Saturday, August 20, 2011

Discovering the Churches of The Detroit Archdiocese-An Introduction

The Detroit Archdiocese was first established in 1833 as the diocese of Detroit. It was elevated to Archdiocese in 1937. Currently there are over 100 churches that help make up the Detroit Archdioceses. There is a unique and special quality about each of the churches that make up the Archdiocese of Detroit. They represent a blend of the history of the Detroit area and modern architecture design that makes each church worth exploring and discovering.

This year our family decided to begin its own journey of exploration and discovery of these fascinating and picturesque churches.  Once a month we will venture away from our home parish of Divine Child in Dearborn to visit the churches of the Detroit Archdiocese in order to explore and discover all they have to offer.

These are the stories of our family’s journey in words and pictures. Although each church collectively makes up the Detroit Archdiocese each one is as unique and diverse as the congregation that meets in them each week to listen and reflect on God’s words. We started our journey earlier this year. Here is a brief description of each of the churches we visited.

St. Scholastica-Detroit This was the first church we visited on our journey this past January. It is located on the west side of Detroit off Outer Drive.  The parish administrator was Fr. Timothy Babcock. We attended a Saturday afternoon mass which was held in a chapel at the back of the main church. Although, I’m not positive, I surmised that this was done in lieu of having to heat the entire church.  The chapel was beautiful with ample room for the 30 or so people that attended the mass. There was no music just one lady who led the congregation in the hymns and prayers. St. Scholastica was first established in 1928.

St. Michael-Livonia I remember my first visit to St. Michaels was just after the 9/11 attacks. The company I worked for was located down the street from the church and we were allowed to go to the church to pray for the victims during our lunch time. St. Michaels was established in 1931. On our recent visit we found the parishioners to be friendly and inviting. Fr. William Tindell was often humorous in his homily.

St. Joseph-Trenton  This is one of the oldest churches in the Detroit Archdiocese having been established in 1849. St. Joseph’s still retains quite a bit of its historical charm. The alter is surrounded on 3 sides which gives you a great view of it no matter where you sit. The day we visited Pope John Paul II was being beatified so there was special ceremony, led by Fr. Brad Forintos,  to mark the occasion which made our visit all the more special.

St. Matthews-Detroit Located on the east side of Detroit at Whittier and Harper, St. Matthews has preserved and remained a viable part of this community. Fr. Duane Novelly has worked hard to maintain the services necessary for the community and this church to survive. It hasn’t been easy though, Fr. Novelly told us of recent thefts at the church of copper piping and some brass fixtures. He asked the parishioners for their continued prayers as they continue to serve the area despite these setbacks. St. Matthews was established in 1927.

Divine Savior-Westland Divine Savior is nestled in a wooded area on the western edge of Westland. It is a beautiful church and the parishioners were very friendly. Fr. Alexander Kuras gave a brief but meaningful homily. Divine Savior was established in 1973.

St. Mary (Our Lady of the Snows)-Milford St. Mary in Milford was established in 1890. When we visited the church we were impressed with how the historical aspect of the church remained intact as some modern day enhancements added to the beauty and d├ęcor of the church. Fr. Ron Anderson is the presiding priest at St. Mary’s. His weekend assistant is Fr. Manny Chircop. Fr. Manny gave the homily at our visit.

These are the churches we visited so far. Future entries in this blog will have more detailed content as we continue our journey of exploring and discovering the churches of the Detroit Archdiocese.

Up Next: St. Mary of Redford-Detroit