Sunday, January 30, 2011

St. Florian and Polish Village Cafe

We are going to step out of Detroit for a moment, but not for very long. We are still sort of in Detroit, but really in the enclave city of Hamtramck. Hamtramck at one time was 90% Polish, and still holds on to its Polish heritage (people of Polish descent still held a plurality of the population in the 2000 census) despite it now being more diverse.

In 1907/8 the first church was established in the then Village of Hamtramck. This church is St. Florian. By the mid 1920s, St. Florian had become the 2nd largest church in Detroit (Hamtramck's population increased by 1266% between the censuses of 1910 and 1920) and was in need of a new building for worship. Ralph Adams Cram was chosen for the upgrade. In terms of Ecclesiastical Architecture, Cram is kind of a big deal. The lion's share of his work was for Episcopal/Anglican churches (he was a High Church Anglican) which includes the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Detroit. The designs of Cram and the sacrifice of the parishioners paid off and American Architect magazine chose St. Florian's as the Best new church of 1929 according to this here historical marker:

It was the best new Church in 1929, and it remains one of the best in my opinion. I have more pictures, but this is one that should be on your list for seeing in person. They have evening masses during the week, so it could be easily fit into a working person's schedule.

Here is the sanctuary at St. Florian. I visited on January 18th, so of course it was still decorated for Christmas.

This shot of the Sanctuary lamp gives also a glimpse of the detail on the Reredos. I think these reliefs are carved wood.

St. Florian and St. Maximilian Kolbe are on the back wall:

Facade on a snowy night:

St. Florian has produced a book for their 100th anniversary. It looks rather handsome and full of great pictures, but it is pricey at $50. If you are interested in this parish and its history, this may be a nice addition to your library.

While you are in Hamtramck, how could you NOT want to have some Polish food? I naturally headed over to the Polish Village Cafe which is on Yemans street. Once a cellar beer garden in a gentlemen's hotel, it has been the restaurant since 1976. The goĊ‚abki are great, but I didn't have any on the night I stopped in. I opted for the fresh sausage in beer sauce. When the waiter asked if I would like horseradish, I nearly burst with excitement. Love me some horseradish. The main course was great, but it really shared billing with the cup of dill pickle soup. You simply must try it.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photo Album

The Detroit Church Blog Picasa Album has gone live!

I have it more or less organized by church, and it includes additional pictures not seen in the blog posts themselves.

There is also a slide show in the sidebar.

Check it out!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Assumption Grotto

The last stop on the church tour was Assumption Grotto. The parish was founded in the 1830s and is the 2nd oldest in Detroit. The current church is the 4th and was built in 1929 at the cost of $250,000.

A feature we were unable to see due to the weather is the exact replica of the Grotto at Lourdes. (source)
In 1876, [Reverend Amandus Vandendriessche, pastor] visited Lourdes to make his devotions to Our Lady and he was so inspired that he resolved to build a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes behind the church so that his fellow Americans could worship at an outdoor shrine. Despite many obstacles, the Grotto was formally dedicated on May 29, 1881. On April 30, 1882, Pope Leo XIII signed a proclamation authorizing the shrine for devotions and granted partial and plenary indulgences for all who visited the Grotto and prayed for the propagation of the faith. This privilege remains.
An active parishioner, Diane K, keeps a blog of current Catholic events as well as photos from parish events and masses. The blog is Te Deum Laudamus. I'll be posting my own photos here, but for more of this church, see her Smugmug page.

Assumption Grotto is a parish that embraces the liturgical and musical patrimony of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Mass is celebrated in the extraordinary form daily. Gregorian Chant and Latin are obviously given pride of place. Orchestral Masses are performed for major feasts. For Christmas 2010 the music was Mozart's Missa Longa.

Assumption Grotto is a bit less ornate than the other churches on the tour. This may be partially due to the era in which it was built - the Great Depression. It is still rather beautiful in its simplicity, and architecturally speaking it is still grand. Here is the sanctuary.

Marian side altar.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Heading out onto Gratiot.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Holy Cross Hungarian

Holy Cross Hungarian, one of the stops on the January 7 church tour, is located in the Delray neighborhood of Detroit. It was established May 8 1905, and the current church was dedicated in 1925. Pride in Magyar history and culture is evident in this the only Hungarian church in Michigan. Images of several Hungarian Saints are throughout the church.

The parish is currently under the care of 2 Hungarian Franciscan Friars who were first assigned in 1994. If you are interested in more of the history, the website features a timeline for the parish. The website also features several photo galleries for your viewing pleasure.

Speaking of photos...

Here is the facade of this 86 year-old church:

Up top on the blue field you may recognize the red, white, and green of the Hungarian flag. Below that is one of the 15 beautiful murals depicting mysteries of the rosary. This depiction of the Annunciation (1st Joyful Mystery) as well as the other 14 were painted in the late 1940's by Paul Daubner.

