Friday, October 24, 2014

Book recommendation: "Years of Faith"

Cover image showing the exterior of the former St. Agnes Church

A local author, Robert Mowry, recently published a book outlining the history of select Detroit parishes.

Years of Faith: The Ethnic Heritage and History of Ten Catholic Parishes of Detroit features ten chapters with each chapter focused on one of ten parishes. Those featured include: St. Agnes, St. Anthony, St. John Cantius, St. Stanislaus, St. Albertus, St. Rita, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas the Apostle and Immaculate Conception. Of these, only St. Elizabeth remains as an active parish.

The former St. Stanislaus Church located near the I-94/I-75 interchange.

Detailed descriptions are given for each church, including the year constructed and the architect, while dozens of photos show the beautiful artwork and architecture. The book also outlines the history of each parish: their establishment, growth, parish life, decline and eventual closing.
  • Paperback, 156 pages
  • Available at Michigan Artisans, 1400 E. Fisher, Detroit (at Russell St., southern end of Eastern Market). $20; six copies available at last check. Call for availability: 313-355-4316
  • On backorder: Amazon
  • Interview with the author: The Michigan Catholic

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Upcoming events: October 20 - 28

Monday, October 20 – Tuesday, October 28
St. Jude Church
20th - 24th - 7pm
25th - after 4pm Mass
26th - after 10am Mass
27th & 28th - 7pm
Saturday, October 25, 4:30pm
Most Holy Redeemer Church
Bishop Hanchon to celebrate his 40 years of priesthood
Sunday, October 26
St. Bonaventure Monastery
9:00am Mass; 10:30 presentation
"Tools for a Study of the Life of St. Francis" with Fr. Bill Hugo
Sunday, October 26
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral
11:00am Mass
A blessing will be given to married couples who desire a baby; a prayer will be offered for those who have lost a baby or child.
Sunday, October 26, 11am-8pm
St. Florian Church
soup, pierogi, sausage & sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, Belgian waffles, and cash bar.
Music by Kielbasa Kings
Sunday, October 26, 4pm
Good Shepherd Church

Monday, October 13, 2014

Upcoming events: October 18 & 19

Saturday, October 18, Noon-8pm
Our Lady Queen of Apostles
food, beer & wine, 50/50, games
Saturday, October 18, 3pm
Holy Hour & Adoration
followed by 4pm Mass
Good Sherpherd Church
Saturday, October 18, Noon-8pm
Sunday, October 19, 11am
World Mission Sunday
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral
Mass celebrated by Archbishop Vigeron, followed by refreshments
organized by AOD Society for the Propogation of the Faith and the PIME Missionaries
Sunday, October 19, 2pm
Third Sunday Concert
Old St. Mary's Church
"Baroque Trio," chamber music for violin, viola and harpsichord
free will offering; limited seating in choir loft

Monday, October 06, 2014

Upcoming events: October 12-16

125th Anniversary Mass
Sunday, October 12, Noon
St. Francis D'Assisi Church
Archbishop Vigneron to celebrate


Rosary Rally
Sunday, October 12
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral
1:30pm Rosary
3:00pm Divine Mercy Chaplet
4:00pm Mass with Bishop Byrnes


21st Annual Mass for Commerce
Wednesday, October 15, 8am
Sacred Heart Seminary
Archbishop Vigneron to celebrate
Breakfast, fellowship and networking to follow


Day of Reflection & Prayer
Thursday, October 16, 9am-3pm
St. Bonaventure Monastery
$25/person includes catered lunch, two conferences, all activities, snacks, and closing with Mass. Registration only in advance–with credit card by phone, call Mary, 313-579-2100 ext. 169 or mail payment to Attn: Mary, Fr. Solanus Guild, 1780 Mt. Elliott, Detroit MI 48207. Confirmations by email only.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

St. Elizabeth Church

St. Elizabeth Parish was established in 1885 by a community of German and Belgian immigrants. Fannie Van Dyke donated land near McDougall and Willis for the first, temporary church. The current church, designed by Donaldson & Meier, is dated to 1892 and one block north of the predecessor.

