HISTORY – Faith and Patriotism Embrace
“FAITH AND PATRIOTISM EMBRACE”
written by Ms. Evelyn Phillips Mantz
The diocesan cathedral, St. Patrick’s, was renamed SS. Peter and Paul after Bishop Foley’s death in 1918, and Bishop Michael James Gallagher assumed the episcopal chair.
In 1922 St. Mary’s School Sisters of Notre Dame moved to a new home built for them on St. Antoine, next to the church. Times were worrisome for them, because of the battles then going on in educational circles. A group of citizens calling themselves The Public School Defense Fund had begun a campaign against Catholic elementary schools, claiming that they were un-American and against the public interest. A State constitutional amendment was proposed that would require all children to attend public schools.
The final outcome was good for Catholic schools, however. In unity there is strength, and this concern only served to strengthen devotions and increase school enrollment. In 1924, St. Mary’s Commercial High School for Girls opened. It would soon gain widespread acclaim for the excellence of its graduates.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of St. Mary’s Church, “The Church of the Grottoes,” a beautiful tribute was written by Father Richard Ober to the magnificence of this splendid edifice and its inspiring surroundings. That description deserves to be repeated here in its entirety:
This tribute has been separated from this history of St. Mary’s Church and can be found following this link “A Visit to St. Mary’s Church, Detroit Michigan”.