Behind the altar the 5 great Hungarian saints are depicted in stained glass.
Stephen, Emery, Ladislaus, Elizabeth, and Margaret are joined also by Peter and Paul and a depiction of the crucifixion. There is one more, but it's not visible, and I don't remember who it is. (Left to Right: Elizabeth, Ladislaus, Peter, Paul, Steven, Emory, not shown: Margaret and mystery saint) Above the stained glass is a mural of the crucifixion (5th Sorrowful mystery)

Everywhere the eye can see the church is painted beautifully. Here is the ceiling where the transept and the nave meet.

The High altar and Reredos are a sight as well. Here is a more detailed view:

Venerable Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty
had visited the Church twice before he died in exile in Vienna in 1975. He was a fierce opponent of communism which got him into trouble a few times to say the least. This plaque in the vestibule commemorates his visits to Holy Cross.

I'll leave you with a statue of St. Elizabeth.

Holy Cross has Mass at 9am Sunday-Friday, 4pm Saturday, and 11am Sunday (in Hungarian). This gives you plenty of opportunities to visit, and I recommend that you do. This is a true beauty.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Return to Holy Redeemer

This is another Church we have already visited, but I have some new information a pictures, I would like to share.

First: the Romanesque church is based on St. Paul outside the Walls. I see the similarity in the ceiling squares, but the similarities don't end there.

Here we have a better picture of the mural of Christ our Redeemer. The picture in the previous post suffered from bad lighting.

Being a Parish with some Redemptorist history, they of course are devoted to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

The tour guide (HR's music director) let a few of us into the Bell Tower chapel.
The chapel is very small and is more or less a baptistery, but from what I heard, it was kind of an afterthought made with excess materials.


Mosaic of Our Lord's Baptism:

Baptismal font:

Over the threshold, Meta Noeite (Greek for Repent):

This should conclude the "repeats" section from the church tour. I have two new churches to feature from the tour, and I have visited two more since the tour, so we'll have some new content over the next week or so.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ste. Anne Revisited.

I had posted on Ste. Anne de Detroit before, but I was in the chapel. On the church tour I was in the main church, and here are some photos from that evening.

The facade in snowy twilight:

Statue of Ste. Anne and the implements left behind by those healed through her intercession:

High Altar, reredos, and free standing altar (behind the flowers)

Details:Pew ends, Fleur-de
Lis in Santuary Floor (remember the French roots), A and J (Anne and Joachim)

This is above the sink in the sacristy. The Latin means: "All employees must wash hands before returning to work"*

*Not really Here is a (not literal, but well-worded) translation I found on wikipedia: "Give virtue to my hands, O Lord, that being cleansed from all stain I might serve you with purity of mind and body. "

Programming notes:
Continuing in our revisiting of previously viewed parishes, we will next have some new images from Holy Redeemer. Speaking of which, I am the number 1 google hit for this search:
"jack white" holy redeemer
I have hit over 1000 views. Yay! You may start seeing advertisements as a means to generate some modest income. We'll see.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Return to St. Albertus

The second stop of the Church tour was St. Albertus. I have already posted on St. Abertus twice, but I have some more detailed photos and a few more tidbits to share. St. Albertus is a gothic Church in a medieval style full of color with its several painted plaster features including the stations of which one is shown here:

The church seats an astonishing 2500, but the pews have walls in the middle so you can't get from aisle to aisle through the pews except at the front or the back. This is because that is where the steam pipes run. ~3/4 of the Church has no basement or crawlspace so they couldn't go underneath.

According to the pamphlet they had in the church, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla was the main celebrant for a Mass on August 12 1976. 2 years, 2 months, and 4 days later he would be elected Pope. Here is the Stand-alone Altar (at which Wojtyla would have said mass) and the Main Altar/Reredos:

When the parish closed in 1990, the statue of St. Hedwig was sent to a St. Hedwig in Toledo. Apparently the statue in repose creeped out some of the parishioners down there and the Polish American Historical Site Association (PAHSA) was able to get her back. Here she lies underneath the Marian altar:

Your next opportunity to visit St Albertus is January 23rd at noon. Mass will be said in the Extraordinary Form by Fr. Borkowski. See the full Mass and event schedule here.

There are manifold other things I could say and pictures I could post, but I don't want to go on too long. I will make an attempt at organizing these and additional photos with informative captions in my Picasa album. This project will continue to develop, but we will see where this goes.

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Post Church Tour Update

Yesterday was the Church tour, and it was a long day. Over 12 hours of riding buses and visiting churches. The snow was beautiful, but it did drag out the day a little bit. Unfortunately for me, I was foiled again from visiting St. Hedwig, and only got to see 1 new church. Fortunately, I did get some new information and over 100 photos. We will be revisiting Ste. Anne, St. Albertus and Holy Redeemer with photo posts. The new church was Holy Cross Hungarian so expect a post on that one shortly. I had been to Assumption Grotto, but not since the re-inception of this blog, so there will be a post for that as well.

I'd like to get to St. Hyacinth and/or St. Hedwig this week. We'll see.

Now enjoy my attempt at arsty photography from Sweetest Heart of Mary's courtyard.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hello, over Christmastide I have been delinquent in posting, but I hope to get some new posts up this week.

I bid you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here is the Creche at Sweetest Heart of Mary: