Friday, May 22, 2015

St. Rene Goupil-Sterling Heights

St. Rene Goupil Catholic Church serves the people of the Northwest part of Sterling Heights around the Ryan Rd and Metropolitan Parkway neighborhood. The patron saint of St. Rene Goupil was a French Jesuit lay missionary. He often worked with the Iroquois Indians and he was martyred in what is now upstate New York on September 29, 1642. He was the first canonized martyr from North America. His feast day is October 19.

When you enter St. Rene Goupil, you walk into a large gathering area. This gathering area has the usual statutes and artwork and it even has a prayer area where you can light a candle and pray and meditate.  This area leads directly into the church.

In the church there are 5 rows of pews and chairs that face the altar. There are 4 brick steps that lead onto the altar area. The altar and lectern are made up of cherry oak. There is also the usual crucifix that hangs above the altar. This week the altar was decorated in yellow and white flowers for Easter. Large statutes of Joseph with baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary adorn either side of the church.

Fr. Steven Koehler is the pastor at St. Rene Goupil. In his homily, on this Saturday after Easter he spoke of the low points or valleys of life and the need to seek the Lord’s guidance during these times. He also spoke on why we should come to church which is to seek God’s forgiveness. We were especially impressed that Father Steve came up to us after mass and took us on a tour of the church where he described many of the churches statutes and artwork. It helped a lot to understand and appreciate all the church has to offer.

We were also very impressed with the people of St. Rene Goupil. They shared their faith and love for Jesus Christ in a very warm and compassionate way. We felt very welcomed and blessed to share our faith with them and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Up Next: Our Lady of Hope-St. Clair Shores.

St. Rene Goupil Catholic Church

Statute of Christ the Redeemer in front of church

Gazebo at St. Rene

This statute depicts the work St. Rene did with the Iroquois Indians

St. Rene Goupil established 1972

Altar at St. Rene Goupil

Statute of Joseph and baby Jesus

Statute of the Virgin Mary

St. Francis of Assisi

Statute at St. Rene Goupil

The gathering area with a place for prayer