Saturday, October 1, 2011

St. Lawrence Parish-Utica

St. Lawrence Parish is currently located in the historic city of Utica, MI. which is located in Northern Macomb County. St. Lawrence began in 1866 as a mission of Sacred Heart by 40 Irish families of Utica Junction (present day Roseville). On August 15, 1874 Bishop CH Borgess dedicated St. Lawrence’s first church. The church was destroyed in 1904 when fire swept through Utica.

The present day Neo-Romanesque church was designed by Detroit architect Arthur DesRosters  and was erected in 1951. The brick outer fa├žade transcends into the inter-sanctum of the church which is brick with a wooden beamed ceiling. At the altar is a large painting depicting Mary and Joseph at the cross of Jesus. It is framed in a Romanesque setting that overlooks the altar. On either side of the church there are 6 stained glass windows; together they represent the 12 Stations of the Cross.

St. Lawrence Church has a very open layout. When you enter the church there is a large gathering area that flows right into the church itself. In the church, the pews are wooden with cushioned seats and kneelers. They wrap around the altar on the front and on both sides so you can get a great view of the altar no matter where you sit. A statute of the churches patron saint, St. Lawrence sits off to the side of the church.

The pastor of St. Lawrence is Fr. Bob Fisher. The celebrant at the mass we attended was Associate Pastor Phillip Ching who was assisted by Deacon Anthony Morici. We found St. Lawrence to be a very warm and charming place to worship. It was a large church that had a small town feel to it. Some of the parishioners spoke to us as a Christian gesture that impressed us and made us feel welcome during our time at St. Lawrence.
Up Next: St. Francis Xavier-Ecorse
                                                     Some of the stained glass windows at St. Lawrence
Sign in front of St. Lawrence

                                             Statute of St. Joseph

                                              Statute of Mary

                                             The altar at St. Lawrence

                                                Church Bells at St. Lawrence

                                           Historical Marker describing St. Lawrence

                                           Plaque located on current church.