Our journey to the Catholic Churches of the Detroit Archdiocese recently took us to Ira Township in northern Macomb County to visit and attend mass at historic Immaculate Conception Church.
Immaculate Conception traces its roots back to the 1850’s when the Bishop of the Detroit diocese, Reverend Peter Lefevere determined it was time to assign a permanent priest to the area. That priest was Fr. Charles Anthony Chambille who became the first priest at Immaculate Conception in the fall of 1853. In 1917 the church along with the rectory, school and sister’s home were completely destroyed in a fire. However under the leadership of Fr. James Downey the church and school were rebuilt within a years’ time. While a new school was built in 1959 the church remains an integral part of this small, close knit community.
Once inside Immaculate Conception you can see and feel the history of the church. The main aisle leads up to the altar with 2 rows of pews that sit atop old wooden plank floors that have been painted over. The altar is white marble with a depiction of the last supper carved into the front of it. A hand carved sanctuary with a crucifix hangs over the altar and life size statutes of Joseph and Mary sit on either side of the altar.
The current pastor at Immaculate Conception is Fr. Joe Esper. Fr. Joe is the 15th priest to serve Immaculate Conception since it was founded by Fr. Chamille over 150 years ago. In his homily, Fr. Esper talked about the importance of living our faith and putting God and family first especially in light of current events happening in the world today.
Visiting the historic catholic churches such as this one really gives us a feeling of going back in time and seeing what going to church was like 50…100…150 years ago. It is nice to see and feel the history of the Catholic Church of the Detroit Archdiocese in these beautifully designed gems and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Immaculate Conception in Ira Township.
Up Next: Our Lady Queen of Heaven-Detroit
|Mass Schedule for IC church|
|Immaculate Conception in Ira Township|
|Entrance to church|
|Statute of Mary sits atop the church facade|
|Grotto built in 1953 (100 year anniversary)|
|front of grotto|
|Plaque in front of grotto dedicated to pioneers of church|
|Mary with Baby Jesus|
|Altar at Immaculate Conception|
|Sanctuary at Immaculate Conception|
|One of the stained glass windows at Immaculate Conception|