Warmest Wishes and thanks to all our faithful and generous parishioners as well as with the many visitors to Old St. Mary’s during this past year.
Downtown Detroit continues to be a vibrant area of growth. Old St. Mary’s continues as a beacon of Catholic faith through quiet prayer, beautiful music, and traditional Masses in the center of it all.
We are certainly fortunate to have the Holy Ghost Fathers who have served at Old St. Mary’s for 125 years.
What has been happening at our church and community since last year’s Homecoming?
- Celebrated events during this past year: RCIA classes formed and welcomed 5 adults into our family at Easter; religious education classes continued with 8 children and were held on Sundays; 20 Baptisms celebrated, 5 adult Profession of Faith, 53 weddings, 11 funerals, 4 First Communions and 5 Confirmations. Advent concert by the Detroit Concert Choir; the annual May Crowning of Mary both inside the church and outside at Mary’s garden; Divine Mercy Sunday this past year with John Kruse as the guest speaker; a Marian concert with our choir and director/organist Bob Barnhart; our annual Feast Day Mass on December 8 followed by a wonderful dinner; Eucharistic Adoration continued this year every Friday after the 12:15 daily Mass; the first Wednesday of the month was the Anointing of the Sick; the Advent and Lent seasons continue to bring numerous people to our Masses as does our unique offering of confessions before each daily and Sunday Mass.
- There were 38 tours/pilgrimages that came to Old St. Mary’s including many students from grade schools and high schools in the area. There are also countless “drop in” visitors that were given a tour and information about Old St. Mary’s.
- The annual Corpus Christi Mass (June 18) and Eucharistic procession through the streets of the local area was another great event this year although the weather did not cooperate. Rain kept the procession in the church. There were 296 participants this year and is a great testimony to our parish and faith. Once again, this year, Dr. Lourdes Andaya donated bagged lunches to all and everyone had a wonderful picnic in the garden (sun did come out) of the rectory after final benediction.
- Our Knights of Columbus # 305 continued their good works including the Tootsie Roll drive, clothes and food drives for St. Jude’s ministry, diaper and formula drives for St. Augustine/Monica pregnancy center and much more. Look for announcements in the coming year.
- The Parish Council, headed by Dr. Michelle Pierron, is an extremely dedicated group that meets monthly with Fr. Epperley to help guide all that goes on at Old St. Mary’s. They truly show a love for our church and the Catholic faith.
- The Finance Council, headed by Jerry Gruska, is the second part of the church councils that plans for the implementation of all that is necessary to responsibly guide the finances of the church and keep our church financially healthy well into the future. They meet quarterly with Fr. Epperley.
- We have a great group of weekday and Sunday Lectors that proclaim the Readings at the Masses. We are adding new members this fall and appreciate their dedication to the faith.
- The Knitting Club meets 1st Sunday of each month after the Noon Mass and continues to make blankets for the newly baptized children. They are always looking for additional members.
- The Mother’s Club held several events including a Mother’s Holy Hour, the famous annual St. Nicholas Party, Advent decoration in the parish center and rectory and aid to St. Peter/Paul Homeless Center. Please see our website for more details.
- The Altar Society headed by Micki Czerniak with huge assists by Michael and Judy Campeau as well as seasonal volunteers, takes the lead in the beautiful flowers and plants that adorn the church throughout the liturgical year. They are also responsible for the changing and care of all the altar clothes, linens and vestments. Volunteer calls go out at different times. Please feel free to join in when the opportunity presents itself. Watch the web site and Facebook for notices.
- The Ushers Club has been revitalized this past year but are always looking for new members. Please talk with an usher at the Mass or call the parish office if you have an interest.
- A Docent Group formed this past year. This group, although small, is doing a good job with tours and keeping the church open later on Sundays. A newly printed brochure for visitors which includes the history of Old St. Mary’s is now in the vestibule of the church. If you are interested in becoming a docent, it is a wonderful way to represent the church and meet new visitors.
