In January, 1910, Bishop Charles Joseph O'Reilly, First Bishop of Baker City Diocese,
secured land for a Catholic Church. Through his efforts, the Capuchin Fathers came here
and on February 20, 1910, Father Luke Sheehan said Mass in Umatilla and on the 21st in
Hermiston. November 13, 1910, the Church at Hermiston was dedicated. It was a two-story
building and served both as church and rectory.
In 1913, The Maxwell Land and Irrigation Co. donated "the west one-half of Block
G" in the second addition to the original town of Hermiston, to the Franciscan
Capuchin Order of the Diocese of Baker City. In December, 1914, first purchases of
material for the new church began. October, 1924, the old rectory was moved next to the
new church. The property it had stood on was deeded back to the city and is part of the
land The Good Shepherd Hospital is now on. In 1925, this Church and rectory was dedicated
in honor of Our Lady of Angels. This was the first Church in America for the Franciscan
Fathers of the Capuchin Reform, who came here from Ireland.
After being dedicated to our Lady, Father Dominic O'Connor placed a statue of her over the
altar. In 1927, Bishop Joseph F. McGrath consecrated the church. The Relics of St.
Auralis, Martyr, and St. Aelodore, Martyr, were inserted in the Sepulchre of the altar
with the necessary documents. This was the first occasion on which a church was
consecrated in this Diocese.
In 1953, under the direction of Fr. Leopold O'Riordan, building of a Parish Hall began; in
1956, a new church; in 1960, a new rectory; and in 1964, classrooms were built. In 1965,
blacktopping was done around all the buildings. It soon became apparent our number had
outgrown our parking. In the early 1970's, the property across Hermiston Avenue was
purchased, cleared and blacktopped.
In 1975, Fr. Brian McKenna came as pastor of Our Lady of Angels.
In 1982, the property across Sixth Street was purchased, and the house (The White House)
is used for Religious Education offices. Also in 1982, Fr. Brian handmade the Byzantine
Cross, the stained glass figures around the Crucifix, above the Altar.
In ,1983, with the guidance of Fr. Brian and parishioner volunteer labor, the basement of
the rectory, which had never been finished, was completed and is a beautiful Chapel and
meeting room. The stained glass windows from the first little church were used in the
decor of this area.
In 1984, work was done on the Parish Hall. The ceiling was lowered and a new furnace
and air conditioner installed.