Sunday, June 10, 2012

SS. Simon and Jude-Westland

We recently visited and attended mass at SS. Simon and Jude Catholic church. SS. Simon and Jude is centrally located in the city of Westland in a working class neighborhood.

At the entrance of the church is a large gathering area. It features a sitting area where parishioners can relax, enjoying reading or engage in prayer and reflection. It sets a positive and uplifting tone for parishioners and visitors as they attend mass at SS. Simon and Jude.

From the gathering area you enter the church. The first thing you see is a beautiful baptismal font. A small altar is located in the very center of the church; giving it a place of honor and respect. Beyond the altar is the lectern. The church is arranged so that the baptismal font, altar and lectern are lined up in the center of the church. Together they symbolize putting God and our faith first in our lives from birth to eternal life with our Heavenly Father.

SS. Simon and Jude is beautifully decorated both inside and outside. As you enter the church you are greeted by statutes of St. Simon and St. Jude. The Stations of the Cross are artfully portrayed on pewabic tiles. These tiles add another dimension of beauty and grace to the church. Another thing that adds a sense of beauty to SS. Simon and Jude are the large picture windows around the church.  These windows are the “eyes” to the beautiful and serene grounds surrounding SS. Simon and Jude.  The beautifully decorated church and grounds of SS. Simon and Jude offer a prayerful and peaceful respite from any trial or tribulation you may be experiencing.

Fr. Gerard Bechard has been the pastor at SS. Simon and Jude for over 20 years. He engages his congregation in his homily and really takes time to know them. During our visit he spent the first 5 minutes or so greeting guests, including ourselves and giving homage to those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other significant life events. He personally welcomed back a few parishioners who had been away due to illness and gave blessings to those about to leave for various reasons (i.e. school, military service). The parishioners responded positively to Fr. Bechard’s warmth and friendliness.

We carried away from our journey to SS. Simon and Jude a good and positive feeling. Fr. Bechard and the parishioners were warm, friendly and very welcoming.  The beauty of the church and the people will remain with us as we continue of journey to the Catholic Churches of the Detroit Archdiocese.

Up Next: Our Lady of Victory-Northville

Statute of St. Jude on church grounds

This large cross looms large over SS. Simon and Jude

The gathering area at SS. Simon and Jude

The lectern and altar (in the background)

The sacristy at SS. Simon and Jude

A view of the grounds surrounding SS. Simon and Jude

The altar at SS. Simon and Jude

The altar with the lectern in the background

SS. Simon and Jude

SS Simon and Jude Catholic Church