Catholics join Detroiters celebrating 60th anniversary of King's 'I Have a Dream' speech

Sixty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech for the first time in the Motor City, Detroiters congregated together again to recreate the freedom walk to honor King’s legacy and acknowledge that his work is still not complete. While King’s speech has become synonymous with his March on Washington, which took place in August 1963, he first delivered the speech in Detroit on June 23, 1963. At the time, 125,000 Detroiters marched down Woodward Avenue, including many Catholics. As Detroiters marched down Woodward again June 24, King’s voice rang out from a solitary megaphone held up by a bystander, a reminder of the historic demonstration 60 years ago.

Racial justice starts with important conversations in the Church, local couple says

Monday, June 19, marks Juneteenth — the newest federal holiday and a day commonly viewed as the true end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger reached Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln had signed two years earlier. Since President Joe Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021, more attention and focus have been drawn to the historic milestone, and in the Archdiocese of Detroit, 2023 will mark the third annual Juneteenth celebration with a special Mass at 6 p.m. this evening at Gesu Parish in Detroit. For Catholics, the day is an opportunity for the Church to reflect upon the steps that have been taken — and those that still need to be taken — to fully eradicate the sin of racism, and move toward healing as the united body of Christ.

Confirming dozens of adults, archbishop reminds them: 'This is your Pentecost'

DETROIT — In his homily shortly before confirming dozens of adult candidates on Pentecost Sunday at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron had a word of wisdom to share. The candidates were about to receive the same Holy Spirit that propelled Mary and the apostles to go forth on a mission to spread the Gospel throughout the world. Now, it was their turn.

Fueling vocations with prayer, lay-led Serra Club supports priests, seminarians

Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are at the heart of the Catholic Church. But although the harvest is plentiful, the laborers are few, often due to the fact that men and women don’t recognize the call or possibility of a religious vocation. Members of the Serra Club seek to change that. The lay-led apostolate, which is dedicated to helping men and women hear and recognize the call by making vocations visible in parishes and schools, has been supporting vocations to the priesthood and religious life in the Archdiocese of Detroit for more than 70 years through programming, fellowship, and — most importantly — prayer.

Dominoes for the hungry: School topples 2,015 boxes of cereal to aid food pantries

Students lined the hallways and waited in the gym at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic School on Tuesday, May 16, to cheer on a giant domino chain made up of cereal boxes that ran the length of the school and ended in the center of the school gym. The cereal box domino chain started upstairs, went down steps, around corners and ended with a spiral formation in the gym, all centered around Fr. Jim Bilot, who waved a pom-pom and furiously shook a cowbell. The domino chain was more than just a cerealsly cool engineering marvel designed by student members of the junior high leadership team. The boxes were collected as part of a drive for several local food pantries, and, after the 2,015 boxes fell, student leaders gathered them up to deliver to each location.

Children's holy hours encourage little ones to start a relationship with Jesus

Across the Archdiocese of Detroit, parishes are responding to Jesus’s call to “let the little children come to me” (Luke 18:16) by giving young ones and their parents opportunities to be close to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. These holy hours — or, more realistically, holy half hours — aren’t your typical time of adoration. Children are invited to sit close to Jesus in the monstrance and ask questions. Music is played, and moderators hand out booklets for children to color or write in. Every step is explained, and most importantly, the joyful noises of babies and squirming young ones are welcome and expected. These times of prayer introduce children and their parents to the importance of Eucharistic adoration, said Fr. David Cybulski of St. Isaac Jogues in St. Clair Shores.

Sacred Heart Major Seminary sends forth 101 graduates to 'set the world on fire'

Sacred Heart Major Seminary celebrated 101 graduates April 29, sending forth laity and clergy to work in God's vineyard during a baccalaureate Mass and commencement ceremony for the class of 2023. This June marks 100 years since the laying of the seminary's cornerstone, said Fr. Charlie Fox, vice rector of Sacred Heart, who gave the homily during a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. But while the physical cornerstone marks the presence of Sacred Heart in the city of Detroit, its graduates will bring the heart of Christ to those they serve in parishes, schools and ministries across the Archdiocese of Detroit and beyond, Fr. Fox said.

Local artist unveils mural honoring Pope St. John Paul II at St. Clare of Montefalco

are of Montefalco Catholic School celebrated the ninth anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s canonization with the unveiling of a mural of the late pope made by local artist Curtis Lewis titled “Saint.” “Today, we are here to honor a man who has become a saint,” Lewis told the gathered schoolchildren April 27. “You know they say that the greatest legacy that a man can leave behind to the world is an honorable name worth remembering. St. Pope John Paul II, his name is definitely worth remembering.”

Inspired by popular podcast, third-grader launches 'Kid's Bible in a Year with Teddy'

hen he grows up, St. Charles Borromeo parishioner and third grader Teddy Howell wants to be a podcaster and a priest. At 9 years old, he already has achieved one of those goals with the recent launch of his podcast: “Kid’s Bible In A Year with Teddy.” In each 10-minute episode, released Sundays and Wednesdays, Teddy leads his listeners in prayer and through a series of Bible verses. Teddy has been given permission by Ascension Press to use the Catholic Bible Chronicles as his reference. If Teddy's podcast sounds familiar, that's because it's inspired by Fr. Mike Schmitz’s chart-topping podcast, "The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)."

