St. Michael the Archangel Church, in the small farming community of Waterloo, was established in 1880 by German-American immigrants. The parish was originally comprised of 14 families. There are currently 400 families and 925 members in the parish. Still small by many standards, St. Michael’s is very proud that there have been 17 baptisms and two weddings in the 2015-16 year, with another wedding planned for the end of October.
The parish might be small in numbers, but its demographics make it unique. Parishioners come from not only Waterloo, but also from the surrounding towns of Auburn, Angola and Hamilton — as well as the state of Ohio. Because the parish pulls from so many school systems, for example, church activities are often scheduled on Sundays.
In 2010, St. Michael’s underwent a major church renovation. The renovation was done by Daprato Rigali Studios from Chicago, Ill., one of the most highly regarded church renovation companies in the world. Weigand Construction was the general contractor. The entire interior of the church was renovated from floor to ceiling, including the wiring, baptismal font and pews.
There is something for all ages and areas of interest in this loving, caring faith community. The real blessing, though, is that most of the group members are serving others while enriching their own spiritual life.
The quilting group started in 1995 and is composed of five women comprise the core of the group. They make quilts for all of the parish’s babies who receive baptism, lap robes for area nursing homes and quilts for area homeless shelters such as Shelter Ministries in Auburn. They are supported by the Rosary Society.
The Rosary Society includes all the men and women of the parish. Each month, they have a business meeting and decide on a special project for the month. In September, they collected gently used coats and cleaning supplies for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. In October they are collecting socks for the Share the Warmth program, which gives the socks to seniors in nursing homes. They also volunteer with Warm a Heart, donating food and prepared dishes to share with the less fortunate in Waterloo. Coming up in November, the Rosary Society will again sponsor Feather Bingo, where a quilt is raffled off and the proceeds shared with area charities. The Rosary Society also conducts bake sales, sponsors a Giving Tree at Christmas, raises money to send some of the parish’s youth to World Youth Day and visits the shut-ins.
St. Michael the Archangel hosts the social group Harvest House once a month for those 50 years old or older. Each gathering begins with Mass and a rosary, followed by a potluck lunch and discussion on a spiritual topic. They also provide cards to the shut-ins.
In addition to these ministries, St. Michael the Archangel has a ministry to the sick and homebound, a children’s choir at Christmastime, the St. Rose of Lima Spiritual Book Club, a funeral dinner ministry, monthly food collections, Disciples in Mission groups, a parish picnic each August, Bible studies for adult religious education, several youth groups and a scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors who fill out an application and write an essay on a theme given to them.
There are currently 62 students, from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, and 32 students in grades nine through 12, enrolled in religion education classes. The parish’s LifeTeen Program will set up the Stations of the Cross for All Saints Day in November. Separate from the LifeTeen Program, 50 students from grades six through 12 are the parish’s youth group.
Father David Carkenord is the pastoral shepherd of this committed flock. At 80 years old, Father Carkenord is the oldest priest in active ministry in the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese. He has been a priest for 54 years, and pastor at St. Michael the Archangel since September 1989.
Recently, St. Anthony of Padua in neighboring Angola teamed up with St. Michael the Archangel to host an Older American’s Day. The event, which was spearheaded by Father Carkenord, drew a total of 100 people from 10 different parishes for the celebration. Bobbie Charleswood, director of religious education for St. Michael the Archangel, said of Father Carkenord, “His homilies are never read, but always spoken from the heart. He is very much loved.”
St. Michael Church
1098 County Road 39, Waterloo
Mass times are: Sunday at 8 and 10:30 a.m.
Saturday at 6 p.m.
Holy Day at 8 a.m.
Vigil — 7 p.m.
Weekdays at 8 a.m.
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