Thursday, March 20, 2014

St. Francis D'Assisi Church

St. Francis D'Assisi Parish was founded in 1889 as Polish parishioners from St. Casimir gradually moved west. The current church was designed by Kastler and Hunter; construction began in 1903 and completed in 1905. St. Francis D'Assisi is located at 4550 Wesson, in southwest Detroit, north of Michigan Ave. and east of Livernois.

A Polish eagle is perched above the main entrance.  Alcoves are located to each side of the main entrance — these may have once housed statues.


The current rectory, parish hall, as well as former school and convent were added in the 1910s. The former convent is currently in use by a charter school.

A newsreel from 1928 shows Bishop Gallagher blessing the church on its 25th anniversary.

A large crucifix stands at the main entrance; a shrine for Our Lady of the Rosary.

The free-standing, marble altar was added in 1970.

Carved marble is found throughout the church.


Images of saints are found across the ceiling with strings of lights illuminated for holy days.

Metal chandeliers hang from every archway; a crystal chandelier hangs above the communion rail.

All of the windows were made by Detroit Stained Glass Works and all of the lower windows depict scenes of the Blessed Mother.

Fr. Ravi Marneni, PIME, has served as pastor since 2011. Last year, St. Francis D'Assisi merged with nearby St. Hedwig and both sites remain active.


Confessionals are found in three corners of the nave.



Processional banners embroidered with Polish names.

St. Jude, the Infant of Prague, St. Theresé, and St. Anne with child Mary.

Stations of the Cross are gilded and composed of marble, wood, and plaster.

Sunday Mass is celebrated at 10:00am. Daily Mass is celebrated in the chapel on Wednesday at 8:30am as well as Thursday, in Spanish, at 7:00pm. Thursday Mass is preceded by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:00pm. Reconciliation is at 9:15am on Sundays.

The church is celebrating its 125th anniversary throughout the year. Archbishop Vigneron will celebrate a Jubilee Mass on Sunday, October 12, at Noon.

St. Francis D'Assisi hosts a fish fry, every Friday during Lent, in the basement of the parish hall across the street from the church. Meals are served 11am–6pm, followed by Stations of the Cross at either St. Francis or nearby St. Hedwig.

For more info: parish websitebulletin archive, and Facebook
More photos of the church: Sherlock Photo & AOD Film Services
Photos of the parish fish fry: Flickr

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