. Bartlett believes this outlook exudes “beauty in its simplicity.”
The first Mass was celebrated in 1949. Since then the church has gone through a lot of change, but maintains a loyal membership.
“We have approximately 50 families in the parish and, in the summer months … our numbers triple each weekend, as we welcome those who vacation or live at the lakes in the warmer months,” Bartlett said.
The St. Mary’s community joined that of St. Michael the Archangel, Waterloo, in 2006, when Bishop John D’Arcy decided that St. Mary’s would be administrated by St. Michael’s due to a shortage of clergy. Shortly thereafter, St. Mary’s was officially declared an oratory, a place of prayer typically reserved for Holy Days or special occasions.
The bishop did allow the community to continue to have Mass outside of Holy Days and special occasions, if they could find a priest to do it. That they did: Dedicated retired priests in the area have made it possible for St. Mary’s to continue to celebrate regular Masses.
Bishop D’Arcy eventually granted St. Mary’s permission to function administratively as an independent unit. Today, even though no pastor is on site, the community continues to operate with its own administrative team, under the direction of administrator Father David Carkenord, the pastor of St. Michael’s. It collaborates with St. Michael’s in other aspects as well.
Currently, St. Mary’s offers Mass on Saturdays at 5 p.m., and Sundays at 9 a.m.
Members of St. Mary’s actively give back to their local community.
“We support various organizations in the area who serve the needy, such as the food banks, with our tithing and the little jar at the back of church. Other organizations are Elijah House in LaGrange, St. Martin’s Soup Kitchen in Garrett, Faith Community Free Clinic in Angola, Friendship Pantry in Kendallville and many, many more,” Bartlett explained.
In addition to activities offered through St. Michael’s, members of St. Mary’s can also get involved in the church’s rosary group.
“We have an active Ladies Rosary Club that meets once a month. Our numbers vary each month, but we pray for the sick of the parish and their families and let them know we care with cards,” Bartlett said. The rosary is said each first Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. in honor of Our Lady of Fatima.
St. Mary of the Angels Oratory
5965 S. 1025E
Hudson, IN 46747
Saturday: 5 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.
Half-hour before Mass
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