Monday, November 10, 2014

Assumption Church (Windsor)

In 1748, Fr. Armand De La Richardie, S.J., came from Quebec to establish a mission church serving Native converts living in modern-day Windsor. It became known as "The Mission of Our Lady of the Assumption among the Hurons of Detroit."

In 1765, sixty French families petitioned for their own parish nearby. Instead of segregating the two groups, they were combined under the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption. A new church measuring 60' x 30' was built to replace the 1749 chapel which was falling into ruins. In June of 1801, nearly 500 converts were confirmed at the parish.

Fr. Potier, a Jesuit missionary, became the first pastor and served in the capacity until his death 32 years later. The parish used two more churches before the cornerstone of the present edifice was laid July 7, 1842 and opened three years later. 

In 1870, Basilian Fathers from Toronto were invited to the parish. They accepted and have been there since. In 1874, the belltower and sanctuary were added to the church. At the same time, stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary and apse. The brilliant windows in the nave were added in 1882.

While Our Lady of Assumption Church is in Windsor, it is barely across the river, and stands alongside the Ambassador Bridge. It is also the oldest continuous parish in Ontario. In the metro Detroit area, only the parish of Ste. Anne de Detroit is older. It is also the oldest extant church in the region and three years older than S.S. Peter & Paul (Jesuit).

The nearby Rosary chapel used for private prayer and daily Mass.


Built by French Canadians, the French language appears on the Stations of the Cross and throughout the church.


The Salve Regina is inscribed around the perimeter of the sanctuary.

The Sacred Heart side altar and nearby Infant of Prague.

The beginning of the Asperges Me is inscribed in the holy water fonts.

Pairs of angels are found in the ceiling of the nave.

A statue of the Canadian martyrs stands in one corner of the narthex;  St. Anthony stands in the opposite corner.

For the past six years, Assumption Church has hosted the St. Benedict Tridentine Community and celebrated a regularly-scheduled Tridentine Mass.

The church has a laundry list of needed repairs, totalling $10 million, which the parish currently cannot afford. The church has deficiencies with its roof, foundation, masonry, ceiling, floor tiles, and much more. Because of these issues, the church is currently closed until necessary funds are raised.

Currently, the parish is NOT accepting donations. However, they will accept pledges. In the meantime, the St. Benedict Tridentine Community will celebrate EF Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Windsor) at 7:00pm every Tuesday and at 2:00pm on the first Sunday of each month. All other Sundays, 2:00pm Mass will be at St. Alphonsus Church (Windsor).

More info: parish website
More photos: here and here

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