Thursday, September 18, 2014

St. Cecilia Church (St. Charles Lwanga Parish)

St. Cecilia Parish was established in 1921 and a parish school opened four years later. Enrollment at the grade school neared 1,000 by the end of the 1920s. The current church is dated to 1929.

The high school closed in 1967 and the building was converted into a neighborhood recreation center called "Ceciliaville." Professional basketball players such as Magic Johnson, Chris Webber, and others played at Ceciliaville as teenagers.

In 1968, then-pastor Fr. Raymond Ellis commissioned a new fresco in the apse to reflect the parish's demographics. Devon Cunningham, parishioner and artist, painted the apse in one summer and continues to worship at St. Cecilia. Portraits of former pastors and other influential figures appear at the feet of Jesus.

As you may imagine, many people took notice of the change for better or worse. The mural received national attention and was featured on the cover of Ebony Magazine in 1969.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Blessed Mother to the right of the main altar.
A portrait of the parish's sixth pastorMsgr. Thomas Finnigan, hangs in the vestibule near the baptismal font.

Much of the communion rail is still intact.

The parish elementary school eventually closed in 2010.

St. Cecilia Church is located on Livernois Ave., a few blocks north of I-96, in northwest Detroit. Last year, St. Cecilia merged with St. Leo to form St. Charles Lwanga Parish. Both locations continue to celebrate weekly Mass. 

Fr. Theodore Parker is the current pastor while Douglas Jackson serves as permanent deacon.
Confessions are heard Saturdays, 4:00pm-6:00pm (please call ahead). The parish does morning prayer on Sundays, in the rectory, at 6:00am. Sunday Mass is at 8:30am and 10:00am. The parish celebrates daily Mass as announced.

For more about the parish, call the rectory at 313-933-678
For more about the school: IHM Sisters

History of the Ceciliaville rec center: USA Today
News articles about the church: Detroit Free PressWashington Post

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday, September 21: sacred music concerts

The afternoon of Sunday, September 21 brings three choices for sacred music performances:
Sunday, September 21, 2pm-5pm
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral
30 minute mini-recitals by talented organists as well as a bake sale in the social hall. Proceeds support future cathedral events and the parish music programs of participating organists.
2:00 - Mary Zelinski, St. Gerald, Farmington
2:30 - Sharon Metz, St. Anthony, Temperance
3:00 - Dr. David Troiano, St. Clare of Mont
efalco, GP Park
3:30 -
Matt Simpson, Divine Child, Dearborn
4:00 - Paul Shafer, St. Mary, St. Clair
4:30 - Dr.
Christine Chun Westbury, St. Anastasia, Troy
Sunday, September 21, 2pm
Old St. Mary's (Greektown)
Sacred music for solo voice, organ, and strings. Vanessa Fariolli, Soprano; Davis Gloff, Baritone; Judith Teasdle, Violin; and Nancy Chaklos, Cello
Limited seating in choir loft; no admission charge
Sunday, September 21, 3pm
Sacred Heart Church
67th Anniversary of the choir
For more info, call 313.831.1356

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

St. Peter Claver (formerly Precious Blood)

Precious Blood Parish was established in 1929, near McNichols and Schaefer, in northwest Detroit. The current church was designed by the firm of Maguolo & Quick and built in the early 1950s. The exterior columns are made of granite while walls are composed of sandstone.

An inscription outside the main entrance quotes Genesis 28:17b "this is nothing else but the house of God, the gateway to heaven."

Excerpts from the gospel are found on the walls of the nave.

The tabernacle is located in a chapel on the west side of the church.

Above one doorway is an inscription that translates as "this place is holy" and also shows Cardinal Mooney's coat of arms.

A mural depicting the Holy Trinity adorns the apse.

Bishop Moses Anderson, the first and only African-American bishop in the AOD, was consecrated as bishop in 1983. In addition to his duties of auxiliary bishop, overseeing parishes in the Central Region, he also served as pastor of Precious Blood 1992-2001. He later retired in 2003 when he reached the age of 75 and died January 1, 2013.

In 2005, Precious Blood merged with St. Francis de Sales to form St. Peter Claver Parish. The Precious Blood location is the primary location though the "annex" location at St. Francis de Sales is often used.

Sunday Mass is at 10:00am, Easter-Advent, at the former Precious Blood. During the winter, Mass is held at the much smaller St. Francis de Sales to lower utility expenses.

A prayer group frequently gathers in the church at 11:00am on Saturdays.

Fr. James O'Reilly, SJ, is the current pastor of St. Peter Claver as well as counselor at Loyola High School.

For more photos: Flickr
For more about the parish: parish website & bulletin archive
For more about Bishop Anderson: Detroit Free Press

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Final Mass at St. Louis the King

St. Louis the King Parish was established in 1923 and, like many churches in the northeast area, it had a mostly Polish congregation.

The latest edifice was designed by Walter J. Rozycki, built in 1959, and located on 7 Mile just east of Mound. Felician Sisters taught at the parish school before it closed in 1988, later demolished in 1993.

The church's namesake portrayed on the front facade as well as a side altar.

In 2012, St. Louis the King merged with St. Ladislaus and Transfiguration/Our Lady Help of Christians. St. Ladislaus will also soon close at a date TBD but Transfiguration will remain open. The last Mass at St. Louis the King was celebrated on August 31, 2013.

Agnus Dei above the high altar

St. Francis of Assisi, Our Lady of Fatima, St. John Paul II, and St. Joseph with child Jesus in the east transept.

The west transept housed a statue of St. Maximilian Kolbe along with a processional canopy and banners.

Side altars to Our Lady of Częstochowa and Mother of Perpetual Help.

Colorful, symbolic windows were found in the lower level of the nave as well as the sanctuary. Geometric, pale windows were found in the clerestory.

A cross-shaped set of windows found over the choir loft.

Plaques honored deceased ushers and veterans.

For more info: previous blog post, WXYZCreative Genebulletin achive