Tuesday, December 27, 2016

St. Charles Borromeo (Newport)

In 1816, French-Canadians began to settle at the mouth of Swan Creek, north of Monroe and near Lake Erie. Redemptorist priests from Detroit's Ste. Anne would occasionally come to celebrate Mass and administer sacraments in local homes, first in the home of Peter Brancheau.

Peter Allore built a log house in 1838, very close to the current church, and Mass was celebrated there for the next 12 years. In the mid 1840s, Fr. Charles De Prietre, sought to buile a dedicated church in Newport. In 1847, Jeremias Beaubien donated land, just south of the present edifice, for the construction.

1853 was a big year for the congregation -- Bishop Lefevre established St. Charles Borromeo Parish, with Rev. John Van Gennip as first resident pastor, and the second church was built. John B. Trombley donated 4 acres of land, near what is now Trombley Road and Dixie Highway. This church had a twenty-foot tall steeple, measured thirty feet by twenty-five feet, with a sixteen-foot ceiling.

Also in 1853, Louis Laduke donated land for a cemetery at what is now the northwest corner of Dixie Highway and Armstrong Road, a few blocks northeast of the present church.

Several priests and religious, as well as hundreds of laity are buried at the cemetery.

In 1860, Moses Loranger donated the first organ and his daughter, Aurelia, was the first organist. For the first 18 years of the parish, Fr. Van Gennip resided in the homes of parishioners until a rectory was built in 1871. Rev. H. Kemper was appointed as the second pastor in 1880 and he quickly sought to built a new, larger church.

Jacob and Frank Masserant donated land a few blocks southwest of the previous location. On April, 15, 1882, the cornerstrone of the current church was laid at the intersection of Dixie Highway and Swan Creek Rd. The church was completed in 1886 and the rectory completed the following year.

In 1912, Rev. Tobias G. Morin started a drive to establish a parish school. A convent and attached school opened the fall of 1914 with an enrollment of 62 students. By the following spring, enrollment grew to 85.

The school burned down in 1923 but the convent was saved; the parish immediately began to rebuild. A gymnasium was built on the pre-exisitng school foundation and was finished the next year. Classes were held in the gym until the new school building was completed. Fr. Alfred A. Hebert was appointed pastor in 1925, the same year that the new school and convent were completed.

In 1931, the parish purchased marble altar rails, a gold-plated tabernacle, gold candle holders, as well as statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 1945, stained-glass windows and kneelers were added to the church. In 1966, the number of classrooms doubled from four to eight. The church saw more additions and renovations in the 1980s, including a Eucharistic Adoration chapel in 1984.

St. Charles Borromeo stands in the center of the high altar, surrounded by the four evangelists.

The north transept windows depict parts of both the Sorrowful and Glorius Mysteries. Joyful Mysteries are shown in the south transept windows.

Scenes from the Passion of Christ are depicted in windows around the main entrance.

Rev. Anthony Camilleri is pastor and assisted by Rev. John Chinnappa, M.S.F.S. (Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales). The parish is currently clustered with St. Anne in northeast Monroe.

Daily Mass is at 8:30am on Mondays and Wednesdays. Confessions are heard at 3:00pm on Saturdays followed by 4:30pm Mass. Sunday Mass is at 8:30am and 10:30am. 

For more info: parish website + bulletin archive
More photos: AOD Film Services
A catalog of those buried at the parish cemetery: USGWarchives.net

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