Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Annunciation (Sat. 3/25) & Lætare Sunday (3/26)

Saturday, March 25
St. Joseph Oratory
9:00AM Mass followed by Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

St. Josaphat (Mother of Divine Mercy Parish)
10:00AM Mass 


Sunday, March 26
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Presided by Archbishop Allen Vigneron
10:00AM Mass
12:00PM Lecture for Catholic healthcare professionals

Thursday, March 16, 2017

St. Patrick's Day & St. Joseph's Day

Like every year, the historically Irish parish of Most Holy Trinity will have a large celebration on St. Patrick's Day. The church normally fills up quickly with many police officers, firefighters, elected officials, etc. in attendance. This year’s celebration will honor Msgr. Russell Kohler, the longtime pastor who died last year.

The Solemnity of St. Joseph is normally celebrated on March 19th, but since that's a Sunday this year, the observation is transferred to Monday, Monday 20th. St. Joseph Oratory will celebrate the day with 15 hours of prayer and activities, including three Masses, opportunities for Confession, food, and a procession to/from Eastern Market.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

St. Fabian Church (Farmington Hills)


During the 1950s, the population of what was then Farmington Township grew rapidly. In 1958, Edward Cardinal Mooney appointed Rev. Francis J. Szaniawski as founding pastor of St. Fabian Parish. 600 people attended the first day of Masses on Sunday, July 15, 1958. Mass was celebrated at Dunckel Middle School until a church could be built.

Cardinal Mooney died on October 25, 1958, and ground was broken on a church the following month. Archbishop (later Cardinal) Dearden was installed the next January and, in September of 1959, he dedicated the church. The church was originally intended to be temporary, with plans to build a permanent church at the site of what is now the school's baseball field.

Fr. Szaniawski recruited Bernardine Franciscan Sisters to teach at the parish school, under the direction of Mother Carmella. Ground was broken on the school on March 24, 1963 and the school was dedicated by Auxiliary Bishop Henry Donnelly the following October

In 1965, Mother Carmella assigned Sister Mary Berenice as Principal, as well as four Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and one lay teacher. On September 8, 1965, the school officially opened with 163 students – 82 boys and 81 girls.
Fr. Seamus Ryan served as the third pastor and oversaw renovations/expansions to the church building. Transepts were added to each side of the original church, increasing the seating capacity to 720. The altar was moved from the end side of the church to the west side and renovations were completed in September of 1983.

Fr. Norbert Kendzierski served as pastor of St. Fabian 1984-95. At that time, he was reassigned to St. Colman, another Farmington Hills parish, and remained there until his death in May of 2012 at the age of 74. Fr. Jeffrey Day, pastor of St. Fabian since 2011, replaced him as administrator at St. Colman in addition to his responsibilities at St. Fabian.

In early 2013, St. Fabian merged with St. Colman (est. 1960). At the time of the merger, St. Fabian had 2,017 registered families while St. Colman had 386. St. Colman Church closed in February of that year and the building was sold for $1.2 million. It is now home to Holy Cross Chaldean Catholic Church.

Parishioners of St. Fabian pledged nearly one million dollars to the Changing Lives Together campaign. The sanctuary of the church was renovated in the summer of 2013 and the vestibule was expanded. During the renovation, the baptismal font was moved into the vestibule.

Saturday Vigil Mass is at 5:00pm; Sunday Masses are at 8:00am, 10:00am, and Noon. Every weekday brings 6:30am Communion Service and 8:30am Mass.

For more info: parish website + parish history

Monday, March 06, 2017

Miles Christi Family Center (South Lyon)

Miles Christi, or "Soldiers of Christ", was established in 1994, in Argentina. Since then, the order has been dedicated to the sanctification of laity through discernment, formation, and Ignatian spirituality, especially the Spiritual Exercises. In the late 1990s, Miles Christi was chosen by Fr. John Hardon, SJ, to continue his mission of leading Spiritual Exercises. They led their first U.S. retreat in 2000 and, shortly thereafter, Fr. Hardon died.

Two priests and one brother moved to the United States and Archdiocese of Detroit in October, 2000, after the invitation of Adam Cardinal Maida.  They resided at St. John's Center in Plymouth until a Northville house, previously occupied by Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, was given to them in 2002

Below is a one-hour episode of EWTN's On Assignment that outlines the Miles Christi presence in the United States.

