Friday, December 19, 2014

SS. Peter and Paul Jesuit-Detroit

Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic Church in the city of Detroit. It was built between 1844 and 1848 and at one time served as the bishop’s home. It is located on Jefferson Avenue on the eastern edge of downtown.

Like most old churches; the first thing you notice when you enter the building is the history that abounds within. The solid oak pews, that summons us to sit in their comfort while listening to God’s words, and the many hand carved statutes that adorn the altar and other areas of the church speak to us of God’s glorious creations and miracles.

The altar is large and expansive, as you might expect from such a historic church. There is a large hand-carved statute of Jesus on the cross with Mary, Mary Magdalene and Joseph praying at his feet. The altar and lectern are a solid oak. The Stations of the Cross add a touch of magnificence and class to this historic church.
Fr. Patrick Peppard is the pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul. In his homily during our visit he spoke on the gospel reading of the cleansing of the temple in John. Fr. Peppard used historical data and facts to help illustrate the story of the events of that time.

The people of Ss. Peter and Paul are very much filled with God’s loving spirit. They are active in the community and vested in working to make Detroit a better place for everyone. They help serve those who are less fortunate and are willing to give a hand and open their doors to those down on their luck.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Catholic Church. We especially liked seeing and feeling all the history and beauty it offered within its faith-filled walls.

Up Next: St. Mel’s Dearborn Heights

Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church

Exterior view of SS. Peter and Paul

Marker showing church originally built in 1844

Historic marker

One of the entrances to the church

Some of the religious statutes on display

Mary holding a crucifix

One of the Stations of the Cross

The pews at Ss. Peter and Paul

A view of the altar

Some of the architect on display 

The altar at Ss. Peter and Paul

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christ The Redeemer-Lake Orion

Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church is a family church located in the quiet North Oakland suburb of Lake Orion. This year they celebrated 25 years as a place of worship and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

The entrance to the church is wide and expansive. There is plenty of room to gather, meet with other parishioners and explore one’s faith. Off to one side is a chapel that is great for private prayer, bible reading or quiet reflection.  The gathering space also leads into the main church.

The altar is at the very center of the church which is built in the shape of a circle. There are several rows of chairs that surround the altar on all sides. Directly behind the altar is a crucifix which gives this church’s altar a very unique and distinct look to it. The floors also give the church a different feel; they are made up of multi-colored concrete that shines under the lights of the church.

Fr. Joe Dailey is the pastor at Christ the Redeemer parish. In his homily, he talked about the gospel where Jesus said give to Caesar what is his and give to God what is his. He also invited parishioners of Christ the Redeemer to give freely of their time, talents and treasures to help those less fortunate and as a way to grow closer to God.

Fr. Dailey not only gave the homily but he also led the congregation in song. The entrance song was written by him and he led the congregation in singing it. Fr. Dailey was very tech savvy as well. He used a tablet to help monitor and control information on large screens around the church. By using the monitors he was able to use, not only, his words but images to help convey the message of his homily. He also led a special prayer for all married couples which for me was bittersweet as I rejoiced for those celebrating their marriages while I recalled my own marriage and the sadness I felt knowing Maria is no longer with me.

Our visit to Christ the Redeemer was a joyous and enlightening experience and we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent at this beautiful church.

Up Next: Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit-Downtown Detroit

Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Lake Orion

St. Francis of Assisi Garden

Garden Bench

Christ the Redeemer Church

Garden if front of church

Garden with church in background

Main entrance to church

baptismal font 

The altar at Christ the Redeemer

Joseph and Mary with Baby Jesus

Christ the Redeemer main church area

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

St. Robert Bellarmine-Redford

St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Redford is a neighborhood church built in the 1950’s during a time when many of the churches in this Western Wayne county area were being built.  Over the years it has retained most of its original architectural design.

The patron saint of St. Robert Bellarmine lived from 1542 to 1621. He was an Italian Jesuit and a Cardinal in the Catholic Church. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930, his feast day is September 17; the day of his death.

