The current church building was dedicated in 1958 and the church building in use then was converted to a gym-auditorium. The old church building, built in 1889, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U. S. Department of the Interior in 1989.
St. Mary’s Church is located on the beautiful bayou in Cottonport, LA.
The present church was built in 1958 by Msgr. Broussard and consists mainly of stone and concrete, with a seating capacity of 600. Keeping in mind the friendliness of the people in the area and their propensity to get together and talk, the architect designed a raised terrace surrounding the front of the church where the parishioners can congregate and visit after Mass.
We have various programs offered for youth as well as the adults in the parish. The congregation has an Adult and Youth Choir, Parish School of Religion (CCD), Youth Groups, Altar Society, Catholic Daughters of America, KC’s St. Martin de Porres and various prayer groups.
Many activities occur during the year involving the youth and adults such as Vacation Bible School, Pumpkin Patch, Saturday Morning Alive, etc. We also participate in the distribution of food and clothing for the needy. Many more happenings occur on a regular basis and vary from time to time such as Parish Suppers, Church Fairs, Fund Raising Cooking Events, etc. For a small town, St. Mary’s is a very active and wonderful community to become a part of. All one needs to do is come to Cottonport and let us know what you would like and usually we can accommodate you or we certainly try!
In the latter part of the 19th Century, with only a few families in the area, Cottonport did not have a Catholic Church. The priest from Plaucheville traveled here weekly to say Mass in a store.
In 1887, permission was granted to the Cottonport people to build a church and construction began. In 1898, several nuns from the order of the Daughters of the Cross arrived to teach in the parish’s first parochial school, St. Anthony’s Academy, located on Front Street in Cottonport where they remained until 1917.
The church survived the floods of 1927 and in the early 1930’s enlargement and remodeling of the church began. In 1947, a new parochial elementary school was built and Dominican nuns moved into the old rectory and a new rectory was built for the priests.
In 1956, the dream of the people to have a larger, modern church became a reality. By 1958, the present church was dedicated. The old church is presently on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
Various scripture and prayer groups, rosaries, novenas, adoration, etc. occur on a regular basis. There are other prayer groups in the area that function with the many Catholics from throughout Avoyelles Parish.
All organizations in the parish welcomes all Catholics. The Altar Servers and Lectors require training and the Choirs require you to join and attend practices. Altar society, KC’s St. Martin, CDA, etc. welcome new members year round and our Youth Groups, boy Scouts, etc., always welcome those who are interested. We feel that if someone is interested in being a part of our church, we will work to make that happen!