Construction of the Miles Christi Family Center began in 2010 and finished five years later.

On Saturday, May 23, 2015, the Miles Christi Family Center was dedicated, blessed and held its first Mass. Miles Christi also has a house in San Diego.

Many more Miles Christi priests and brothers soon came to the United States; with more than 60 priests and brothers travel giving retreats, talks and spiritual direction nationwide.

Miles Christi frequently hosts mornings and evenings of recollection separately for young adults, men, and women respectively as well as weekly formation groups.

A small chapel seats about 70 people. Daily Mass is at 8:00am, Monday-Friday. Mass in the Extraordinary Form is offered at 8:30am on Saturdays. Sunday Mass is at 11:00am preceded by Confessions at 10:30am.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is depicted at the altar. An inscription on the front reads "Dilexit me et tradidit se ipsum pro me" which translates as "He loved me and gave Himself up for me".

Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Joseph with the Child Jesus in the sanctuary.

For more info:
Articles about Miles Christi: National Catholic Register + The Michigan Catholic

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lent Schedules: Stations of the Cross and Fish Fry

Detroit churches that will have Lenten devotions and/or dinner:

Assumption Grotto
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at 7:00pm followed by 7:45pm Mass
website | bulletin
Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at 6:00pm
Soup Dinner: Fridays 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Bible Study w/ Fr. Patrick: Wednesdays, 6:30pm - 8:00pm, starting 3/8
website | bulletin
Christ the King
Stations of the Cross:  Fridays at 7:00pm
Holy Cross Hungarian
Stations of the Cross:  Fridays at 6:30pm
Most Holy Redeemer
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at Noon (English) and 7:00pm (Spanish)
website | bulletin
Our Lady of the Rosary
Stations of the Cross: Wednesday, March 29, 6:30pm
website | bulletin
Our Lady Queen of Angels
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at 7:00pm
Ste. Anne de Detroit
Stations of the Cross:
> 7:00pm Mondays (English) and 7:00pm Fridays (Spanish)
Fish Fry: Fridays, 11:00am–2:00pm and 4:00pm–7:00pm
St. AugustineSt. Monica
Mass & Stations of the Cross: 6:00pm Fridays
Fish Fry: 11:00am–7:00pm
St. Bonaventure Monastery
Wednesdays: Noon Mass, Soup Lunch, Lenten reflection
Fridays: Bible Study at Noon
St. Charles Borromeo
Stations of the Cross: 6:00pm, every Friday during March, followed by soup dinner and discussion
St. Cunegunda
Stations of the Cross: 5:00pm (Polish) every Friday
St. Florian
Fridays: 3:00pm–6:00pm Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
                  6:00pm Stations of the Cross (Polish)
                  6:30pm Mass (Polish)
website | bulletin
St. Francis D'Assisi–St. Hedwig
Fridays: 6:00pm Stations of the Cross,  bilingual,
alternating between St. Francis and St. Hedwig
     Stations at St. Francis: March 3, March 17,  March 31
     Stations at St. Hedwig: March 10, March 24, April 3
Fish Fry at St. Francis:  every Friday 11:00am–6:00pm
Sundays: Gorzkie żale after 10:00am Mass at St. Francis
website bulletin
St. John Paul II (formerly Transfiguration)
Fridays: Mass at 6:00pm, Fish Fry 4:00pm7:00pm
St. Joseph Oratory
First Fridays, March 3 &  April 7
 > 8:00am Low Mass, 6:00pm Stations of the Cross, 7:00pm High Mass
First Saturday, March 4
 > 8:30am Confessions; 9:00am Low Mass and Perpetual Help devotions;
    10:00am Breakfast and Spiritual Conference with Canon Huberfeld
    11:00am Adoration, Rosary & Benediction