St. Elizabeth is at the eastern end of a row of Catholic churches. St. Josaphat, Sweetest Heart of Mary and St. Albertus, all on East Canfield Street, are less than one mile to the west. St. Hyacinth also stands half a mile to the north.

A large plaque remembers the founding pastor, Fr. Anthony Svensson, a native of Sweden. Fr. Svensson died in 1896 at the age of 44.

Rose windows appear in each transept.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus stands in the north transept while St. Anthony stands in the south.

The parish's namesake stands to the right of the main altar alongside Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Icons of the evangelists overlook the choir loft.

Containers for holy oils and holy water are located near the vestibule.

In 2007, Fr. Norman Thomas was appointed to administrator in addition to his ongoing pastoral duties at Sacred Heart.

Mass is celebrated Sundays at Noon only unless otherwise announced.

For more photos: Flickr & AOD Film Services
For more info: parish website,,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Upcoming events: Ocotber 4 - 8

St. Hyacinth Church
Games, Hourly Raffle, Ice Cream Parlor, Hotdogs & Polacki , Banana Cream Pies, and much more!!!
Saturday, October 4, 2pm - 6pm
Dinner: Meatballs
Sunday, October 5, Noon - 6pm
Dinner: Amish Chicken & Boneless Pork chops
St. Hedwig Church
Saturday, October 4, 5pm - 10pm
Polka Mass, Saturday, 4pm
Dinner: City Chicken
Music by Kielbasa Kings, 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Sunday, October 5, 2pm - 9pm
Dinner: Polish Combination Plate
Ballet Folkorico de Detroit performing 2pm - 2:30pm. Music by Guadalajara Ricardo Alfaro 4pm - 8pm


Hard Rock Cafe
Wednesday, October 8
6:30pm Dinner & social
7:30pm presentation
8:30pm social
Bishop Michael Byrnes will discuss The Book of Revelation and the "Left Behind" series.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Upcoming events: Sept. 26-28

S.S. Peter & Paul (west side)
Friday, September 26
7:00pm Holy Mass followed by Exposition, Benediction, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Saturday, September 27
9:00am Holy Mass followed by Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 4:00pm
3:00pm Sacrament of Reconciliation
4:30pm Vigil Mass followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 6:30pm
6:00pm Music for Meditation
6:30pm Evening Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Sunday, September 28
11:00am Holy Mass, in English and Polish, followed by Eucharistic Procession
*only one Mass this Sunday
St. Joseph Church
parish website | Facebook

Authentic German food (weisswurst, bratwurst, German potato salad, etc.) and imported, German Oktoberfest beer.  Live music & entertainment. Church tours after each Mass & choral festival.
Saturday, September 27
4:00pm English Mass
5:00pm-9:00pm Festival
7:00pm-9:00pm Swing Dancing and Lessons
Sunday, September 28
11:30am German Mass with Archbishop Vigneron
1:00pm-7:00pm Festival
1:30pm German dance group performace
3:00pm Choral Festival: performances by Assumption Grotto Choir (Detroit), St. Augustine Schola (Ann Arbor), Ss. Cyril & Methodius Women’s Schola (Sterling Heights), St. Joseph Men’s Schola, St. Joseph Cappella, Brittannia Talori (Soprano), and Michael Semaan (Organ).
St. Bonaventure Monastery
Sunday, September 28
9:00am Mass
10:30am presentation
"What Gospel is the Franciscan Gospel" with Fr. Mike Crosby


St. Albertus Church
Sunday, September 28
Noon Mass
St. Florian Church
Sunday, September 28
Noon Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Hanchon
church tours after Mass
1:00pm-6:00pm Picnic with traditional Polish food and performances by Polish dance groups

Thursday, September 18, 2014

St. Cecilia Church (St. Charles Lwanga Parish)

St. Cecilia Parish was established in 1921 and a parish school opened four years later. Enrollment at the grade school neared 1,000 by the end of the 1920s. The current church is dated to 1929.

The high school closed in 1967 and the building was converted into a neighborhood recreation center called "Ceciliaville." Professional basketball players such as Magic Johnson, Chris Webber, and others played at Ceciliaville as teenagers.

