A small chapel on a narrow and winding country road will catch your eye, and maybe your heart, as you climb a small rise and see its gleaming white walls set in a field of green. The Order of Malta flag blowing from the front of the building signals something special and a visit to the chapel for the first Mass to be said there turned a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon outside Cooperstown, New York, into a prayer of grace and peace.
Karen Dutkowsky, DM, began the work of involving the American Association as a group in the Pilgrimage for Life, a journey to Washington to participate in the annual March for Life. Although Mrs. Dutkowsky died in 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer, her commitment to life lives on. The Association has continued to make the Pilgrimage to Washington in January each year,
joining with members of the Federal Association and hundreds of thousands of others committed to the belief that life is sacred from the moment of conception to its natural end.
Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky, KM, built the chapel to honor the memory of the life and work of his wife. The small chapel with a bell and belfry has four stained glass windows on the side walls, calling to mind Faith, Hope, Love and Joy. The signature stained glass window over the altar features Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette. The Our Lady of Lourdes Oratory recognizes and remembers the
importance of prayer, the Lourdes Pilgrimage, and the Order of Malta in the lives of Dr. and Mrs. Dutkowsky.
The Opening Mass was celebrated by The Most Reverend Edward Scharfenberger, D.D., Bishop of Albany, and Conventual Chaplain of the Order of Malta on Sunday, July 16th. Over one hundred twenty-five people, including Knights and Dames of the Order, joined together in prayer and hymns at the dedication of the Oratory and the opening Mass. A reception followed.