St. Stephen – Mary, Mother of the Church is situated on Central Ave, about 1/4 mile south of Michigan Avenue, in southwest Detroit. The history of this church is somewhat mysterious. An article in The Michigan Catholic states that it was founded in 1917. However, in the archdiocese directory of closed/current parishes, there is no reference to St. Stephen in Detroit until 1993.
One note that is obvious: this is a fairly new church and the cornerstone is dated 1967.
Like many churches in Detroit, St. Stephen – Mary, Mother of the Church has Polish roots. The former parochial school, much older than the church, is next door and currently houses a charter school. Looking at the inscription above the door, it is clear that this was once home to a Polish-speaking community.
A faded mural decorates the south wall of the school, facing towards the church.
All of the windows are plain and geometric stained-glass. Large, wide window panes are displayed in the nave. Tall, thin windows are found at the sides of the altar and in the narthex.
A lovely statue of the Blessed Mother stands in one corner of the narthex. An inscription below her feet translates to "bless this request." The Stations of the Cross are fairly small and inconspicuous — possibly less than one square foot.
There is no choir loft: musicians are staged in front of the Sacred Heart altar. On the opposite side, Our Lady of the Rosary is flanked by St. Anne with child Mary as well as St. Theresé.
At the beginning of 2014, St. Stephen – Mary, Mother of the Church merged with Our Lady Queen of Angels (est. 1915) to form the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. As the name may suggest, a large part of the congregation is of Latino descent. With the exception of 9:00am Sunday Mass, all services are in Spanish.
Sunday Mass is at 9:00am (English) and 11:00am (Spanish). Tuesday Mass and Saturday Vigil Mass are at 7:00pm and in Spanish. Confessions are heard 5:45pm–6:45pm on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Eucharistic Adoration is practiced on Tuesdays, 6:00pm–7:00pm, before Mass.
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