Wednesday, January 31, 2018

St. John Bosco (Redford Twp.)

Cardinal Mooney established St. John Bosco Parish in June, 1956, in the southern part of Redford Township. Fr. Leo Sheltreau was appointed pastor. Not only was this Fr. Leo's first tenure as pastor, it was his first assignment to a parish. Prior to this assignment, Fr. Sheltrau spent spent 18 years with Catholic Youth Organization and chaplain to juvenile detention.

The parish worshipped at Thurston High School until a church could be built. Msgr. Hardy, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn, led the groundbreaking ceremony on June 30, 1957.

The first Mass at St. John Bosco Church was on Christmas Eve, 1957, though construction was not yet finished.

Cardinal Mooney finally dedicated St. John Bosco Church on September 16, 1958, more than two years after the parish was established.

A parish school opened four years later with classes starting on September 10, 1962. Two lay teachers and two Adrian Dominican Sisters taught grades one, two and three. The following year, another Dominican sister joined the faculty. Sr. Margaret Joseph was the first principal.

St. John Bosco Parish celebrated it's 60th anniversary in 2016. Throughout the parish's 62-year history, there have been only three pastors: Fr. Leo Sheltreau (1956-1980), Fr. Michael Kundrat (1980-1984), and Fr. Richard Osebold (1984-present). However, the parish went through a series of a dozen associates and weekend associates. Both Fr. Sheltreau and Fr. Kundrat served at St. John Bosco until their respective retirements. It is likely that Fr. Osebold will also continue to minister at the parish until his retirement.

Fr. Osebold was previously the Dean of Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary, where he also taught Latin and Greek for two decades. He also served as a weekend assistant at St. John Bosco before he was appointed pastor. 

The parish once had 700 registered families but, at last count, numbered about 250. St. John Bosco clustered with St. Hilary and St. Robert Bellarmine in 2012. St. Hilary closed on June 29, 2014, but the other two remain clustered even though each has it's own pastor and parish staff.

A statue of St. Hilary, reclaimed from the now-closed St. Hilary Church, is suspended near the main entrance of St. John Bosco, next to a statue of the other namesake.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus, holding the Lamb of God, stands next to the Infant of Prague and St. Thérèse.

Madonna and Child as well as St. Joseph in the back, left side of the church.

Most of the windows are common, clear glass. However, the windows above the main altar are stained-glasses. The Holy Trinity is depicted in the center window: the Hand of God the Father, the Agnus Dei, and Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.

A chapel stands behind the main altar, where daily Mass is celebrated every weekday except Thursday. Monday Mass is at 9:00am while Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays bring Mass at 8:30am. Tuesday Mass is preceded by Mother of Perpetual Help devotions at 8:15am and followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, 9:00am-7:00pm.

Fr. Osebold is assisted by two permanent deacons:  Rev. Mr. Robert Modes and Rev. Mr. Ziggy Kucharek. Saturday Vigil Mass is at 4:00pm, preceded by Confessions at 3:00pm, while Sunday Masses are at 9:00am and 11:00am.

More info: parish website + bulletin archive
More photos: AOD Film Services
More images of the stained-glass windows: Dawn's Art

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sacred Heart Chapel at Marygrove College

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) opened St. Mary Academy in 1846 in Monroe. The school grew to include college-level classes and St. Mary College was established in 1905. Five years later, the State of Michigan empowered the college to grant degrees, and in 1914, the State Department of Education authorized it to grant teaching certificates. Those original charters are still in effect at Marygrove today.

Enrollment outgrew the confines in Monroe during the early 1920s. Bishop Gallagher and Mother Domitilla Donohue sought to move the college to Detroit. Mother Domitilla purchased an 80-acre wooded tract in a developing area of northwest Detroit in March, 1922, for $241,000. Indianapolis architects D.A. Bohlen & Son designed the Liberal Arts building (which houses the chapel) as well as the neighboring Madame Cadillac residence hall.

The new site suggested a new name, and in 1925, with the laying of the cornerstone of the present Liberal Arts Building, St. Mary College became Marygrove College.

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

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is depicted atop the main altar.

Fine woodworking details on the ends of the pews.

An interesting detail that I've never seen in a pew before: hinges cover small storage compartments on the top of each pew.

Large, white marble Stations of the Cross line the walls of the chapel.
Stained-glass windows depict scenes in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary: the Annunciation (left) and the Visitation (right).

The Presentation in the Temple (left) and the Wedding at Cana (right).

