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A Review of the 2011 Call to Holiness Conference – The Church Tour

June 13, 2011

The Call to Holiness Conference was a 3-day event this year and I was able to attend the entire weekend. It was a very up lifting experience.

On Friday we toured five lovely, old city churches and Sacred Heart Major Seminary. It was a cool, drizzly day in Detroit, but the pilgrims were eager see the churches and hear their history. The first stop was Ste. Anne. Ste. Anne, by the way, was recently named the patron saint of the archdiocese of Detroit, even thought she unofficially had that title for centuries. Ste. Anne was established as a parish in Detroit in 1701. It is the second oldest parish in the States. You can read a brief history here. We also received an extensive history lesson on Fr. Gabriel Richard. He was very prominent in the early 1800’s Detroit history.

Our second stop was at St. Aloysius right in downtown Detroit. Built in the 1930’s, it is a three story church and all levels can see the main altar. Due to its limited space when they rebuilt the current structure they had to go vertical to obtain the desired seating capacity (one level is in the basement or crypt). And, the way it’s tucked in between Detroit high rises, it reminds me of churches in Rome, Italy, that are snuggled in in any location.

The third stop was Old St. Mary’s in Greektown, a downtown tourist district.

A rainy walk, two short blocks away we found our fourth church, Holy Family. It is a small Italian church, famous for its Italian statues of saints that they carry around the freeway in procession on feast days.

Our next stop was lunch at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, which is one of the top seminaries in the country. Our tour guides were young seminarians. The seminary has the largest “collection” of Pewabic tiles in the world! Notice the beautiful tile flooring in the chapel sanctuary.

Our last stop was Sweetest Heart of Mary Church in Poletown. The oohs and aahs were clearly audible as we entered this beautiful church. It is sought after for many a wedding. This church, too, has a fascinating history, including ethnic discrimination, priest suspensions and church politics.















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