- A new group called the Young Catholic Professionals was formed in the Archdiocese. They held their very first meeting, dinner and talk at Old St. Mary’s on August 30th with over 220 in attendance. It was a very successful evening for them. You can find them on line at YCP Detroit.
- Bob Barnhart, our organist/choir director, has arranged a monthly musical series that started in the fall of 2016 and continues. The concerts are held on the Third Sunday of each month and have grown in popularity. The new season starts this Sunday September 17th with a concert at 2:00 PM. The complete schedule of the concert series is in the vestibule of the church. Plan to join us on those days! Other visiting choirs included the Michigan Catholic Choir, Filaret’s Women’s Choir and a German Choir.
- A volunteer group, formed last year, headed by Joni Diefenbaker buys, cooks and serves meals to the homeless at the warming center of St. Peter and Paul on E. Jefferson Street. Joni, together with her husband Robert and crew, spend much time planning these meals and organizing volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the rectory office for information. Your service would be most welcome and appreciated.
- The Fatima Society of the Archdiocese of Detroit brought in the world famous Fatima Statue was on July 24, 2016 of this year as the first stop on a tour of the Archdiocese of Detroit. It was a wonderful turnout at the 10:00 Latin and Noon Mass. To complete the year, the statue returned on May 13, 2017 for the 100th Anniversary of Fatima Mass which was celebrated here at the 5:30 Vigil Mass. Archbishop Vigneron celebrated the Mass with over 1,340 people packed into our church and on the front steps. After mass, more than 800 people walked in the procession through Greektown and back to our church for final benediction and a talk about Fatima.
- The Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Tridentine Rite) continues to be celebrated at Old St. Mary’s on the first Friday of every month at 7:00 PM. Sponsored by the Detroit Latin Mass Society, the attendance at this Mass continues to expand with well over 150 people in attendance. If you would like to assist at the Extraordinary Form of Mass, the next Mass will be on Friday, October 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM. There is always a reception that follows in the Parish Center.
- An organized bike tour pedaled to 5 historic churches over the summer with a stop here at Old St. Mary’s. Close to 300 people arrived at 4 PM for a tour, prayer and snacks. It was a wonderful experience for all!
- Ben Luedtke celebrated Mass on October 30, 2016 and after gave a talk on St. Benedict. A lunch followed in the parish center.
- A new group at the parish was formed called The Welcoming Committee. Beth Dziekan is heading up this group of volunteers which helps welcome all to our Sunday Masses and tends to the refreshment room in the parish center after all Masses.
- Old St. Mary’s obligation to the Archdiocesan Catholic Services Appeal was $ 34, 012.00. Through your generosity over $ 53,000.00 was raised.
- Mass attendance at Old St. Mary’s continues to grow. This past year 26 new families joined the parish. Attendance at our Sunday and Weekday Masses for the year 2016 exceeded 35,000 people.
- The interior of the Old St. Mary’s School Building on Monroe Avenue, leased by Rock Ventures Enterprises, has been renovated and now houses 150 people.
- The Legion of Mary continues to meet here at Old St. Mary’s on the last Saturday of each month. If you are interested in joining this group, dedicated to the care, concern and wellbeing of our parishioners, please contact the parish office.
- Because of our dedication to the most Blessed Mother and Her intercession, Old St. Mary’s remains the preeminent Roman Catholic parish in the heart of the downtown. We continuously update our website (oldstmarysdetroit.com) together with our Facebook, Google and Twitter accounts. We continue to evangelize through advertising in the Michigan Catholic, publish weekly paper and on-line bulletins, advertise in local newspapers, multiple radio stations and more. We will soon have a new APP for your phones to keep you in touch with all events at Old St. Mary’s.
- Finally, a thank you to Patti Gonyeau our parish secretary and Tony Anikewicz our parish maintenance head.