Also called the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, or St. Mary’s, is the third oldest church in Detroit, Michigan. Located in 646 Monroe Street, the center of Greektown Historic District, it invites everyone to its daily masses and other Church activities.
Old St. Mary’s Church is a beautiful church with a long history of contributing to the development of an active Christian life.
Father Martin Kundig established St. Mary’s in 1834 to serve German-speaking immigrants who resided the district. In 1841, the first church was built. Prior to earning the title “Old”, St. Mary’s was named the “Church of the Grottos.”
It has three grottos: the grotto of Gethesemane, which depicts Christ’s agony in the Garden of Olives; the Baptismal Grotto, which illustrates John’s baptism of Christ in the Jordan River; and the Lourdes Grotto, which is a reproduction of a well-known French shrine.
The Holy Spirit Fathers or Spiritans staffed Old St. Mary’s in 1893. They continue to implement the rule of Faith as advocates and supporters of the marginalized sectors of the community. Before the Spiritans, the previous administrators were the Franciscan and the Redemptorist Fathers.
St. Mary’s is made of red bricks and followed the Romanesque-Venetian style. The West façade has twin towers that surround a large rose window. One of the amazing architectural characteristics of Old St. Mary’s is its ten polished granite columns that split the main and side aisles. Its Lourdes Grotto is likewise beautiful with embedded shells and remarkable candles. St. Mary’s was listed as part of the Michigan Historic Sites in 1979.
Sacraments and Activities
Old St. Mary’s celebrates Christian sacraments, customs, and traditions. The priests conducts the rites of baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, confession, anointing of the sick, Holy Orders, matrimony, initiation of adults, funerals, and dedication of churches. Some of its events in January are the Eucharistic Adoration on the 27th and the Legion of Mary Meeting on the 28th.
Old St. Mary’s is open to everyone. It invites you to its beautiful historic Church and to participate in spiritual activities that will help you feel the meaning of Christian faith and deepen your commitment to Jesus Christ.
“Parish Information,” Old St. Mary’s Church
“Prayer & Worship,” Archdiocese of Detroit