Wednesday, April 09, 2014

St. Cunegunda Parish

St. Cunegunda Parish was established in 1927 with Fr. Alexander Wilczewski as the first pastor. At that time, the church also housed the parish school which was staffed by four lay teachers and six Sisters of St. Francis. Enrollment quickly outgrew the confines. Each family in the parish pledged $100 towards construction of a new school, about $1,200 in today's value. This was a lot of money during the Great Depression. The parish continued to grow and rebuild for the next twenty years and the current church was completed in 1951.

On Friday, November 8, 1963, Fr. Wilczewski offered his last Mass. Reportedly, he administered himself Viaticum and died at the foot of the altar that day.

Charles and Milada Malczyk, a husband-and-wife couple, painted the original mural and artwork in the sanctuary. Fr. Wilczewski is shown below, kneeling in prayer.
Image via Flickr

This mural was replaced, circa 1980, with a mosaic that is still in place today.
To the right side of Jesus, St. Cunegunda stands alone. To His left side, Pope John Paul II is pictured alongside other saints.
Our Lady of Czestochowa overlooks the main doorway.

Angels frame the rear of the nave and reflect the original altar.
The church is located at 5900 Saint Lawrence Avenue in southwest Detroit. This street is named after a parish that once stood four blocks south, which closed in 1989 and demolished. Many Poles do still worship at St. Cunegunda but much of the congregation is Latino.
Depictions of the four evangelists appear in the center of the ceiling.

Windows of the choir loft (left) and the north transept (right).

St. Cunegunda is the only Detroit parish in the West Wayne Vicariate. The parish is currently clustered with St. Barbara in Dearborn and they share a pastor, Fr. Zbigniew Grankowski.

Sunday Mass is at 11:15am and celebrated in English, Polish, and Spanish.  Daily Mass is at 6:15pm on Mondays and 8:00am on Wednesdays. A communion and scripture service is held at 8:00am on Thursdays. Saturday Mass is at 3:30pm. Confessions are heard on Saturdays at 3:00pm in English or Polish.

Parish bulletin: Seek & Find
Detailed history report (up to 1967): Polish-American Liturgical Center
Other blog posts: Creative Gene & Detroit Pilgrim
More photos: AOD Film Services
Vicariate website: West Wayne Vicariate

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