A large Casavant organ is housed in the choir loft. 

Parishioners of St. Peter Claver noticed water and plaster damage to the church's ceiling a few months ago. Concerned for safety, they soon moved their regularly-scheduled Sunday Mass to the Sacred Heart Chapel at Marygrove College. On January 2, the roof of the church collapsed. While the damage is extensive, there were no injuries.

The collapsed roof and leaning walls at St. Peter Claver - Source

To make matters even worse for the parish, a longtime pastor, Fr. James O'Reilly, passed away a few days after the roof collapsed.

St. Peter Claver will continue to hold its 10am Sunday Mass at Marygrove until they find a permanent home. Daily Mass is celebrated in the rectory next to the former Precious Blood Church.

General info about Marygrove:

Most photos of the stained glass: On the damage to St. Peter Claver: The Michigan Catholic + Loyola High School
About the plan to close the undergrad college: Crain's DetroitDetroit Free PressDetroit News

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ss. Cyril & Methodius Slovak Parish

Slovakian emigrants established SS. Cyril & Methodius Parish in 1918. The first church was built at the intersection of Heintz and Foster Streets, near Mt. Elliott and Harper, on the east side of Detroit.

The parish quickly outgrew the original church and sought to build a larger, new church. Fr. Joseph Zalibera, who would serve as pastor for 39 years, led the capital campaign and construction efforts.

 The cornerstone of the edifice was laid in 1925 and the first Mass was on All Saints' Day, 1926, in the basement of the new church. Three hundred students were enrolled in the parish school that academic year.

Construction was not completed until Christmas Eve of 1929. A four-story school surrounded the church while a combination gymnasium/auditorium occupied the basement of the Byzantine-style church.

A pipe organ was installed in 1936 and Centerline Street, in front of the church, was renamed Saint Cyril Street. A parish high school was eventually built in 1945.

Both the elementary and high schools closed in 1971 and the parish petitioned the archdiocese to move to a new location. Permission was granted and the parish bought land at 18 Mile and Ryan Roads. Construction of the current edifice was completed in 1988 and the parish made the 13-mile move north to Sterling Heights.

The former SS. Cyril & Methodius Church was sold a Baptist congregation and occupied until the late 1990s. By 2000, all of the former buildings of the parish were abandoned, vandalized, and in disrepair. The City of Detroit sought to clear the desolate neighborhood to make room for an industrial park so, in early 2003, the former SS. Cyril & Methodius Church was demolished.
The former rectory, as it appeared in 2006, was later demolished - Source

SS. Cyril & Methodius Parish celebrates its centennial this year. The parish will celebrate the anniversary with, among other things, a monthly Rosary in Slovakian and English. They are also in the process of gathering documents and artifacts from the parish history and will likely have some sort of exhibit later this year.

Outdoor Stations of the Cross stand across the parking lot from the current church.

An (Perpetual)Adoration Chapel is located near the main entrance, along with a set of four(five?) confessionals. The parish offers Reconciliation 30 minutes before each Mass and after the 9:00am Saturday Mass.

The parish patrons stand in the vestibule and, nearby, St. Francis of Assisi consoles Our Crucified Lord.

The Last Supper is depicted in the cryroom window.

Stained-glass windows divide the nave and vestibule.

Short, narrow windows line the walls near the altar.

The Holy Family stands at the left side of the church, near the organ.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus as well as St. Anne and Child Mary stand in corners of the nave.

St. Rita and the Infant of Prague stand in a back corner of the church; an icon and relics of the parish patrons in the chapel.

The parish follows the eastern European tradition of keeping Christmas decorations up until the Feast of the Presentation on February 2nd.

A large crucifix outside the main entrance; Guardian Angel and child outside the social hall.

St. Anthony of Padua stands in the hallway that connects the church and Fr. Mikus Hall. Our Lady of Fatima and the Angel of Portugal also stand in this hallway.

The Pieta rests outside the Fr. Mikus Hall.

A map of Slovakia hangs on the wall opposite the hall entrance.

Fr. Libor Marek was appoiunted pastor last July. He replaced Fr. Ben Kosnac, pastor for 15 years, after Fr. Kosnac was sent back to Slovakia at the end of April.

Fr. Marek is assisted by three permanent deacons, a priest-in-residence, and several weekend assistants.


More info: parish website
More about the early history of the parish: Forgotten Detroit + Facebook
Photos of the demolition: Discuss Detroit forum