Sunday, December 23, 2012

St. Irenaeus-Rochester Hills

St. Irenaeus is located in the upscale community of Rochester Hills in a scenic area among stately looking homes and Oakland University nearby.

The patron saint of St. Irenaeus was born sometime during the 2nd century. He was the bishop of Lugdunum in what is now Lyon France. He was a church father and apologist. He also wrote several books. His feast day is June 28.

When you enter St. Irenaeus church you step into a large welcoming area that leads into the church. Inside the church there are 5 sections of pews, each section has several rows. They form a semi-circle around the main altar. The pews are made of medium oak and have soft kneelers. The Stations of the Cross line up along the back wall of the church behind the pews.

The altar has a statute of Jesus on a cross with his hands held up, as if, in blessing of the church and the congregation. The altar, like most, of St. Irenaeus is modestly decorated. This gives the church a feeling of humbleness and holiness.

A retired priest, “Fr. Frank”, was the celebrant at the mass we attended. He spoke about the importance of making room for God in our lives especially during the time of advent, which he described as a time of new beginnings as we await the birth of, our savior, Jesus Christ.

The mass we attended at St. Irenaeus was well attended by families, seniors and young adults who came together to give thanks to God for all his blessings and to live out the mission statement of the church, which in part, says that they are called to proclaim God’s glory by reaching out to others.

We found the people of St. Irenaeus to be very friendly and welcoming and we enjoyed our visit and the opportunity to praise Jesus in such a wonderful faith-filled community.

Up Next: St. Anthony-Belleville
St. Irenaeus Church
 Christmas Manger on display in front of St. Irenaeus
St. Irenaeus

St. Irenaeus Parish in Rochester Hills
Jesus with hands out stretched

The altar at St. Irenaeus

St. Irenaeus Altar
Jesus, Mary and Joseph



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Lady Queen of Apostles

Our Lady Queen of Apostles was founded in 1917 in the Polish enclave of Hamtramck. It has served this community ever since in good times and bad times.

You enter Our Lady Queen of Apostles through the main entrance’s double wooden doors that face Conant Ave and pass through a small, standard looking, gathering area. This gathering area leads into the main church.

When you enter the church, from the gathering area, there is a main aisle that leads up to the altar. There are pews on both sides of the aisle that are made of light oak and with kneelers that feel just slightly worn and showing their age. The Stations of the Cross adorn the church walls as you walk toward the altar.

Seven columns form a semi-circle around the altar. The end columns have murals painted on them. Over head is a large mural painted on the ceiling. It depicts Mary with the Apostles surrounding her and kneeling in her presence.

The parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Apostles are mostly Polish-American. Some of them have remained in Hamtramck even though the area has changed quite a bit over the years. Some travel to church from the outlying suburbs. They all come for the same reason; to celebrate God’s providence and good will.

As a Polish faith community Our Lady Queen of Apostles is very proud of its heritage. They have a long history of Polish priests that have served at the church since it was founded. They are especially proud of the charismatic and popular Polish pope; John Paul II. They pay homage to this popular pope through devotions to him around the church.

Fr. Bogdan Milosz has been the pastor at Our Lady Queen of Apostles for 13 years, carrying on the tradition of having Polish priest serving at the church. When we visited the church his homily focused on how fortunate we are as American citizens; that we are not subject to the tyranny and dictatorships that some people are in this world. He said we should be forever thankful to God for our freedom and blessings.

Our visit to Our Lady Queen of Apostles was very enjoyable. Fr. Milosz and the parishioners were very friendly. They are truly blessed with God’s love which they share with all who enter their beautiful and historic church.

Up Next: St. Irenaeus-Rochester Hills
Our Lady Queen of Apostles Hamtramck, MI.

Main Entrance to OLQA

Mother Mary 
Altar at OLQA
Mural painted on the ceiling at OLQA
Prayer area
 Sculptures at OLQA

Plaque honoring Pope John Paul II