The church consists of 2 straight rows of pews that lead straight up to the altar. The altar was covered with a green cloth. There was a large crucifix that was centered over the altar that completed the space. To the left of the altar are large statutes of Joseph and Mary adorning a brick wall. The back wall of the altar is made up of 1/3 brick and 2/3 window which looks out on to church property.

St. Robert Bellarmine’s pastor is Fr. Richard Leliaert and he gave the homily at the mass we attended. Fr. Leliaert spoke on the parable where “the last shall be first and the first shall be last”. Fr. Leliaert used many hand gestures and body language to help tell his homily and during prayer time. It helped give perfect illustration to what he was saying and put his words into wonderful context.  The highlight of the mass was the baptism of 4 newborns. It was a joyous occasion to see them baptized into the catholic faith and helps us to appreciate and thank God for the life he has given us.

We found the people of St. Robert Bellarmine to be a caring and loving group. They spoke of coming together to cook and provide meals at a local soup kitchen as one way they could share the good news of Jesus Christ with those less fortunate. They help out, in many other ways, to spread Christ’s love and we were honored to spend time in mass celebration with them.

Up Next: Christ the Redeemer-Lake Orion

Cornerstone of St. Robert Bellarmine

Main entrance to church

Grounds of St. Robert Bellarmine

St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church

Carving of St.Robert Bellarmine

Altar at St. Robert Bellarmine

The altar

Joseph and Mary

Pastor's sitting area at the altar

Crucifix that hangs over the altar

Patriot Garden at St. Robert Bellarmine

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Lady of Good Counsel-Plymouth

Our Lady of Good Counsel is a neighborhood church in the affluent suburb of Plymouth Township. You enter the church grounds off North Territorial Road where it is surrounded by beautiful scenery which includes large trees, bushes and assorted other plant life. Once on church property you will be amazed at the beauty of OLGC. There is a garden called Gethsemane Garden and the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto. They help highlight the beauty and elegance of the church grounds.

Our Lady of Good Counsel is a large parish and when you enter the church it may be easy to feel a bit overwhelmed at everything that surrounds you. However, once you get your bearings it is easy to feel and see God’s loving presence all around you. There are no doors at the entrance to the church area. The flow of the vestibule goes right into the church. The seating is made up of a mix of wooden chairs with cushioned seating and regular pews. The floors are concrete with a golden tinge to them.

The altar is as simple oak wood setup with leaf inlays and a single candle on each side. Over the altar is a large cross with Jesus with his hands held out stretched. Under the cross is written; “I Thirst for God”

Fr. John Riccardo is the pastor at OLGC. They also have two associate pastors; Fr. Steven Mateja and Fr. Clement Suhy. Fr. Steven was the celebrant at the Sunday Noon mass we attended. His homily focused on the need for all of us to increase our faith and trust in God.

The mass we attended was pretty large given that it was the last mass of the weekend. It consisted of a large cross section of God’s followers including many families, young adults and seniors. Together they gave OLGC a feeling of vibrancy and enthusiasm for God’s goodness.
We enjoyed our visit to Our Lady of Good Counsel and the opportunity to worship in this beautiful house of the Lord.

On a personal note, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that our beloved wife and mother Maria passed away suddenly this past month. Maria was a kind and loving person whom everyone adored.  She always looked forward to visiting the different churches each month and sharing her faith with others that we’ve met on our journey.  We will miss her very much and our journey won’t be the same without her but we also know that she would want us to continue our journey, share our faith with others and continue to explore the Catholic Churches of the Detroit Archdiocese. So our journey will continue as a memorial tribute to Maria and I’ll continue to write and post pictures about the churches we visit in my blog right here.

Up Next: St. Robert Bellarmine-Redford

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Church Grounds

Part of the Gethsemane Garden

Our Lady of Good Counsel Church

Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus

Entrance to Church

one of the many religious statutes at OLGC

Altar at OLGC

Another religious statute

The altar

View of altar from the side.

R.I.P. Maria You've been a good and faithful servant
May you rest in the loving arms of our Savior Jesus Christ
Maria and Alejandro at OLGC