Wednesday, October 11, 2017

St. Joseph Church (St. Gabriel Parish, Ida)

Ida Township was organized in 1837 and named after Ida M. Taylor, a local civic leader. The small town of Ida was platted in 1868, on the northern edge of the township, and St. Joseph Parish was founded the following year. The current church was built in 1904, near the center of Ida.
St. Joseph Church as it appeared in 1907; attributed to Paul Petosky. Source
Fr. John LaCasse arrived as pastor in 1989 and continued in that role until he was forced to retire due to illness in 2008. Fr. Michael Woroniewicz, then pastor at St. Irene in Dundee, took over as pastor of both parishes in a new cluster. At the time, St. Joseph had 400 families while St. Irene had 300.

In 2013, St. Joseph and St. Irene (est. 1964) merged to form the new parish of St. Gabriel the Archangel and both churches, eight miles apart, remain in operation. However, the parish office have been located at St. Joseph since the merger.

In addition to his responsibilities as pastor, Fr. Woroniewicz also served as Vicar of the Monroe Vicariate and as a part-time homiletics instructor at SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary. In July of this year, was appointed Rector at the seminary and Fr. Gerard Cupple, previously at St. Mary in Wayne, was assigned to St. Gabriel.
St. Joseph hosts Saturday Vigil Mass at 6:00pm and Sunday Mass at 10:30am. The parish also has Tuesday evening Mass at 7:00pm followed by Confessions.

Six large chandeliers, three on each side, hang over the nave.

Stained-glass windows are colorful and geometric, each one features Art Nouveau flourishes and symbols of the Church.

The Last Supper is depicted on the facade of the high altar, along with grapes, wheat, nd seated angels. A window of the Holy Family is pictured above the altar, although darkened in this evening photo.

Contemporary sculptures of the Holy Family stand on a much older, left side altar. Wooden sculptures of Joseph and an adolescent Jesus, holding a small boat.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Thérèse stand at the back of the church, under the choir loft.

St. Joseph Cemetery stands about one mile south of the church. Some graves, mainly in the northeast section, date back as far as the 1870s.

Many of the founding parishioners were German-speaking immigrants

The cemetery is still active and includes those who passed away earlier this year. 

For more info: bulletin archive + cemetery
About Fr. LaCasse: The Michigan Catholic + Monroe News + obituary
About the parish merger: The Michigan Catholic + Monroe News
Photos: AOD Film Services

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