Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Old St. Mary's (Greektown) and Golden Fleece

Considering the dearth* of churches named for St. Andrew in the Archdiocese, I decided to go to Old St. Mary's in Greektown on November 30. They have a daily 12:15 Mass. (Confessions are heard before every Mass as well.) Andrew is a name of Greek origin, so it made sense to go to Greektown.

St. Mary's
is another historical beauty in the Renaissance Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Detroit. The parish is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. The current Church building is celebrating its 125th. I really appreciate the fact that they put a pamphlet in the back of the church which a short history and a numbered guide of the sights in the Church. Statues aren't always labeled and sometimes we have no idea at whose image we are looking. If you go to OSM, be sure to pick up the white and blue pamphlet. It goes into great detail into the history of the parish, the building and its effects, and the organ. I used it as a reference for the historical information within this post.

The story starts in 1834 when Fr Martin Kundig founded a parish (the third in the city) to tend for the Catholics arriving from Neustadt, Germany. The first Church was consecrated in 1843 under the title of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fr. Skolla, a Franciscan, was in charge at that time. In 1847, the Redemptorists took over the care of the parish, but were replaced by Franciscans in 1872. The Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) began administering to the parish and still do to this day.

The current Church building was completed in 1885. It is a massive structure now in the shadows of the Greektown Casino Hotel. I managed a few pictures during and after Holy Mass.

During the Homily. The High Altar is situated to the East.

It's the ceiling. Fresco of our lady at the intersection of the transepts and nave.

St. Anthony Altar with St. Rita and St. Therese of Lisieux

The Sacred Heart altar was rebuilt after a fire on Good Friday of 1994.
SS. Philomena and Barbara flank our Lord, and to the left is Good St. Joseph.

High Altar again. Communion rail is in use, by the way.
St. Stephen and St. Elizabeth of Hungary flank Our Lady.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the three Grottoes at this church. I'll provide a picture from each.

Gethsemane Grotto

Lourdes Grotto (Remember that the Church was founded under the Immaculate Conception, which was dogmatically defined in 1854. In 1858 Our Lady of Lourdes introduced herself to Bernadette Soubirous as the Immaculate Conception)

Grotto depicting the Baptism of Our Lord.

There are plenty of options in Greektown for food. I stopped at the Golden Fleece, mostly because of the name. Who doesn't like a place named after Jason's quest? The souvlaki was decent, but kind of pricey for what it was. For a cheaper meal, go to Plaka which is more like a Coney Island. There are also Pegasus, Pizzapapalis, Fishbones, etc. etc. If coffee and a pastry are more your thing, you might want to go to Astoria Bakery.

*There is 1: St Andrew's in Rochester whose mass was too early for when I woke up. There is also SS. Andrew and Benedict which most likely refers to St. Andrew Svorad and his disciple Benedict and St. Andrew Kim who is also not the apostle.

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