Friday, March 10, 17, 24 & 31
 > 8:00am Low Mass, 6:00pm Holy Hour, 7:00pm Stations of the Cross
Good Friday, April 14
 > 2:00pm Stations of the Cross, 3:00pm Solemn Liturgy
St. Jude
Stations of the Cross: Fridays after 8:30am Mass and again at 7:00pm
(Old) St. Mary (Greektown)
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at 11:45am followed by 12:15pm Mass; Mass followed by Exposition and Adoration until 2:30pm
St. Moses the Black (formerly Church of the Madonna)
Fish Fry Lunch:  Fridays, March 3 - April 7, 11am–3:30pm
Soup & Scripture Series: Saturdays, March 4 - April 8, 10:30am-1:00pm 
website | bulletin
St. Peter Claver
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at 6:30pm
 > First Fridays, March 3 &  April 7: 6:30pm Mass followed by Stations
Fish Fry: Fridays, 11am–6pm
SS. Peter & Paul (west side)
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at 6:00pm (Polish) and 7:00pm (English)
 > First Fridays, March 3 &  April 7: 5:00pm Mass
 > First Saturdays, March 4 &  April 1: 9:00am Mass
Gorzkie żale: after all 10:30am Sunday Masses during Lent
Fish Fry:  4:00pm–7:00pm every Friday except Good Friday
website | bulletin
St. Raymond – Our Lady of Good Counsel
Stations of the Cross: Fridays at 1:00pm
St. Stephen – Mary, Mother of the Church
Fridays: 5:00pm-5:45pm Confessions, 6:00pm Via Crucis (Spanish)
Sweetest Heart of Mary
Fridays: 6:00pm Stations & Confessions, 6:30pm Mass
Fish Fry:  3:00pm–8:00pm Ash Wednesday and every Friday of Lent

Directory of fish dinners throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit: The Michigan Catholic

Friday, February 17, 2017

Upcoming events: Feburary 24-March 4

Friday, February 24
S.S. Peter & Paul, Detroit (west side)
6:30pm Confessions & Rosary
7:00pm Tridentine High Mass
8:00pm Swing & ballroom dance for ages 18-35


Sunday, February 26
St. Joseph Oratory, Detroit
11:00am Tridentine High Mass followed by 20-minute Lesson in Liturgy
("The Introit: Entering into the Mass")

oratory website


Wednesday, March 1
* fast and abstinence *


Friday, March 3
* Sacred Heart of Jesus, First Friday of Lent *


Saturday, March 4
* Immaculate Heart of Mary *

Monday, February 13, 2017

St. Mel Church (Dearborn Heights)

St. Mel Parish was established in the summer of 1956 with 370 registered families. The parish soon started a Men's Club and Confraternity of Christian Mothers in July of that year, both met at the hall of St. Raphael Parish.

Fr. John F. Furlong was reassigned from St. Frances Cabrini to be the first pastor at St. Mel. The first Mass was held at Garden City High School in July of 1956. The faithful had to take the portable altar home with them each Sunday. Religious instruction for the public school children of the parish began at St. Raphael's School on October 6, 1956.

On December 8th of that year, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, parishioners broke ground for St. Mel's new church and social hall. The rectory was completed the following January. Catechism classes, for first through  sixth grades, were taught at both Douglas School and Harrison School in Garden City. Seventh and eighth grades were in the rectory basement.

Edward Cardinal Mooney dedicated St. Mel Church on May 26, 1958. The eight-classroom school was completed in 1961 and a convent was also completed that year. 1,219 students received religious instruction at the time and the first full day of class was on September 5, 1962. Felician Sisters soon arrived at the parish and taught at the school for decades.

Fr. Furlong  ministered at the parish for nearly two decades until he retired on January 1, 1976. Fr. Thomas Kramer, also a canon lawyer, has been pastor for the last 15 years.  This past Sunday, the parish celebrated the 40th anniversary of Fr. Kramer's presbyteral ordination.

The parish school closed in 2005; it was one of fifteen Catholic schools to close that year and had an enrollment of 119 students at the time. St. Mel had planned to cluster and/or merge with nearby St. Linus, also in Dearborn Heights. However, for several reasons, that plan didn't follow through and St. Mel will close later this year, likely at the end of June.

A large mural on the front facade depicts several scenes with the parish's patron.

The facade wraps around and into the vestibule. Here is shows St. Mel being consecrated as a  Bishop of Ardagh at the hands of St. Patrick.

Inside the vestibule, next to the center door, it shows St. Mel accepting St. Brigid's profession as a nun and appointing her as abbess.

A statue of St. Mel stands in a shrine at the rear of the church, surrounded by crosses bearing names of the departed.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus to the right of the sanctuary; St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the rear of the church.

A chapel is located in the school building and near the parish office. The chapel is open Monday-Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm, with daily Mass at 8:30am.

