Monday, April 27, 2015

Upcoming events: May 1-3

Friday, May 1, 7:00pm
St. Joseph Church
7:00 p.m. Tridentine Sung Mass followed by St. Joseph Devotions, Outdoor Candlelight Procession and Veneration of St. Joseph's Relic.
The St. Joseph Cappella and members of the Assumption Grotto Choir will sing Missa Rosa Mystica by Carnevali
facebook | parish website

Saturday, May 2, 5:00pm-Midnight
Sunday, May 3, 1:00pm-10:00pm
Firefighter's Parade Saturday at 3:30pm followed by 4:00pm Mass
Lots of Polish & American food, church tours, music, dancing, etc.
facebook | parish website

Sunday, May 3, Noon
St. Joseph Church
Noon German Mass followed by German dinner
German-English Missals will be provided.
flyer | parish website

Sunday, May 3, Noon
Ste. Anne de Detroit Church

Thursday, April 23, 2015

National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, "the Little Flower," was canonized on May 17, 1925. The next year, a parish under her patronage was established in a largely-Protestant area of Royal Oak. Two weeks after it opened, the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross in front of the church. 

Construction of the current church was funded by the proceeds of the radio ministry of the controversial pastor, Fr. Charles Coughlin, who broadcast from the tower during the 1930s. The church was constructed in two stages between 1931 and 1936. On St. Patrick's Day of 1936, the original wood church was destroyed by fire.

The first section to be completed was the Charity Crucifixion Tower. The central figure is 25' tall crucifix on the Woodward side. It and other figures were created by Rene Paul Chambellan, a New Jersey-based sculptor. The top corners of the tower feature symbols of the four evangelists. Beneath the crucifix are the Seven Last Words.

Henry J. McGill, of the New York firm McGill and Hamlin, designed the current church in the Art Deco style and its built of granite and limestone.

In 1998, it became one of the first five churches in the country given the National Shrine designation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron announced on January 31, 2015 that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, granted the title of Minor Basilica to the National Shrine of the Little Flower. The title is given to churches around the world to denote a particular importance in liturgical and pastoral life and a closer relationship with the pope. This is the second church in Michigan, after Basilica of St. Adalbert in Grand Rapids, and 82nd in the U.S. to be declared a basilica.

The octagonal nave supposedly seats 3,000 on two levels. There were nearly 2,000 present for the Mass of Thanksgiving on April 22, 1025.
Via The Michigan Catholic
It is the third-largest building in the city of Royal Oak, standing at the northeast corner of Woodward and 12 Mile. One of the archdiocese's largest parishes, Shrine consists of more than 3,500 families and operates its own grade school and high school. 

A large baldacchino hangs above the altar.

Like many churches, the basilica is formed in the shape of a cross with the tabernacle at the head of the cross. Now that Shrine is a basilica, there are some signs denoting such, including white and gold banners. The traditional ombrellino (red & gold umbrella) and tintinnabulum (bell) are yet be added but will soon be installed in the sanctuary.

A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus stands in the southeast transept while St. Jude is in the northwest.

Octagonal alcoves with St. Joseph and St. Mary, Queen of All Saints, flank the tabernacle.

The pulpit, on the second level, features intricate carvings on its facade.

A depiction of the Holy Spirit appears above the pulpit.

A skylight, above the tabernacle, on the second level.

The marble altar measures 12' long x 4'10" wide x 3' tall. The Lamb of God is engraved on the side that faces the tabernacle.

Two peacocks are shown on the opposite side of the altar. In early Christianity, peacocks represented immortality because it was believed their bodies did not decay after death. The "eyes" in a peacock's feathers also represent the all-seeing God.

The Stations of the Cross were created by noteworthy sculptor Corrado Parducci. He also created work for Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, University of Detroit, several Detroit office builldings, and much more.

The St. Thérèse chapel, including the baptismal font, is located opposite the tabernacle at the southwest corner of the basilica.

Statues of St. Anthony and St. Christopher in a hallway.

Daily Mass is celebrated at 6:30am and 8:30am, Monday-Friday. Saturday Vigil Mass is at 4:30pm and 6:30pm. Mass is celebrated six times every Sunday, beginning at 7:30am, 9:00am, 10:45am, 12:30pm, 4:00pm (Spanish) and 6:00pm. Confessions are heard after the 6:30am daily Mass as well as before and after 4:30pm Saturday Mass.

