Saturday, December 31, 2016

St. Patrick Church, Carleton (Divine Grace Parish)

Irish and German immigrants settled along Stony Creek in the 1840s. This settlement was originally named after the city of Athlone in central Ireland. The first church in the area was built out of donated logs. Redemptorist priests ministered to the mission, they celebrated the first Mass and dedicated the church on St. Patrick's Day, 1847. The following year, Fr. Egidius Smulders sought to establish a parish school but it would be 20 years for that to come to fruition. Redemptorists continued to minister at St. Patrick until 1855.

The cornerstone of the current church was laid on June 26, 1860, and construction finished six months later. On December 27, 1860, Bishop Lefebvre appointed Fr. Desiderius Callaert as the first resident pastor of the newly-created parish.

On January  29, 1868, the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, three IHM sisters, Sr. M. Ignatia, Sr. M. Clara, and Sr. M. Zita arrived at their new home dedicated to St. Francis de Sales. A postcard from 1911 shows the parish convent.

IHM Sisters continued to teach at St. Patrick School for over a century until 1994, when Sr. Marge Fogarty, a kindergarten teacher, was reassigned. She currently ministers at the IHM Health Care Center at the Motherhouse in Monroe.

In 2013, St. Patrick Parish merged with St. Joseph (est. 1889) in Maybee to form the new parish of Divine Grace. Both churches remain active but the parish office operates from the St. Patrick rectory.

St. Patrick is shown above the main entrance.

Portraits of previous pastors are shown in the narthex.

Madonna and Child stand at the left altar, near a mural of the Holy Family. St. Patrick stands at the right altar, near a mural of the Annunciation.

The Baptism of the Lord, St. Joseph, and the Infant of Prague in the left corner of the sanctuary. The Good Shepherd, Sacred Heart of Jesus, as well as Ste. Anne with Child Mary in the right corner.

Most of the stained-glass windows appear to be later additions and are in a contemporary style.

Reconciliation is available at 3:00pm on Saturdays followed by Vigil Mass is at 4:00pm. Sunday Mass is at 11:00am.

Weekday Mass is usually at 7:00pm on Tuesdays, 8:00am on Thursdays, and 11:00am on Fridays. Daily Mass schedule can vary slightly so refer to the bulletin.

Rev. Fr. Steve Mateja has been administrator since July. He is assisted by Deacon Emeritus Rev. Mr. George Cousino and weekend associate, Rev. Fr. Dan Jones.

A parish cemetery stands next to the former convent, east of the church.

For more info: parish website + school website

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: