Friday, March 28, 2014

Sacred Heart Parish

Sacred Heart Parish, located just east of I-75 and south of Mack, was established in 1875 by a German-American congregation. Peter Dederichs was the architect of this church as well as Assumption Grotto, St. Charles Borromeo, and St. Bonaventure Monastery.

In the 1910's, African-American Catholics began to move into the area. Unfortunately, congregations were largely segregated at the time. A chapel at Old St. Mary's first served as their spiritual home. A former Episcopalian church, located 1/4 mile west of Sacred Heart, was purchased in 1914 and became St. Peter Claver Parish.

In the 1930s, the German congregation at Sacred Heart began to move away. The people of St. Peter Claver petitioned to move to Sacred Heart — seeking a larger church and parish schools. The congregation from St. Peter Claver moved in 1937, but kept the previous patronage, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The former St. Peter Claver Church still stands, just south of Receiving Hospital, and houses a daycare.

The parish had elementary and high schools staffed by Felician Sisters and continued to grow until construction of I-75 forced parishioners to relocate. The high school closed in 1957 and the elementary school in 1965.

Fr. Norman Thomas has served as pastor since 1968 and remains one of the longest-tenured pastors in the archdiocese. Fr. Thomas has also been administrator of St. Elizabeth Parish since 2007.

Today, Sacred Heart hosts the largest African-American congregation in the archdiocese.

A gilded image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus adorns the apse.
The choir sits in front of the St. Joseph altar; Icons of the Blessed Mother stand at her altar.

Multiple depictions of St. Mary: with St. Anne as well as a colorized version of Pietà.

An image of St. Martin de Porres hangs near St. Anthony of Padua.

Sunday Mass is at 8:00am and 10:00am. Saturday Vigil Mass at 5:00pm and Tuesday Mass, in the parish hall chapel, is at 6:00pm.

More about the parish: parish website
More about the church building: Wikipedia

Monday, March 24, 2014

Laetare Sunday

The Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, brings some special opportunities to hear Mass.

Sunday, March 30, 10:00am
15th Annual Rose Mass with Archbishop Vigneron
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
Light brunch follows Mass, as well as a talk by Carol Taylor on caring for persons with dementia.

Sunday, March 30, 11:00am
12th Annual Blessing of Polish Dance Ensembles
St. Hyacinth Church

Sunday, March 30, 11:30am
90th Anniversary Mass
SS. Andrew & Benedict Church

Where you go, you be sure to find rose vestments — image source

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