Tuesday, March 14, 2017

St. Fabian Church (Farmington Hills)


During the 1950s, the population of what was then Farmington Township grew rapidly. In 1958, Edward Cardinal Mooney appointed Rev. Francis J. Szaniawski as founding pastor of St. Fabian Parish. 600 people attended the first day of Masses on Sunday, July 15, 1958. Mass was celebrated at Dunckel Middle School until a church could be built.

Cardinal Mooney died on October 25, 1958, and ground was broken on a church the following month. Archbishop (later Cardinal) Dearden was installed the next January and, in September of 1959, he dedicated the church. The church was originally intended to be temporary, with plans to build a permanent church at the site of what is now the school's baseball field.

Fr. Szaniawski recruited Bernardine Franciscan Sisters to teach at the parish school, under the direction of Mother Carmella. Ground was broken on the school on March 24, 1963 and the school was dedicated by Auxiliary Bishop Henry Donnelly the following October

In 1965, Mother Carmella assigned Sister Mary Berenice as Principal, as well as four Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and one lay teacher. On September 8, 1965, the school officially opened with 163 students – 82 boys and 81 girls.
Fr. Seamus Ryan served as the third pastor and oversaw renovations/expansions to the church building. Transepts were added to each side of the original church, increasing the seating capacity to 720. The altar was moved from the end side of the church to the west side and renovations were completed in September of 1983.

Fr. Norbert Kendzierski served as pastor of St. Fabian 1984-95. At that time, he was reassigned to St. Colman, another Farmington Hills parish, and remained there until his death in May of 2012 at the age of 74. Fr. Jeffrey Day, pastor of St. Fabian since 2011, replaced him as administrator at St. Colman in addition to his responsibilities at St. Fabian.

In early 2013, St. Fabian merged with St. Colman (est. 1960). At the time of the merger, St. Fabian had 2,017 registered families while St. Colman had 386. St. Colman Church closed in February of that year and the building was sold for $1.2 million. It is now home to Holy Cross Chaldean Catholic Church.

Parishioners of St. Fabian pledged nearly one million dollars to the Changing Lives Together campaign. The sanctuary of the church was renovated in the summer of 2013 and the vestibule was expanded. During the renovation, the baptismal font was moved into the vestibule.

Saturday Vigil Mass is at 5:00pm; Sunday Masses are at 8:00am, 10:00am, and Noon. Every weekday brings 6:30am Communion Service and 8:30am Mass.

For more info: parish website + parish history

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