Sunday, November 6, 2011

St. Francis Xavier-Ecorse

In October, our family journeyed to St. Francis Xavier parish in Ecorse. St Francis church was founded in 1858 and was named for St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India. He became a saint March 12, 1622 when he was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. He is considered to be the patron saint of Roman Catholic missionaries in foreign lands. His feast day is December 3rd.

When you approach the front of St. Francis Xavier, on Jefferson Avenue, you will see the bells of St Francis Xavier looming large over the church grounds. On the front lawn of the church is an old cross which is purported to be part of the original church that was built in 1858.

We entered the church through large wooden doors and were met by a friendly usher in a small vestibule area. The small rectangular area contained information about the church including pictures of some of the past priests and some beautiful artwork.

From the vestibule we entered the church. It appeared to be small but with a modern feel to it. There were 6 stained glass windows on either side of the church. Each of the stained glass windows depicted one of the 12 Apostles. The pews had a modern feel to them and were made of a light oak finish. They surrounded the altar in a circular motion.

The altar at St. Francis Xavier is made of brick and marble. To the right of the altar is a statute of the Mother Mary holding baby Jesus and to the left of the altar is a statute of St. Francis. There is wood and brass statute of Jesus on the cross mounted on a marble background that looks out over the altar and congregation.

The pastor at St. Francis Xavier is Fr. Jim Wieging. When we entered the church Fr. Wieging was sitting in his chair at the altar much like a Sheppard watching over his flock. He gave his homily while sitting on a stool at the altar rather than standing at the pulpit. The result was a homily that seemed more like someone giving a talk about a subject he was very dedicated to and knowledgeable about. His voice rose and fail as he made his points and emphasized different parts of his “talk”.

The congregation at St. Francis Xavier was mixture of seniors and young families along with a prominent Hispanic presence.  Our journey to St. Francis Xavier was an enjoyable occasion that will remain in our hearts and souls forever.

Up Next: Our Lady of Refuge-Orchard Lake
Entrance to St. Francis Xavier

 St. Francis Xavier

Church bells at St. Francis Xavier

Our visit to St. Francis Xavier in Ecorse

A statute of Mother Mary in the vestibule at St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier

Cross above the altar at St. Francis Xavier

Mother Mary with baby Jesus statue at St. Francis Xavier

In the vestibule at St. Francis Xavier

The old church cross on the front lawn of St. Francis Xavier