'All of this happened for a reason': Chancery employee becomes Catholic at Easter

As the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament slowly quieted and closed down at midnight following the Easter vigil Mass on April 8, Brian Mull was beginning to process the evening. He had started it as a catechumen and ended a full-fledged Catholic — the dousing baptism he received from Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron could cast no doubt on that. “I feel at peace; a sense of calm,” Mull told Detroit Catholic, a glow coming from his face — whether from the clear inner joy or the reflection of newly applied chrism oil on his forehead.

‘The best news: We have Jesus back,’ Archbishop Vigneron says at Easter vigil

Candidates, catechumens and their supporters gathered April 9 in the dark in the plaza outside the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The faithful waited in silence as Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron lit the Easter candle, signaling that darkness has been brought to light, thanks to the promised resurrection of Jesus Christ. Across the Archdiocese of Detroit, 800 candidates and catechumens entered the church during this year's Easter vigil. Of those 800, nine candidates and catechumens from the cathedral, St. Moses the Black and St. Aloysius parishes received their first sacraments from the archbishop himself at the mother church of the archdiocese.

To be consecrated is to be sent forth by Christ, archbishop says at Chrism Mass

Priests, deacons and bishops processed into the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Thursday, April 6, to celebrate the Chrism Mass — the final Mass before the Triduum begins, starting with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron blessed the sacred chrism and other holy oils, which will be used to consecrate the faithful first during the Paschal vigil, and then for the rest of the year. The Chrism Mass, which gathers priests, deacons and bishops together for one liturgy, “is among the principal manifestations of the fullness of the Bishop's Priesthood and is considered to be a sign of the close bond of the Priests with him,” according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Called by God to serve others, former Ford executive works to help community

When Jim Vella retired from the Ford Motor Company in 2019 after 31 years with the Detroit automaker, he knew he wasn't done helping people. Vella's job as president of the Ford Motor Company Fund and community services called him to positively impact communities all over the world, but that calling didn't begin and end with Ford — God was calling him to help people, too. And he knew he wanted to stay true to his Catholic faith. In 2020, Vella launched the Vella Group, a nonprofit strategic philanthropic company based in Detroit’s Eastern Market. He moved back into the city, just a short bike ride away from his offices, and made it his goal to give back his gifts, talents and means to the city where he was raised.

Erin go bragh: St. Patrick's Day is about faith, not folklore, archbishop says

Most Holy Trinity Church in Detroit was a sea of green Friday, March 17, as the faithful gathered to celebrate the 188th St. Patrick’s Day Mass with Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron and then afterward, enjoy an afternoon of celebration, the Irish way. The yearly St. Patrick’s Day tradition, which takes place at the historic church in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, where Irish immigrants once congregated, is followed by the “Taste of Corktown” reception featuring live music, local food vendors as well as craft beers and Irish whiskeys.

Harbaugh, former NBA star McCormick talk faith, family and sports at Shrine

The pews at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica were packed March 15 as people gathered to hear three well-known figures talk about faith, family and sports. Part of Shrine's "Live at the Basilica" monthly speaker series, which brings in prominent Catholics to give talks on different aspects of faith, University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, former NBA player Tim McCormick and Fr. John Riccardo, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit and founder of ACTS XXIX, spoke at length about how God has worked in their lives.

Survivor of the Rwandan holocaust tells parishioners: 'If I can forgive, anyone can'

Immaculée Ilibagiza remembers every detail of the last time she saw her parents in April 1994. Ilibagiza, a 24-year-old university student, had returned to her parents' home in Rwanda for Easter break. Ilibagiza had woken up that morning to a horrifying broadcast on the radio — the president had died in a plane crash, and the government had organized to track down and murder members of her tribe, the Tutsis. Ilibagiza, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide — between April 7 and July 15, during which Hutu Militias killed members of the Tutsi minority and more moderate Hutus — spoke for two hours to parishioners at St. Kieran Parish in Shelby Township on the evening of March 8. Ilibagiza is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust." Ilibagiza previously worked for the United Nations and now spends her time speaking about her experience and the lessons of faith she learned through her suffering. She also leads pilgrimages to sites of Marian apparitions, including Our Lady of Kibeho in Rwanda.

Sweetest Heart of Mary begins campaign to repair roof, historic stained-glass windows

For 130 years, Sweetest Heart of Mary Church has towered over the Forest Park neighborhood in east Detroit, serving as a safe new home for Polish immigrants, a worship space for a faithful congregation and now as a popular spot for Catholic weddings. However, 130 years have taken a toll on the church's structure, and Mother of Divine Mercy Parish, which also includes St. Josaphat, has started a capital campaign to raise money to preserve the church by repairing the roof and historic stained-glass windows.

'Taste the Diaspora' meal program feeds Detroiters in need, celebrates Black history

With each passing year, food insecurity continues to rise in the city of Detroit, as do the number of programs and nonprofits making an effort to address the crisis and keep Detroiters fed. Chef and food activist Ederique Goudia is among those working to provide healthy, nutritious meals to Detroiters in need. But Goudia isn't just interested in feeding people's bodies. She's interested in feeding minds and souls, as well. Goudia, commonly known in the Detroit food scene as “Chef E,” has long used her talents and passion for food to serve others.

Black and Indian Mission Office funds crucial repairs to Detroit parish, school

Thanks to a $45,000 grant from the U.S. bishops' Black and Indian Mission Office, which is supported by the Archdiocese of Detroit's Catholic Services Appeal, St. Charles Lwanga Parish in Detroit will be able to make much-needed repairs to its boiler, which has been unable to consistently heat the 102-year-old church building through the cold winter months. The grant will also support roof repairs at Christ the King Catholic School in northwest Detroit. (Archdiocese of Detroit file photo) St. C
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