After Tuesday Mass, they pray Mother of Perpetual Help devotions. First Friday devotions and Anointing of the Sick follow First Friday Mass. 

For more info: bulletin archive
Another blog post: Discovering Detroit Catholic Churches
About the school closing: The Michigan CatholicPress & Guide

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sacred Heart Church (St. Pio of Pietrelcina Parish, Roseville)

On April 1, 1861, Fr. Amandus VanDenDreissche, pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (Grotto) Parish, was given permission to start a mission that would be known as Sacred Heart. This was in the unincorporated village of Utica Junction, in Erin Township, southern Macomb County.

Daniel Corby donated three acres of land for a church and, during the 2.5 year construction, Mass was celebrated at a nearby building twice a month. The parish soon added a cemetery one block southeast of the church.

Fr. Francis Hendrickx became the first resident pastor in 1871. His successor, Fr. Louis VanStraelen, started the first parish elementary school with an enrollment of 12 students. However, this school lasted less than a decade. A new attempt to start a parish school was made following the First World War and a high school was added later.
An 1895 map shows Sacred Heart Church and cemetery at center - Source

The original frame church survived two moves but Fr. Dennis Tighe did not think the structure could survive a third relocation when Gratiot Avenue was widened in 1928. 
Construction of a new church soon began but halted by the Great Depression. The basement was finished and the parish worshiped there through World War II. The cornerstone of the current church was laid in 1949 and construction finished the following year.

Membership at the parish peaked in the early 1960s with 3,000 registered families. Like many parishes at the time, Masses were celebrated simultaneously in upper and lower churches.

The parish and school grew significantly during the postwar period with about 2,000 students enrolled K-12. Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary taught at the school for decades until it closed in the summer of 1971 due to a $730,000 debt.

Over time, a total of 22 child parishes grew from Sacred Heart. Among them: St. Lawrence, St. Barnabas, St. Isaac Jogues, Holy Innocents and St. Margaret. 
Sacred Heart Church, as it appeared in 1968 -  Source
Sacred Heart Church  became widely recognized green-tile roof and barrel vault ceiling.

At some time, most of the church was renovated and reconfigured. The organ moved to where the sanctuary once was, the altar was moved to one side of the nave, and pews were added to the former choir loft.

The church saw many renovations in the early 2000s under the pastorate of Fr. Eugene Katcher. Among these: restoration of the sanctuary floor, murals of the four evangelists, and more to match the Mediterranean Revival style of its exterior.

Like many parishes, membership steadily dropped and was at 696 families in 2004. Archbishop Vigneron celebrated the 150th anniversary on October 23, 2011. At the time, there were 550 registered families.

Sacred Heart merged with St. Athanasius, Roseville, and Our Lady Queen of All Saints Parish, Fraser, to form the new parish of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. OLQAS closed the following year. At the time of the merger, there was a combined membership of 1,983 families (311 at Sacred Heart; 831 at St. A’s; and 841 at OLQAS). Rev. Greg Rozborski, a native of Poland, has been administrator since the merger.

A decorative motif on the ceiling; the rose window above the choir loft.

Plain, monochromotatic windows seem to be later additions.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus above the main interior doorway; arch windows above an exterior door.

St. Anne with Child Mary and Pope St. Pius X stand in the narthex

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Thérèse near the main entrance.

Sacred Heart Church was expected to close in 2015, shortly after the merger, but closure was delayed due to a strong reaction from the community and a chance to pay off their debts. However, after many years of struggle, Sacred Heart Church will close next week. There are just two remaining Masses scheduled at Sacred Heart Church: Saturday, January 21, at 4:00pm and Monday, January 23, at 6:30pm. 

Then-Fr. Walter Hurley was pastor of Sacred Heart 1976-1979. He was later ordained as the 22nd auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2003. Two years later, he became the 11th Bishop of Grand Rapids. Bishop Walter Hurley retired in 2013 but will return to his former parish next Monday for the last Mass. The parish's other church, formerly known as St. Athanasius, is expected to continue.

For more info: parish website + bulletin
News articles: The Michigan CatholicC & G News
Three articles from Macomb Daily: 6/27/2014, 5/4/20155/17/2015
A catalog of the graves at the parish cemetery: US GenWeb Archives
High school history: Wikipedia + Class of 1968