Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Winnfield, Louisiana, can best be described as a “friendly, hard working, little church in the woods.” The church is filled with vibrant members who are small in numbers but diligent in their work for the Lord. The Spanish families add an active part in the small community. Together the small congregation keeps their little church going and growing.
For such a little church many activities are offered for all age groups. The youth of the parish, pre-kindergarten through high school students, are instructed in CCD classes. Mrs. Tracy Kelley and Mrs. Michelle Canerday teach the Pre-K, kindergarten and first graders. Mrs. Pat Garrett teaches the second graders and others preparing for First Communion. Tennie Arrington gives instruction to the third graders. Mrs. Laure Derr teaches fourth, fifth and sixth graders. Mrs. Vickie Weeks is the Youth Group Director and provides instruction to Junior High and Senior High School students. Meals are provided for all the classes. Mrs. Julie Boatman, Mrs. Lillian Grantadams and Mrs. Maria Guerrero take care of the kitchen duties.
The church provides instructions for adults through a Sharing Faith Group. This group meets on the first Wednesday of each month under the direction of Mrs. Pat Garrett.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church has an active ladies group. The group is led by Mrs. Katherine Daughtry. Mrs. Chris Walker is the treasurer.
Mrs. Katherine Daughtry is the music director. She directs the choir every Sunday and is assisted by Ashley Price on the piano. Every year, Mrs. Daughtry directs the music for the Christmas play. The music for Bible school is directed by Mrs. Vickie Weeks with assistance from Mrs. Katherine Daughtry and Mrs. Kristin Durbin.
The church has an active number of Eucharistic Ministers which assist the pastor. They take communion to the two nursing homes, visit the home bound and lead the rosary on Wednesdays.
Our Lady of Lourdes is blessed with a number of Spanish families. There are Spanish services every Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
The church provides a Rosary service every Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. followed by Mass. During Lent the Stations of the Cross are said on Fridays at 6:00 p.m. followed by Mass.
Our Lady of Lourdes is a very unique church because for such a small parish it is blessed with many hard working individuals who love serving the Lord. The Pastoral Planning Committee, under the leadership of Mrs. Chris Walker, has made sure that the entire parish has been given opportunities to serve the Lord.
In 2008, Don and Pat Garrett were recognized by Our Lady of Lourdes and given the Outstanding Service Award for their work on the grotto and memorial cross projects. These two projects were built by the Garretts as a labor of love. Engraved brick sidewalks adorn both the grotto and the cross. The Garretts then added a beautiful garden area to the grotto and cross areas.
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., there is a Rosary service. The Rosary group does an intercessory Rosary with the prayer intentions of the parish said before each decade. Mass follows at 6:00 p.m.
During the summer, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the rest of the year on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm.
There is an Evangelism Committee that reaches out to the fallen away Catholics through the mailing of the church bulletins, telephone calls, letters, and home visits.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church provides activities for people of all ages.
The Pre-K through sixth grade students have CCD classes on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Junior High and Senior High students meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The adults of the parish are active in many organizations. The Church Council meets the second Tuesday of each month. The Ladies Group meets the third Wednesday of each month and provides many services to the church. The Sharing Faith group meets the first Wednesday of each month and uses this time to learn more about their faith and pray for the needs of others. The large group of Eucharistic Ministers takes communion to the sick, assists at Mass, leads the Rosary and visits the homebound.
The church membership is active and has a good time working for the Lord.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Our Lady of Lourdes is a busy little church with an active calendar of events. Each month the parishioners receive a church newsletter and calendar of events. In the upcoming months the church is busy preparing for Advent services, Christmas play, Christmas services, Valentine Party for the Nursing Home residents, Lenten activities, Easter services, May Crowning, First Communion Sunday, Mother's Day Recognition Sunday, Senior Sunday Activities, Father's Day Recognition Sunday, and Bible School.
Every Sunday there is a church bulletin under the direction of Mrs. Nikki Sluss. The bulletin informs the congregation of upcoming activities and assignments. The bulletins are mailed to the church members who miss Mass on Sundays. The parish activities are also published in the Winn Parish Enterprise and The Church Today newspapers.
The Catholic Church began in Winn Parish in 1907. The Catholic Church family, like many early pioneer church families in Winnfield, held their services at the Winn Parish Courthouse. Rev. Cornelius Van de Ven, Bishop of Natchitoches, on March 4, 1907, purchased a lot and building--a frame structure with a tin roof, in Winnfield for the Catholic Church. The church was known as St. Eleonore's Church in 1939. It was a mission of St. Lucy's Catholic Church in Hodge, Louisiana.
The old church was destroyed by fire in 1926. Mass was held in a number of different places after the fire. One of the frequent places for Mass to be held was in the home of R.T. Tucker.
In 1945, Bishop Daniel F. Desmond announced that a terminally ill man, unknown to the Catholic parishioners of Winn Parish, decided to donate $5,000 to build a small Catholic Church in a southern town and requested the name of the church to be changed to Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church was then built on Lafayette Street in Winnfield. In 1955, Mr. R.T. Tucker died and his wife left a nice sum of money to the church and so a rectory was added.
In 1988, a new church was built at 772 Country Club Road under the leadership of Bishop John Favalora. This was the only church built during his tenure as bishop. The old church was sold. The small congregation continues to grow and is still the only Catholic Church in Winn Parish.