In 1968, then-pastor Fr. Raymond Ellis commissioned a new fresco in the apse to reflect the parish's demographics. Devon Cunningham, parishioner and artist, painted the apse in one summer and continues to worship at St. Cecilia. Portraits of former pastors and other influential figures appear at the feet of Jesus.

Not surprisingly, many people were surprised by the change. The mural received national attention and was featured on the cover of Ebony Magazine in 1969.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Blessed Mother to the right of the main altar.
A portrait of the parish's sixth pastorMsgr. Thomas Finnigan, hangs in the vestibule near the baptismal font.

Much of the communion rail is still intact.

The parish elementary school eventually closed in 2010.

St. Cecilia Church is located on Livernois Ave., a few blocks north of I-96, in northwest Detroit. Last year, St. Cecilia merged with St. Leo to form St. Charles Lwanga Parish. Both locations continue to celebrate weekly Mass. 

Fr. Theodore Parker is the current pastor while Douglas Jackson serves as permanent deacon.
Confessions are heard Saturdays, 4:00pm-6:00pm (please call ahead). The parish does morning prayer on Sundays, in the rectory, at 6:00am. Sunday Mass is at 8:30am and 10:00am. The parish celebrates daily Mass as announced.

For more about the parish, call the rectory at 313-933-678
For more about the school: IHM Sisters

History of the Ceciliaville rec center: USA Today
News articles about the church: Detroit Free PressWashington Post

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday, September 21: sacred music concerts

The afternoon of Sunday, September 21 brings three choices for sacred music performances:
Sunday, September 21, 2pm-5pm
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral
30 minute mini-recitals by talented organists as well as a bake sale in the social hall. Proceeds support future cathedral events and the parish music programs of participating organists.
2:00 - Mary Zelinski, St. Gerald, Farmington
2:30 - Sharon Metz, St. Anthony, Temperance
3:00 - Dr. David Troiano, St. Clare of Mont
efalco, GP Park
3:30 -
Matt Simpson, Divine Child, Dearborn
4:00 - Paul Shafer, St. Mary, St. Clair
4:30 - Dr.
Christine Chun Westbury, St. Anastasia, Troy
Sunday, September 21, 2pm
Old St. Mary's (Greektown)
Sacred music for solo voice, organ, and strings. Vanessa Fariolli, Soprano; Davis Gloff, Baritone; Judith Teasdle, Violin; and Nancy Chaklos, Cello
Limited seating in choir loft; no admission charge
Sunday, September 21, 3pm
Sacred Heart Church
67th Anniversary of the choir
For more info, call 313.831.1356

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

St. Peter Claver (formerly Precious Blood)

Precious Blood Parish was established in 1929, near McNichols and Schaefer, in northwest Detroit. The current church was designed by the firm of Maguolo & Quick and built in the early 1950s. The exterior columns are made of granite while walls are composed of sandstone.

An inscription outside the main entrance quotes Genesis 28:17b "this is nothing else but the house of God, the gateway to heaven."

Excerpts from the gospel are found on the walls of the nave.

The tabernacle is located in a chapel on the west side of the church.

Above one doorway is an inscription that translates as "this place is holy" and also shows Cardinal Mooney's coat of arms.

A mural depicting the Holy Trinity adorns the apse.

Bishop Moses Anderson, the first and only African-American bishop in the AOD, was consecrated as bishop in 1983. In addition to his duties of auxiliary bishop, overseeing parishes in the Central Region, he also served as pastor of Precious Blood 1992-2001. He later retired in 2003 when he reached the age of 75 and died January 1, 2013.

In 2005, Precious Blood merged with St. Francis de Sales to form St. Peter Claver Parish. The Precious Blood location is the primary location though the "annex" location at St. Francis de Sales is often used.

Sunday Mass is at 10:00am, Easter-Advent, at the former Precious Blood. During the winter, Mass is held at the much smaller St. Francis de Sales to lower utility expenses.

A prayer group frequently gathers in the church at 11:00am on Saturdays.

Fr. James O'Reilly, SJ, is the current pastor of St. Peter Claver as well as counselor at Loyola High School.

For more photos: Flickr
For more about the parish: parish website & bulletin archive
For more about Bishop Anderson: Detroit Free Press