THE FIRST MEXICANS
written by Ms. Evelyn Phillips Mantz
The first society of Mexicans in Detroit was founded by Father J.P. Alanis and its members worshipped first in churches of Detroit’s lower east side. Many families then lived in the vicinities of Holy Family Church (on Hastings and East Ford) and of St. Mary’s. The records of the St. Vincent DePaul Society of St. Mary’s show that many were aided here both spiritually and materially. They attended services in a large double room in St. Mary’s School, starting in January 1920 and lasting for about three years before moving to a west side location. There they built a church of their own at Kirby and Roosevelt Streets, with money that had been raised at various social functions, picnics, and fiestas. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church was officially opened On October 17, 1923.