The Heart of Old Detroit: Her Churches

Once, long ago, a young mother with her husband and child escaped a terrible fate at the hands of a murderous king. They fled to a foreign land, sheltering there until the danger was past and they could be reunited with their families. Today, we find many families in the same situation, fleeing toward safety with their family. In Catholic teaching, all Catholics have a moral responsibility toward the immigrant and the refugee, the poor and the sick.

In the heart of Detroit stands what is now called Old St. Mary’s – one of the oldest congregations in the city. Originally built to serve German Catholic immigrants, the church stands in what is now called Greektown. Detroit has welcomed so many ethnic groups, from the Germans, to Greeks, Poles, Hungarians, Filipinos, Chinese, Indians, Hmong, and Chinese. Old Saint Mary’s and other Detroit churches have opened their doors and hearts to newcomers and old families, and helped them to find their American dream – freedom to worship, to work, to grow.

The church, built in 1885, is a historic landmark in downtown, drawing parishioners from all over Detroit. The parish celebrates mass in English, but also celebrates the traditional Latin rite. The church also has a reputation for it’s choir, and a devotion to music as part of the liturgy.

For parishioners old and new, Old St. Mary’s is pleased and proud to offer a Catholic tradition of welcome, assistance, and acceptance. We share our joy in the Lord every day across the city, bringing the Word to those in need. The Spiritan fathers advocate for, support, and defend the weak as they have been called to do. When you consider Catholic churches in Detroit, visit Old St. Mary’s and find a thriving, diverse, and joyful congregation, living in faith.

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