August 11, 2014 at 1:00 am

Mob packs Mass at Detroit's St. Albertus to fill historic church

Another historic Detroit church found its pews overflowing with worshipers Sunday, as thousands of members of Detroit Mass Mob visited St. Albertus Historic Church on St. Aubin. The church, which can hold up to 2,500, was packed to overflowing, with visitors spilling out of the doors. After the Mass, Wayne County deputies had to direct traffic from the old Poletown church.

“It was amazing,” said Sarah Hayball, a St. Albertus parishioner who also works with the Polish American Historic Site Association. On a normal week, attendance averages between 25 to 50 at St. Albertus, Hayball said, occasionally dropping to just a handful of parishioners.“We haven’t had numbers like that in years. There’s never been a packed house.”

A Mass mob is a variation of the flash mob phenomenon where, through social media, crowds are asked to show up in one place for a semi-spontaneous event. In this case, it’s to boost the city’s struggling old churches, filling not only the often sparsely attended shrines, but their collection plates, too. The Detroit Mass Mob is modeled after an effort launched in Buffalo, N.Y.

The Mass Mob happens monthly, with the next one scheduled for the noon Mass on Sept. 28 at St. Florian Church, 2626 Poland St., Hamtramck. For more information, visit or CatholicMassMob on Facebook.
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Parishioners dressed in traditional polish garb listen to the service at St. Albertus Church, Detroit's oldest Polish Church. Detroit Mass Mob brought Church-goers from all over Metro Detroit, who filled the pews, aisles and spilled outside the doors at St. Albertus Church on Sunday. / Photos by Tanya Moutzalias / Special to The Detroi
Churchgoers from all over Metro Detroit join to worship at St. Albertus ... (Photos by Tanya Moutzalias / Special to The Detroi)