Tuesday, June 17, 2014

St. Mary-Greektown Detroit

The historic old St. Mary’s Catholic Church is located in the Greektown section of Downtown Detroit.  St. Mary’s was founded in 1834 by Fr. Martin Kundig. The current church was built in 1884-1885 and is the 3rd oldest parish in Detroit.

The historical significance of St. Mary’s is evident from the moment you set eyes on it. The outer facade is a brick structure with its steeple that is crowned with a cross visible from great distances and it has four bells that were given to the church by Antoine Beaubien and his wife.  You continue to see and feel the historic significances of St. Mary’s as you enter the church through large wooden doors. The glorious proportions are evident throughout the church from the highly polished granite columns to the richly frescoed ceilings. There are also many striking paintings and sculptures at St Mary’s that help complete the look of this glorious church. One of the more prominent paintings at St. Mary’s is of the church patroness; the Virgin Mary that is located on the ceiling of the church. The high altar of the church was retained from the original church and is a great example of the hand carved handiwork that is prevalent throughout St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s is also known as the church of the grottos; it houses 3 of them within its sanctuary. They are; The Gethsemane which depicts God’s agony; The Baptismal which depicts Jesus baptism and the Lourdes; a replica of the French Shrine. Together, they add to the charm and awe of the church.

Fr. Wayne Epperley is the current pastor at St. Mary’s and he gave the homily at the Sunday afternoon mass that we attended. In his homily he implored the congregation to focus on being faithful to God and being willing to receive Jesus in our hearts and minds in order to protect us from all the evil and destruction that is in our world. He said we should turn to God for his love and guidance.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to St. Mary’s in Greektown and the opportunity to tour the church and to immerse ourselves in its history. We marveled at the hand carved sculptures, the ceiling paintings and all the richness of its times past and the beauty of its present.

St. Mary’s is one the true gems of the Detroit Archdiocese and we will remember our visit for a long time to come.

Up Next: Holy Family-Novi

Old St. Mary's in Downtown Detroit

St. Mary's historical plaque

Sculpture of Mary w/ baby Jesus at entrance to church

View of outside of church

Doors to St. Mary's

view one of the steeples

Welcome to St. Mary's

one of the many sculptures at St. Mary's

Jesus on the cross

The baptismal grotto

The altar at St. Mary's

Sculptures of St. Anthony flanked by St. Rita to the left and St. Theresa on the right

Jesus at Gethesemane grotto

Old St. Mary's in Downtown Detroit