Friday, December 28, 2018

St. Gerald Church, Farmington

Archbishop John Dearden established St. Gerald Parish on June 26, 1964, with Fr. James P. O’Hagan as founding pastor. Masses were celebrated at Flanders Elementary School. A month after the parish was established, ground was broken on a new church. The first St. Gerald Church was dedicated on December 19, 1964.

The parish continually grew for the first two decades. The church was expanded and renovated but, in 1987, St. Gerald began plans for a new, larger church. Cardinal Maida dedicated the new church on May 31, 1991.

New stained-glass windows were added in 1999. 

St. Gerald merged with St. Alexander, located three miles east, at the end of 2014. St. Alexander Church soon closed but the food pantry remained active. Two years later, the former St. Alexander was sold to a secular non-profit organization. 

Fr. Krzysztof (Kris) Nowak has been pastor since July, 2016.

Saturday Vigil Mass is at 5:00pm, preceded by Confessions 3:30-4:30pm. Sunday Masses are at 8:30, 10:15am, and Noon. 

Daily Mass is celebrated at 9:15am on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Thursday evening Mass is at 7:00pm.

Four large tapestries hang in opposing corners of the church. Divine Mercy and St. Thérèse on the left side of the nave.

The Blessed Virgin Mary along with St. Joseph and Child Jesus on the right side.

For more info: parish website + parish history
More photos: St. Alexander + St. Gerald
On the 2014 parish merger: Hometown Life
St. Gerald's 50th anniversary in 2014: The Michigan Catholic + C & G News

Saturday, December 15, 2018

St. Matthew Church, Flint

St. Matthew Parish was established on October 8, 1911, in downtown Flint. Fr. Mortimer Sullivan, a priest of the Order of St. Augustine, was the founding pastor. Construction of the current church was began in 1919 and was finished the following year. The Detroit firm of VanLeyen, Shilling & Keough designed the church in a Romanesque style. At the same time, the parish built a K-12 school directly behind the church.

The parish school closed in 1970 and the building was later home to a series of Montessori and charter schools. The school building was eventually demolished in the summer of 2008 and a parking stands at the site

Augustinians ministered at the parish for nine decades until they left Flint in June, 2016.  The emblem of the Order of St. Augustine is found throughout the church and on the front of the rectory.

Not surprisingly, depictions of St. Matthew, St. Augustine, St. Monica, and st. Rita are found throughout the church.

St. Augustine and St. Rita, an Augustinian nun, stand in niches at the back of the church. 

The parish recently redid the flooring throughout the church, including hand-cut mosaics.

St. Matthew, surrounded my angels, stands in the apse above the altar. John 1:29 is inscribed around the edge of the apse. Medallions of the four evangelists surround the altar.

St. Jerome and St. Charles Borromeo in one set of windows. St. Paul and St. Stephen in another set of windows.

The traditional side altars to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, respectively.

A side altar to St. Augustine and St. Monica; another altar to St. Thérèse.

The south transept windows depict the Holy Family, the Nativity of Our Lord, and the Annunciation, respectively.

The north transept windows depict the Multiplication of Loaves, Jesus Blessing Children, and the wealthy young man (Matthew 19).

Angels are depicted standing in balconies along the clerestory.

Two large murals show scenes from the life of Blessed Virgin Mary. The betrothal of Joseph and Mary; St. Anne and Child Mary.

God the Father is depicted above the front door.

Madonna and Child over a side door.

A Lourdes grotto outside the church; a belltower stands above one corner of the church.

St. Matthew has daily Mass at 12:10pm, M-F. Saturday Vigil Mass is at 4:30pm while Sunday Masses are at 10:30am and 3:00pm. The Sunday afternoon Mass is in the Extraordinary Form.

More info: Flint Catholic Midwest Augustinians
More photos: Michigan Stained Glass
About the former school: M Live + 1957 yearbook + 1969 yearbook

Friday, November 30, 2018

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery (Southfield)

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery dates to 1928 and spreads across 350 acres of Southfield. 

Many bishops, priests, and vowed religious are interred at Holy Sepulchre. 

Felician Sisters, Religious Sisters of Mercy, Basilian Fathers, Little Sisters of the Poor, Franciscan friars, Congregation of Christian Brothers, PIME Missionary Fathers, Carmelite Sisters, the Society of Mary (Marists), Dominican friars and nuns, Daughters of Divine Charity, and others.

Many figures from the Detroit Tigers are buried at Holy Sepulchre. Two former owners of the team, Frank Navin and Walter Briggs, respectively, are

Much of the Fisher family, owners of Fisher Body Co., rest in the cemetery and mausoleum.

The main mausoleum was built in 1950. 
A shrine to Our Lady of Grace stands near the main entrance; Our Lady of Lourdes in a niche.

There are three chapels in the mausoleum. The primary chapel is situated at the center of the mausoleum.

Two other chapels on the west end of the mausoleum. Christ the King is on the top floor and Mary, Queen of Heaven is on the bottom floor.

Shrines to Our Lady of Fatima and St. Joseph, respectively, in the lower-level of the mausoleum.

Several saints stand atop graves in the middle of the lower-level.

A large columbaria takes up much of the lower level.

Many private crypts have been customized with different pieces of sacred art.

The mausoleum is divided into dozens of sections and corridors. Many of these corridors have stained-glass windows that depict the scenes of the Gospel.

Other corridors feature depictions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

More info: Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services + Wikipedia