May 27, 2015 –
MAYETTA: Our Lady of the Snows Parish, that is located on the Prairie Band Potawatomi reservation, is planning to celebrate its 100 year anniversary this coming Sunday at 3 p.m. with a Mass followed by a pot luck meal. Soup and sandwiches will be provided and the public is invited.
The church was officially opened in 1915 and built on ground donated by Mitchell Battese. Work began on the church in 1912 and various Indian families and other members of the community helped construct the church that was finished in 1915.
Inside the church, there is an alter that is still in use today that was imported from Italy. In addition, there are several stained glass windows that were brought in from St. Joseph’s Church in Hoyt, Kansas after that church closed in 1924. In addition, a large bell was also donated that sits outside near the front entrance of the church.
Our Lady of the Snows Church history is unique in that worship in the church includes Indian hymns and other traditionally native elements that have been added to normal Catholic services. For many years the Jesuits from St. Mary’s Seminary in St. Mary’s, Kansas usually conducted Mass until they left the area in 1965. Following that, Our Lady of the Snows was closed for 20 years but reopened in 1986 with the help from the Archdiocesan Ministry to Native Americans and the will of the people.
Another building near the church was built in 1952 and is named after Sister Therese Klepac who served the church for many years. The hall is used as a social gathering place for meals and other events.
Today there is a large congregation of individuals who hold Mass every Sunday and practice Catholic life. In 2012 church members held a major event that celebrated the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), a Mohawk-Algonquin sister who became the first indigenous saint to ever be recognized by the Pope.
Our Lady of the Snows Church is located at 5971 166th Road, Mayetta.