Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Upcoming events: January 22–February 5

Sunday, January 22
March for Life - Downriver
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Wyandotte
1:00pm March for Life (1/2 mile walk or drive)
from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (10th & Superior)
to Cemetery at Northline and 9th St.
1:30pm Prayer Service (indoors)
Mt. Carmel Cemetery led by Deacon Luis Flores, choir invited
Memorial Monument for the Unborn (indoors)
2:30–3:30pm Open House with refreshments
Right to Life Education Office
2010 Eureka, Wyandotte (734) 282-6100
> eventbrite


Monday, January 23, 6:30pm
Closing Mass
Sacred Heart Church, Roseville (St. Pio Parish)
Former pastor, Bishop Walter Hurley, Diocese of Grand Rapids, will celebrate the last Mass.
> parish website > bulletin


Thursday, February 2, 7:00pm
Candlemas (Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
St. Joseph Oratory, Detroit
7:00 pm High Mass with Candle Blessing and Procession
> flyer


Friday, February 3, 6:00pm
Dinner For Life
Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit
6:00pm Mass with Bishop Hanchon followed by dinner
Keynote address by Dr. Alveda King
Fundraiser dinner for Detroit local Guadalupe Workers
$25 per person, fish & pasta dinner
> SHMS.edu


Sunday, February 5, 11:00am
Installation of Canon Michael Stein
as Pastor of St. Joseph Oratory

St. Joseph Oratory, Detroit
11:00am Traditional Installation Ceremony by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron
Solemn High Mass with Canon Matthew Talarico, Provincial Superior of the USA, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
St. Joseph Cappella & Chant Schola will sing Palestrina's Missa Aeterna Christi Munera
Reception to follow in the Social Hall
> facebook event > oratory website

Friday, January 13, 2017

St. Joseph Church, Maybee (Divine Grace Parish)

The Village of Maybee was named after Abram Maybee, who, along with Joseph Klotz, between 1873 and 1875, surveyed, platted, and sold the land that became the village. Farmers soon moved to the area and St. Joseph Parish was established in 1889.

A parish school opened at an unknown date, later closed, and the building was demolished in 1988.

In 2013, St. Joseph merged with St. Patrick Parish (est. 1860) in Carleton to form the new parish of Divine Grace. The two churches are about six miles apart.

A bell named "Susan" was christened in 1890 and donated by Susan Scheich. It currently stands in front of the rectory.

St. Joseph stands over the center door; two angels at the sides of the front steps.

A depiction of the Holy Spirit is shown in the dome above the main altar.

Our Lady Help of Christians and St. Joseph at the side altars.

Stained-glass windows all have the same geometric pattern as well as religious symbols in the center.

A statue of St. Isidore the Farmer in recognition of the mostly agricultural community. A statue of St. Thomas Aquinas recognizing the Adrian Dominicans who taught at the school. St. Therese stands in near the stairway to the choir loft.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus on the front of the choir loft and above the center aisle; St. Anthony with Child Jesus and St. Jude at the corners of the choir loft.

St. Michael the Archangel and Our Lady of Fatima on the back wall.

St. Faustina Kowalska and the Infant of Prague at the back of the church.

Rev. Fr. Steve Mateja has been administrator since July. He is assisted by Deacon Emeritus Rev. Mr. George Cousino and weekend associate, Rev. Fr. Dan Jones.

Mass is at 8:00am on Sundays, Wednesdays, and the First Saturday of the month. Wednesdays bring 8:00am Mass followed by Mother of Perpetual Help devotions.  Confessions are heard on the first Wednesday of each month, after 8:00am Mass, or by appointment.

A parish cemetery stands about half a mile northeast of the church, across the street from a public cemetery.

A large crucifixion scene stands in the middle of this cemetery.

Many of these graves date back to the early days of the village, some as early as the 1890s.

More info: parish website
A collection of historical photos: Flickr

Friday, January 06, 2017

St. André Bessette Parish (St. Francis Xavier Church, Ecorse)

The previous St. Francis Xavier Church on High Street. Photo credit: Rita Hellar, Source

French-Canadians began to settle in "Rivière Aux Écorces", or “The River of the Barks” during the late 18th Century. This was the first European settlement in what we today call Downriver. English-speaking immigrants moved in during the 1830s and it became known as Grand Port, but remained unincorporated within Ecorse Township. Eventually, it was designated a village in 1902 and incorporated as a city in 1941.


St. Francis Xavier Parish was established in 1848, very close to the Detroit River. A school opened in 1924 and closed in 1969.

Facade of the school building. Source

Ground was broken on the current church in July of 1951. Msgr. T.G. Morin and Fr. Alexander Wytrwal officiated the groundbreaking ceremony. Others included Mayor Louis Parker, Contractor Joseph B. McCrea, Committeemen Edward Langland, Charles Goodell and David Spaight; Miss Sarah Morin officers of the Holy Name and St. Anne Rosary Altar Societies and parishioners.

Photos by John Duguay show the bell installation. Source

The cost of construction was $360,000, or $3.3 million today. J.B. McCray was the contractor and Arthur DesRosiers the architect. DesRosiers also designed many other Detroit-area churches, including St. Hugo Stone Chapel and St. AlphonsusAt the time of construction, the parish had 2,000 registered parishioners and the church was built with a capacity of 900.

The current church stands on Jefferson Avenue, one block south of the previous location, abdless than a block from the southern end of Outer Drive.

The interior of this church reminds me of St. Ladislaus Chapel in Hamtramck, also designed by DesRosiers and built one year later, with its similar balconies around the sanctuary.

In 2012, St. Francis Xavier merged with Our Lady of Lourdes (est. 1893, two miles north in 
River Rouge). This created the new parish of St. André Bessette. Our Lady of Lourdes closed and Rev. Cornelius Okeke has been pastor since the merger.

The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Francis Xavier, the namesake of the church, at the side altars. St. André Bessette, patron of the current parish, along with crucifix.

Symbols of the four evangelists are shown in the narthex windows.

St. Anne and Child Mary depicted along to the stairway to the choir loft; a crèche near the main entrance.

The Apostles are pictured in the stained-glass windows, six on each side of the church.

St. Anthony with Child Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Jesus above a doorway, with organ pipes between them. St. Joseph with Child Jesus and  St. Anne with Child Mary.

Saturday Vigil Mass is at 4:00pm; Sunday Mass is at 9:30am and 11:30am (bilingual). Tuesdays and Fridays bring 9:00am Mass in the chapel.

For more info: parish website + previous blog post
Posts on other blogs:
   Discovering Detroit Catholic Churches + Ecorse Along the Detroit River

Photos from AOD Film Services: Our Lady of Lourdes + St. Francis Xavier
Three articles from The News Herald: 9/201212/2014 and 11/2015
History of Ecorse: Ecorse Public Library