Friday, August 31, 2018

St. Anne (Warren)

St. Anne Parish was established in March of 1945. The parish purchased Warren Village Barn for $14,000. The first Mass in the remodeled barn was on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1946. There were 225 founding families. Furnishings of the chapel came from many sources: main altar candlesticks from Annunciation Church in Detroit; side altar from St. Augustine in Richmond; floor coverings from the Fisher Building in Detroit; vestments from Sacred Heart in Imlay City; statues from St. Patrick in Wyandotte; pews from St. Juliana in Detroit. Original Monstrance, Missal and chairs from Fr. John Ryan of the Confraternity Office.
A photo of the the first St. Anne Church hangs in the vestibule

A parish school was established in 1949 and staffed by IHM Sisters. Sr. Mary Lorenza, IHM, served as the first principal and led the school for six years.

In April of 1953, construction began on a multi-purpose building that functioned as auditorium, gymnasium, and temporary church. This building is still used as the gym for the parish school.

In 1962, the firm of Charles M. Valentine and Associates in Marysville was hired to design a permanent church. Clarenece Gleeson Inc. was contracted to build the structure. Ground was broken on Sunday, April 5, 1964.

Archbishop John Dearden consecrated the church on Saturday, August 21, 1965. The parish established a high school that same year.

St. Anne Church was designed and built during a time of transition surrounding the Second Vatican Council. Accordingly, the church features some classical and contemporary features. The belltower stands at a height of sixty-five feet. 

The Holy Family is depicted above the three front doors. Jesus Christ is depicted above the center door with a reference to Psalm 43:4 (Psalm 42 in Douay-Rheims).

A depiction of the Blessed Virgin Mary is above the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55); St. Joseph with a reference to Matthew 1:19.

Fr. Frank Walsh (below left) was founding pastor and remained at St. Anne for 25 years until his retirement in 1970. He was replaced by Fr. Fabian Slominski (below right) who, in turn, led the parish for 11 years. The IHM Sisters left the school in 1978 and were replaced by Adrian Dominicans. Sr. Patricia Lynch, OP, was principal for five years. In 1983, Dr. Thom Engel was appointed as the first lay principal of the school. The parish high school closed in 1988. 

The parish saw a succession of pastors over the next two decades: Fr. Stanley A. Wyczawski, 1981-1991; Fr. David Koss, 1991-1992; Fr. Michael Kazer, 1992-2005.

In July of 2005, Fr. Alberto Bondy, a graduate of the parish elementary school, began a thirteen-year term as pastor. He was granted senior priest status in July of this year. Fr. Paul Coutinha, SAC, soon succeeded him as the seventh pastor in the history of St. Anne Parish.

The church features a low, barrel-vault ceiling. The edifice is built in a traditional cruciform shape but with the altar in the center, between the two transepts.

To the left of the main altar is the entrance to a chapel.

An image of St. Anne hangs on the right side of the sanctuary. Below this are New Testament depictions for six of the seven sacraments. From left to right: Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders. With only six available panels, Holy Matrimony was left out.

The baptismal font stands in a transept; St. Anne with Child Mary stand in a niche.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary stands in a niche on the left side of the nave; St. Joseph with Child Jesus on the right side.

Modern, colorful windows are found in the nave. These are likely replacements.

The former baptistry, at the base of the belltower, is now a space for storage and meeting.

A statue of the parish namesake stands in a garden between the church and parking lot.

Saturday Vigil Mass is at 5:00pm preceded by Reconciliation at 4:00pm. Sunday Masses are at 8:45am and 11:00am. Daily Mass is at 8am, Monday-Saturday. When school is in session, the Monday morning Mass is at 9:15am.

More info: parish website + school website

Saturday, August 25, 2018

St. Michael the Archangel (Monroe)

German immigrants began settling in Monroe circa 1840. In 1845,  Fr. Simon Saenderl, a Redemptorist priest, ministered to German-speaking Catholics in a second-floor chapel of the St. Mary rectory. He was soon sent to minister in Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties and was replaced by Fr. Peter Kronenberg.
An undated postcard of the current church -Source

he founding families bought property on Humphrey Street. However, when the home and land of Monroe’s first mayor, George B. Harleston, was up for sale, the congregation bought the property for $2,000. On that land stands, today, the parish church and rectory. 

The former home of the mayor was soon converted into a church. Fr. Bernard Hafkenscheid, Provincial of the Redemptorists in America, blessed the church on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29, 1852. The patronage of St. Michael was chosen at the request of Michael Lauer, a local businessman and generous donor.

On May 3, 1860, Fr. Julian Maciejewski arrived at St. Michael as the first resident pastor. He died a year later and was buried at Mt. Elliot Cemetery in Detroit. Fr. Remigius VanDerHeyden, vicar at nearby St. Mary, was temporary rector for a few months until the arrival of Fr. Bernard C. Stentzel in November of 1861. Two years later, Fr. Benjamin Schmittdiel began a thirty-six year term as pastor.
An 1866 map of Monroe shows St. Michael Church on the bottom left side - Source

Fr. Schmittdiel oversaw the construction of a permanent church. The parish purchased of a set of plans and specifications that had been used in the recent construction of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne, Indiana. John Wahl began work on the church and the cornerstone was laid on June 12, 1866.

The total cost of construction, excluding tower and bells, was $30,000. On the Feast of the Guardian Angels, October 2, 1867, the church was consecrated by Bishop J. H. Luers of Fort Wayne. Bishop Lefevere was too sick to conduct the rites of consecration. 

The church spire was completed on Thursday, August 16, 1883. The parish placed an $1,800 order with the St. Louis Bell Foundry in late November of 1884. Henry Struckstede cast three bells the next month. The bells weigh two tons, one ton, and a half ton, respectively. They arrived at St. Michael Church on Friday, January 2, 1885, and were on display at the church for a week. On Sunday, January 11th, Bishop Borgess presided over a ceremony to bless the three bells named Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Installation of the bells began the next day.

Stations of the Cross were fabricated by Tyrolese Art Company in Munich, Germany. They were installed in 1923 at a cost of $2,425.

Stained-glass windows were donated at a value of $100 each at the time. A replacement value of $971,388 was estimated for the stained glass windows in 2015.

All of the altars are carved from solid oak and made in a Gothic Revival style.

Mysteries of the Rosary are painted on the ceiling. The Presentation in the Temple and the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple are portrayed below.

On July 22, 2014, the church was subject to an arson. An arsonist ignited linen on the altars but, thankfully, the damage inflicted was minimal.

Within the next year, the altars and murals were restored.

There have been 16 pastors in the history of St. Michael Parish. Fr. Philip Ching, the current pastor, has led the parish for the past three years. He is assisted by Deacon Tracy Esper.

Daily Mass is at 8:15am on Mondays and Fridays. On First Fridays, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for Adoration, after morning Mass and until 7:00pm. The Sacred Heart prayer group meets at 6:00pm on Tuesdays.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered on Saturdays, 3:30pm-4:45pm, and by appointment.

Saturday Vigil Mass is 5:00pm while Sunday Masses are at 8:30am and 10:30am.

Our Lady of Fatima stands in a garden between the church and rectory.

More info: parish website + parish history + photos
More about Fr. Ching: The Michigan Catholic