Friday, May 20, 2016

Corpus Christi: May 26th (EF) & 29th (OF)

Corpus Christi is quickly approaching; there are several great oppotunities to celebrate and some parishes have adjusted their normal schedules for this important feast.

(Extraordinary Form, traditional date, Missal of St. John XXIII)

St. Josaphat Church
7:00pm - Solemn High Mass followed by outdoor Eucharistic procession
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Cathedral of the Most Bessed Sacrament
8:00pm - travel through the Holy Door
8:30pm - Mass celebrated by Fr. David Bechill
Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament


(Ordinary Form, External Solemnity of Corpus Christi)

St. Joseph Church
10:30am - Orchestral Mass with Schola Cantorum and St. Joseph Cappella choirs.
Eucharisitc procession after Mass to four altars. Picnic after procession at the social hall and grounds.
*No 10am Mass at Sweetest Heart of Mary this day*
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SS. Peter & Paul (west side)
10:30am - Bilingual Mass (English & Polish) followed by Eucharistic procession
*No Mass at 9:00am or Noon this day*
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A traditional, Polish hymn for Corpus Christi, Bądźże pozdrowiona Hostio Żywa, to be sung during the procession

Cathedral of the Most Bessed Sacrament
2:00pm - Mass celebrated by Archbishop Vigneron followed by Eucharistic procession around the block + facebook

Sunday, May 15, 2016

St. Mary Parish (Wayne)


With the construction of Chicago Road, now called Michigan Avenue, people gradually moved west from Detroit.  In the late 1850s, Jeremiah O’Connor opened a general store in what was then called Derby's Corners and permitted use of the building as a house of worship. 

In March of 1862, a fledgling congregation of 45 families petitioned Bishop Peter Paul Lefevre for their own parish. He said it was too early to establish a new parish there but did create a mission called St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception under the direction of Fr. Edward Van Pammel, pastor of St. John Parish in Ypsilanti.


Construction of a new church began in the fall of 1865 and the City of Wayne was incorporated four years later. In 1871, St. Mary Mission came under the jurisdiction of Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn. Finally, the church was completed and dedicated in January, 1873. It wasn't until 1912 that Bishop Foley established St. Mary Parish with Fr. Joseph Connors as the first pastor.

The parish continued to grow in the 1910's & 20's; construction of the current church began on August 26, 1923. A year later, the previous church was reused as a school for 125 students.  A permanent school was completed in 1929 and the previous church/school was converted into a parish hall.

Laborers continued to move to the Wayne area to work at Ford factories and Willow Run Airport. In October 1948, Fr. John Haney added 10 classrooms to the existing elementary school in order to add a high school. 

The first senior class graduated in 1951. the church was expanded three years later and a larger convent completed in 1958. In the early 1960s, the student body exceeded 1,000 students. A high school 1960 yearbook is available online. In June, 1971, St. Mary High School closed after 24 years.


Fr. Haney retired in December, 1972, but remained in residence. Fr. Sayers was pastor for three years before being replaced by Fr. John J. Sullivan in August, 1975. Fr. John F. O'Callaghan succeeded as 9th pastor on August 6, 1983.

St. Mary celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1987. The pastor suffered a debilitating stroke that same year and the parish was placed under the direction of a temporary administrator. In June, 1989, Fr. O'Callaghan was allowed to step down as pastor and Fr. Raymond Bucon took his place.


In 1997, the parish choir performed in Italy, Spain, and Ireland. They assisted for a High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and, on January 29 of that year, had an audience with Pope St. John Paul II. The following March, Fr. Bucon took a medical leave-of-absence and was replaced by Fr. Jack Baker. 

In 2001, the parish purchased a former credit union building and opened the St. Mary Community Outreach Center which continues to provide food, clothing and other assistance to the needy.

On November 27, 2011 St. Mary began its sesquicentennial (150th) with a Gershwin, piano concert. On June 3 of the following year, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron celebrated Mass for the anniversary, assisted by current and former pastors. Fr. David Burgard arrived as the 12th pastor in 2008 then was succeeded by Fr. Jerry Cupple, the current and 13th pastor, in July 2013. 

Confessions are heard at 6:00pm on Tuesdays followed by 6:30pm Mass and Rosary. 9:00am Daily Mass is celebrated on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Ralph Luddecke, a permanent deacon, arrived at the same time.

Bishop Donald Hanchon, Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, attended to St. Mary Church and Grade School as a child.


Windows in the east (top) and west (bottom) transepts.

Raredos showing he Blessed Virgin is visible most of the year but covered for the Easter season.

The parish school was administered by IHM Sisters for decades, the parish has record of sisters who have taught at the school.

