Monday, December 05, 2011

Parish Closures? Who? When? Part 4: Downriver

Part 4 looks at the last of the "Parishes Recommended for Closure," the short list posted on the AOD website. (Parts 1 2 3)

Here we are looking at the Downriver Parishes. One recommendation is to close either St. Stanislaus Kostka or Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Wyandotte. These parishes are clustered and under the pastor care of Fr. Walter Ptak. Between the 2 churches there are approximately 20 masses per week, 8-9 of which are for Sunday (depending on the season). I was able to attend the wedding of a friend at OLMC, and Fr. Ptak officiated the wedding. My friends and I decided to go to Mass before the reception, and we went to St. Stan's for the 4pm mass. Fr. Ptak said that mass as well, and then had to head back to OLMC to help out with (but not celebrate) the 5pm mass. Clearly Fr. Ptak is busy! If he didn't have the assistance of the 2 weekend associates I can see how having both parishes would not be especially viable.

OLMC was founded in 1899 to serve the influx of Poles downriver and St. Stan's was founded in 1914 presumably as the immigration and spread continued. The parishes are about 1.5 miles apart. OLMC's cornerstone indicated that the current church was built in 1915. In typical Polish style it is big and gorgeous. I need to do a picture post on this one. In further typical Polish fashion they hold tightly to their Polish traditions. In comparison St. Stan's is less ornate, but dignified. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but it looks post WW2, perhaps from the 50's. I guess if I had my druthers both would be retained, but if I had to choose I would choose OLMC. We shall see. The suggested timeline for the closure is 3-5 years, and a lot could happen in that time.

Next we have St. Elizabeth slated to close. This recommendation is more imminent as they suggest a 2012 closure and merger with St. Joseph. These 2 and St. Patrick (1857) are clustered and are currently under the care of Fr. Michael Cremen, SAC (Irish Pallottines). The cluster does have an associate pastor. St. Joseph was founded in 1870 to serve German Immigrants, and the current church building is from the mid-late 50's. St. Elizabeth was founded in 1934; I am not sure when the current building was constructed. I would guess 60's. The APC suggests further merging St. Joseph/Elizabeth and St. Patrick for 1 new parish.

Finally the APC suggests closing either Our Lady of Lourdes in River Rouge or St. Francis Xavier in Ecorse. They were founded in 1893 and 1848 respectively, so there is clearly a lot of history in these parishes. OLL's current church was built in 1978. Some photos of the church are available on their website. SFX's current church is from the mid 1950's. Make Straight The Path shows a brick interior, but not much else. The book also tells the history of SFX which has its roots in a mission dating back to the 1820's.

So these are these first 4 articles are about the parishes most likely to close. I'd like to remind you that Immaculate Heart of Mary from Part 2 has it's final mass this Sunday at 9am.

1 comment:

Joseph K @ Defend Us In Battle said...

This whole thing is sad. It is another scenario of no good answers and no good solutions.

The Church suffers, and Christ weeps.