Fr. Robert Fisher has been pastor for about a year; since the death of longtime pastor Msgr. William Easton. Fr. Fisher is assisted by associate pastors Fr. Joseph Lang, Fr. Patrick Gonyeau and Fr. Ryan Adams as well as Deacon Thomas Avery.

National Shrine of the Little Flower is one of few parishes that has a perpetual adoration chapel, located just southeast of the church. A depiction of the Last Supper is located outside the chapel.

A statue of the patroness stands near the adoration chapel along with Stations of the Cross.

For more info: parish website
3-D virtual tour, which includes the sacristy: Detroit Free Press

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Parish Festival Guide

This week, The Michigan Catholic published their annual guide to parish festivals, many of which occur in Detroit and Hamtramck.

May 23: St. Florian, Strawberry Festival
May 16: Christ the King
June 7: Our Lady Queen of Heaven
June 28: St. Patrick, Irish Festival
Aug. 7–9: Sacred Heart, Bazaar weekend
Aug. 8–9: Sweetest Heart of Mary, Pierogi Festival
Aug. 30St. Peter Claver, Jazz on the Grass
Sept. 19–20All Saints
Sept. 26–27St. Joseph, Oktoberfest
Oct. 3–4St. Hedwig, Fall Festival
Oct. 3–4St. Hyacinth, Banana Festival

Full schedule: The Michigan Catholic

Friday, April 17, 2015

Return to Assumption Grotto

German immigrants first arrived in Detroit circa 1830 in the middle of a cholera epidemic. Some settled in what is now Greektown but many moved to the northeast outskirts of the city and settled along with a handful of French-American Catholics.

They built a log chapel, the second Catholic establishment in Detroit, where the current church stands and called it Kirchen Wald (Church in the Woods) and Redemptionist missionaries ministered there. The name was later changed to Chapel of the Assumption and later St. Mary's in the Woods.

In 1847, the parish was officially established as Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and they received their first full-time pastor, Fr. Amandus Van den Driessche, in 1852. By the end of that year, the parish had its first "permanent," brick church completed with a capacity of 500.

Like many parishes at the time, a nearby cemetery was added at some point. In 1876, Van den Driessche visited France and was so impressed by the recently-constructed Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes that he commissioned a replica of the grotto. This was designed by Peter Dederichs, also architect of several Catholic churches. It was constructed of limestone, standing at the far end of the cemetery, finished in 1881, and was the first outdoor shrine in Michigan.

On April 30, 1882, Pope Leo XIII signed a proclamation granting partial and plenary indulgences for anyone who visited the Grotto and prayed for the propagation of the faith. The grotto became a popular place for local pilgrimage, especially on the last Sunday of May and the Solemnity of the Assumption (August 15). The interior rim of the grotto shows each pope and the duration of his papacy.

The second church burned in 1907, and the current church was built in its place. The rectory dates to 1918 and convent to early 1920s, both constructed from red brick. 

Detroit architectural firm Aloys Frank Herman designed the current church that was built 1928-1929 and dedicated on September 22, 1929. The church was designated as a Michigan State Historic Site in 1990 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places the next year.

A plaque at the gate commemorates all of Assumption's pastors. Amazingly, in more than 160 years, the parish has had only 9 pastors and some have served as long as 45 years. Fr. Eduard Perrone has been pastor since 1994 and is assisted by Fr. John Bustamante as well as (permanent) Deacon James Wilder.

A large statue of Our Lady of Lourdes stands near the gate; small, narrow windows are found in the side aisles. Large windows depicting saints and symbols are in the clerestory.

Buttresses line the exterior walls on both sides.

Clerestory windows show various saints and Church symbols.

Windows in the northeast and southwest transepts.

The Blessed Virgin is depicted in the choir loft windows, surrounded by angels.

Communion rails are crafted from Italian marble. Angels holding a ciborium and chalice are shown on the gates.

Carved wooden details above confessionals.

Mass is offered everyday, at least twice a day. Most Masses are ad orientem with the priest facing the tabernacle during Liturgy of the Eucharist. Mass is at 7:30am and 7:00pm, Monday-Friday. 


Saturday Mass is at 7:30am and 4:00pm (Sunday Vigil). Sunday Mass is at 6:30am, 9:30am (Tridentine), and Noon. Confessions are heard half an hour before each Sunday Mass. The congregation traditionally recites the rosary after every Mass.

For more info: parish websiteTe Deum blogprevious blog postAODDetroit1701RCNet
For more photos: Flickr,  Te DeumAOD Film Services,