Wednesday, June 18, 2014

St. Moses the Black (formerly Church of the Madonna)


Church of the Madonna was established in 1924. An addition was built in front of the church at a later, unknown date. 

An outdoor chapel stands nearby. Its not clear if Mass or other services are held here.


In 1968, pastor Fr. William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis co-founded Focus: HOPE to provide the needy with career training and food assistance. Fr. Cunningham passed away in 1997 and Josaitis maintained leadership until her death in 2011.
 

The church is fairly small — a capacity of maybe 200.

Icons of the apostles line the edges of the ceiling.

Icons of the evangelists are in the center of the ceiling.

In 2012, Church of the Madonna clustered with Blessed Sacrament Cathedral (est. 1905)St. Benedict (est. 1915), and St. Gregory the Great (est. 1923). Last year, three of the churches, excluding the cathedral, merged to form St. Moses the Black Parish. Of the three sites, only the former Church of the Madonna remains active. The other two sites are available for weddings and other private events but do not hold weekly Mass.

 

A baptismal font is located in the vestibule along with an icon of the parish's patron.

The sanctuary features a window depicting Pentecost and a crucifix hanging behind the altar.
 

The tabernacle is located at the edge of the sanctuary, near the sacristy.
 

Msgr. Michael LeFevre is the current pastor in addition to his roles as Vicar for the Genesis Vicariate, administrator of Our Lady of the Rosary, and rector of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. Sunday Mass is at 9:00am and 11:00am. Daily Mass is held Tuesdays at 7:30am, Wednesdays at 9:00am, and Thursdays at 6:00pm. The church is located at 1125 Oakman Blvd., just west of the Lodge Expressway, and across from Focus: HOPE.




For more info: AOD.orgparish websiteAOD Film Services
Another blog post: Detroit Pilgrim

3 comments:

Duwayne Josephsson said...

How ridiculous. To change the name of a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin to some obscure saint just to curry favor for Blacks!

The Madonna inspired Fr. Cunningham to found FocusHOPE which has done more for Blacks in Detroit then either the NAACP or the Urban League.

This cheap move also suggests a misogynist movement within the church to further de-emphasize the feminine as evidenced by giving Joseph a more maternal role as well as May 1 as a feast day. The Black church eliminates Mary and all other women in typical Protestant fashion with the exception of Mother's Day.

When I first saw this alleged saint I could see that this was a play for those who argue that the key figures in the Bible were Black as if the Holy See was in theological agreement with Rastafarians and Hebrew-Israelite factions. Was Catholicism admitting Moses was black? Or did it hope those fans of the late Isaac Hayes was being canonized and rewarded with a parish church?

As a new Catholic who grew up in Madonna's parish my protests were disregarded with a smugged smile. Soon my family home was burglerized for the first time. So much for the patron saint of thieves.

I will never set foot in this building but I will continue to pray in its Marygrove thpugh I know its days are numbered.

Duwayne Josephsson said...

How ridiculous. To change the name of a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin to some obscure saint just to curry favor for Blacks!

The Madonna inspired Fr. Cunningham to found FocusHOPE which has done more for Blacks in Detroit then either the NAACP or the Urban League.

This cheap move also suggests a misogynist movement within the church to further de-emphasize the feminine as evidenced by giving Joseph a more maternal role as well as May 1 as a feast day. The Black church eliminates Mary and all other women in typical Protestant fashion with the exception of Mother's Day.

When I first saw this alleged saint I could see that this was a play for those who argue that the key figures in the Bible were Black as if the Holy See was in theological agreement with Rastafarians and Hebrew-Israelite factions. Was Catholicism admitting Moses was black? Or did it hope those fans of the late Isaac Hayes was being canonized and rewarded with a parish church?

As a new Catholic who grew up in Madonna's parish my protests were disregarded with a smugged smile. Soon my family home was burglerized for the first time. So much for the patron saint of thieves.

I will never set foot in this building but I will continue to pray in its Marygrove thpugh I know its days are numbered.

unclesmrgol said...

St. Moses the Black was an Abyssinian slave who became a thief and robber. Later in life, he renounced his former life of thievery and violence and became a monk in the deserts of Egypt. He's a good person to emulate, for he was, after rebirth in Jesus, a conciliator. He wasn't the Moses of the Old Testament but took his name.

While I realize that renaming a church is , when two parishes merge, the solution is often to either take the two Saints and put them together into a new name, in order to prevent the politics of primacy which often result. We humans seem to order everything, and so if the Parish of Saint X merges with the Parish of St. Y and takes on the name of St. Y, those former parishioners of St. X will feel second class. The solution is MUCH more complicated with the Saint is the Blessed Virgin, and so such a solution is obviously infeasible and so a new Saint's name must be chosen.

St. Moses the Ethiopian has a day on the Catholic Church's calendar (Aug 28) and so is wholly fitted to have a parish named after him.

Black Catholics are part and parcel of our Church.

As for Joseph, he submitted to the Lord's will much earlier than, say, Paul. Joseph didn't need much coercion, as he was a sensitive guy, as evidenced by his initial desire to privately divorce Mary when she was found to be with child. A really strong willed person would have opted for a public divorce with all of the abuse that would be heaped upon the woman. As a guy, I do try to emulate as much as I can Saint Joseph. With regard to Saint Moses, he's worthy of emulation too.