Friday, October 24, 2014

Book recommendation: "Years of Faith"

Cover image showing the exterior of the former St. Agnes Church

A local author, Robert Mowry, recently published a book outlining the history of select Detroit parishes.

Years of Faith: The Ethnic Heritage and History of Ten Catholic Parishes of Detroit features ten chapters with each chapter focused on one of ten parishes. Those featured include: St. Agnes, St. Anthony, St. John Cantius, St. Stanislaus, St. Albertus, St. Rita, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas the Apostle and Immaculate Conception. Of these, only St. Elizabeth remains as an active parish.

The former St. Stanislaus Church located near the I-94/I-75 interchange.

Detailed descriptions are given for each church, including the year constructed and the architect, while dozens of photos show the beautiful artwork and architecture. The book also outlines the history of each parish: their establishment, growth, parish life, decline and eventual closing.
  • Paperback, 156 pages
  • Available at Michigan Artisans, 1400 E. Fisher, Detroit (at Russell St., southern end of Eastern Market). $20; six copies available at last check. Call for availability: 313-355-4316
  • On backorder: Amazon
  • Interview with the author: The Michigan Catholic

Thursday, October 02, 2014

St. Elizabeth Church

St. Elizabeth Parish was established in 1885 by a community of German and Belgian immigrants. Fannie Van Dyke donated land near McDougall and Willis for the first, temporary church. The current church, designed by Donaldson & Meier, is dated to 1892 and one block north of the predecessor.

St. Elizabeth is at the eastern end of a row of Catholic churches. St. Josaphat, Sweetest Heart of Mary and St. Albertus, all on East Canfield Street, are less than one mile to the west. St. Hyacinth also stands half a mile to the north.

A large plaque remembers the founding pastor, Fr. Anthony Svensson, a native of Sweden. Fr. Svensson died in 1896 at the age of 44.

Rose windows appear in each transept.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus stands in the north transept while St. Anthony stands in the south.

The parish's namesake stands to the right of the main altar alongside Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Icons of the evangelists overlook the choir loft.

Containers for holy oils and holy water are located near the vestibule.

In 2007, Fr. Norman Thomas was appointed to administrator in addition to his ongoing pastoral duties at Sacred Heart.

Mass is celebrated Sundays at Noon only unless otherwise announced.

For more photos: Flickr & AOD Film Services
For more info: parish website,,