St. Mary is currently clustered with Holy Family in Inkster and St. Richard in Westland.
For more info: parish website + school website
For more local history: City of Wayne
For more photos: AOD Film Services

Monday, May 09, 2016

St. Joseph Church reopens; Pentecost and Maifest on May 15

St. Joseph Church temporarily closed a few months ago for emergency steeple repairs. The church reopened yesterday but long-term repairs are still needed.

This coming Sunday, the parish will celebrate Pentecost with an orchestral Mass at Noon and Maifest German dinner. Eastern Market, a few blocks northwest, is hosting the annual Flower Day the same day and St. Joseph Church will be open starting at 7:00am.

For more info: parish website + facebook

Thursday, May 05, 2016

St. Stephen Parish (New Boston)

Polish immigrants first arrived in Michigan during the mid-1800s. Some settled in Huron Township, near the Huron River. The first Masses began in 1874 and were hosted in the home of Anthony Reiser on Sibley Road. Fr. Louis Florent Gillet, CSsR, traveled on horseback from Monroe to minister to the community. Fr. Gillet was also once of the founders of the IHM Sisters.
Fr. Louis Florent Gillet, CSsR
Msgr. Edward Joos
St. Stephen Mission was soon established; a  small, brick church was built and the first Mass was on November 26, 1875. However, the church was not dedicated until September 14, 1884. Fr. Edward Joos conducted the ceremony and he later became the first Detroit priest to be designated Monsignor.

The congregation was under the direction of different parishes for years from the Capuchins of St. Bonaventure Monastery,to Dearborn's Sacred Heart Parish. Later, St. Stephen was a mission of St. Joseph, Ypsilanti. After nearly 50 years as mission, Bishop Gallagher appointed Fr. Alphonse Nowogrodszki as the first resident pastor in 1920.
The cornerstone was laid on October 14, 1923

Fr. Nowogrodzski sought to build a new church and ground was broken on September 31, 1923, and the cornerstone was laid on October 12 of that year. Built during World War I, labor and materials were very expensive at the time. The church cost approximately $23,000 at the time, or $320,000 after inflation.
St. Stephen Church in its original condition
The pastor sought to minister to the impoverished community in nearby Belleville. Fr. Nowogrodzski bought an Episcopalian church, remodeled, and renamed it St. Anthony. He ministered to both congregations until 1942 when Fr. Francis Lukasiewicz arrived as an assistant. 

Fr. Nowogrodzski died on December 14, 1947, and buried four days later. The day after that, Fr. Edward Miotke was assigned pastor. Felician Sisters soon began teaching catechism classes on Saturday mornings and the parish sought to add a school. 

In 1949, architect Arthur DesRoisers drew plans and, on Pentecost Sunday, May 28, 1950, groundbreaking took place on the new school. Shortly thereafter, Fr. Ignatius Czapski was named pastor.
Msgr. Tobias G. Morin at the dedication of the Blessed Virgin Mary shrine in 1957
Contractor Andrew Bodary built the school and it opened the next year with an enrollment of 180 students staffed by Felician Sisters. Fr. Ignatius Czapski died from a heart attack in 1959 and was succeeded by Fr. Ladislaus Golas. Fr. Golas was transferred in 1967 and replaced by Fr. Alexander Wytrwal.

Bishop Walter Schoenherr blesses the school addition on February 16, 1969.

The parish celebrated a centennial in 1974 and published a book to mark the occasion. It features many historic photos and is viewable online in the digital library of Central Connecticut State University. 

For the last 68 years, St. Stephen has hosted an annual Polish festival every spring, this year's festival is scheduled for May 20-22nd.

Fr. John Hedges has been pastor since 2005 and also serves as spiritual director for Riverview's Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima.

A monument stands in front the rectory, the Ten Commandments are on one side and the Beatitudes on the reverse.

St. Stephen the protomartyr stands in front of the church; St. Joseph with Child Jesus near the rectory.

Plaque in memory of former pastors and assistant priests; a crucifix and Vatican flag in the vestibule.

Lettering above the main doorway references Isaiah 56:7 (and consequently Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46).

A Divine Mercy image and St. Faustina Kowalska at the main entrance.

Masses are celebrated ad orientem with the priest facing the tabernacle during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

A side altar featuring a crucifix, the Blessed Mother, St. Therese, St. Anthony, and two Divine Mercy images

The Sacred Heart of Jesus stands near the St. Joseph side altar.

Saturday Vigil Mass is at 4:00pm. Sundays brings Mass at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am and 5:00pm. Confessions are heard 30 minutes before each weekend Mass.

First Saturdays bring 8:00am Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Center in Riverview. Remaining Saturdays bring 8:00am Mass at St. Stephen followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, morning prayer, and Flame of Love Cenacle. 

Daily Mass schedules vary according to the time of year, refer to the parish bulletin. The parish also hosts Wednesday night bible study.

The parish is located a few miles southwest of Metro Airport

For more info: parish website +  school website + bulletin archive
For more photos: AOD Film Services