Detroit Catholic archdiocese lays out plan to group parishes

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

The Archdiocese of Detroit has announced the specifics of a long-planned reorganization of its parishes, one of the largest in a string of responses to declining participation by Catholics, including in the vocation of the priesthood, over the past four decades.

The plan calls for all parishes in the archdiocese to work in new groups of three or more and "collaborate in deeper and more intentional ways" than previously done in its history, Archbishop Allen Vigneron said.

Old St.Marys Church in Detroit, Michigan, on December 8, 2020.

The 187-year-old archdiocese will form 51 groups, or “families,” of three to eight parishes, with “multiple priests collaborating in deeper and more intentional ways to better serve the faithful and advance the local Church’s mission of unleashing the Gospel,” according to a media release issued Wednesday.

The archdiocese said most parishes within each group “border at least one other member parish.”

While the 216 parishes all have been assigned to the groups, they archdiocese said, they will “retain their own unique identities and worship spaces.”

This model is similar to what has been successfully implemented in other Roman Catholic dioceses across the country, the archdiocese said.

Attuned local Catholics began hearing about what became the significant reorganization in November 2016 at the meeting of a special advisory council, or synod.

The group of clergy and laity called for significant change in the organization to make the parishes “radically mission-oriented.”

“There have been many moments for putting into action the work of the Synod, and now we reach an especially critical time for the implementation of the Synod’s work,” Vigneron said in a statement to members of the archdiocese about the “Families of Parishes” initiative.

Monsignor Charles Kosanke prepares the communion during Sunday Mass at St. Moses the Black in Detroit, Mich. on Nov. 29, 2020.

“Our focus is on the renewal of our parishes and schools to align all resources to our mission of sharing Christ in southeast Michigan.”

The new design is to roll out in two waves, with preparation beginning in 13 months, January 2022 and the launch in July 2022.

The list of the groupings was developed in the past several months,  with input from pastors, and approved by Vigneron.

“Our mission hasn’t changed, but how we approach that mission must shift in response to our circumstances,” said Deacon Michael Houghton, who managed the reorganization.

“We must move forward with greater collaboration and better stewardship of our resources. With this new model, our priests, deacons, religious and lay staff will be empowered to share their gifts and talents with the whole Family of Parishes, to the benefit of the entire community.”

Vigneron said collaboration among the individual parishes of the archdiocese has been the order of the day, and the spiritual direction, of local Roman Catholics for some time.

“In the past four decades, we have seen parishes coordinating Advent Reconciliation Services, Lenten Missions, Mass schedules, and more,” said Vigneron, who became archbishop in 2009, and is the third consecutive archbishop to announce major reorganizations intended to cope with changes in demography and religious observance.

“Some of our parishes already have shared staff positions and faith formation programs,” he said. “In the months and years ahead, new and innovative ways to work together will strengthen the bonds that already exist and will build new bonds everywhere else.”

Parishioners interviewed recently by The Detroit News sounded notes of concern, optimism and acknowledgement of the routine.

An attendee of the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit for more than 20 years, Joseph Zarazua, welcomed the looming reorganization.

"We get the opportunity to tap into the resources and the talents of the other parishes that we’ll be connected with," Zarazua said for a story published by The News last week.

"I'm kind of excited because every parish is unique. Every family has something to offer."

Debra Garofalo, who attends the nearby Most Holy Trinity in Detroit, hopes to learn how its food pantry and other outreach can complement partner parishes' efforts, she told The News recently.

“With us working together and highlighting our talents, I think that it’s really going to make a difference and help us to carry out the mission of bringing Christ into the community,” said Garofalo, of St. Clair Shores.

Vigneron called for prayer.

“Change can present stress, doubt, and uncertainty about the future,” he said. “But it is worthwhile to change for the sake of doing God’s will more effectively.

“I ask each of you to pray for a new openness to this renewal and collaboration, knowing that God is particularly generous when we pray for graces to better evangelize.”

Parishioners sing the "Our Father" during the Mass of the Lord's Supper at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Reorganizing the archdiocese

First wave

Central Region

Genesis Vicariate Family 2

Our Lady Queen of Heaven – Good Shepherd Parish, Detroit

St. Jude Parish, Detroit

St. Raymond – Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Detroit

Renaissance Vicariate Family 1

Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Detroit

St. Aloysius Parish, Detroit

St. Mary (Greektown) Parish, Detroit

Renaissance Vicariate Family 2

Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Detroit

Sacred Heart Parish, Detroit

St. Augustine and St. Monica Parish, Detroit

St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Detroit

St. Elizabeth Parish, Detroit

Renaissance Vicariate Family 3

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish, Detroit

Holy Family Parish, Detroit

St. Joseph Shrine and Parish, Detroit

Southwest Vicariate Family 1

Holy Cross (Hungarian) Parish, Detroit

Most Holy Redeemer Parish, Detroit

Most Holy Trinity Parish, Detroit

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Detroit

Basilica of Ste. Anne Parish, Detroit

St. Francis d’Assisi – St. Hedwig Parish, Detroit

St. Gabriel Parish, Detroit

Trinity Vicariate Family 1

Corpus Christi Parish, Detroit

Presentation – Our Lady of Victory Parish, Detroit

SS. Peter and Paul (Westside) Parish, Detroit

St. Juan Diego Parish, Detroit

St. Mary of Redford Parish, Detroit

St. Scholastica Parish, Detroit

Northeast Region

Blue Water Vicariate Family 1

Holy Family Parish, Memphis

St. Augustine Parish, Richmond

St. Mary Mystical Rose Parish, Armada

Blue Water Vicariate Family 2

Immaculate Conception Parish, Ira Township

Our Lady on the River Parish, Marine City

St. Mary Parish, St. Clair

St. Mary, Queen of Creation Parish, New Baltimore

Blue Water Vicariate Family 3

Holy Trinity Parish, Port Huron

St. Christopher Parish, Marysville

St. Edward on the Lake Parish, Lakeport

St. Mary Parish, Port Huron

Central Macomb Vicariate Family 5

St. Malachy Parish, Sterling Heights

St. Paul of Tarsus Parish, Clinton Township

St. Ronald Parish, Clinton Township

St. Thecla Parish, Clinton Township

North Macomb Vicariate Family 1

St. Kieran Parish, Shelby Township

St. Lawrence Parish, Utica

St. Matthias Parish, Sterling Heights

North Macomb Vicariate Family 2

St. Francis d’Assisi – St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Ray Township

St. Isidore Parish, Macomb

St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish, Shelby Township

Northwest Region

Lakes Vicariate Family 1

Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, Waterford

St. Anne Parish, Ortonville

St. Daniel Parish, Clarkston

St. Rita Parish, Holly

Lakes Vicariate Family 3

Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Orchard Lake

Prince of Peace Parish, West Bloomfield

St. Benedict Parish, Waterford

Pontiac Area Vicariate Family 1

St. Andrew Parish, Rochester

St. Irenaeus Parish, Rochester Hills

St. Mary of the Hills Parish, Rochester Hills

South Oakland Vicariate Family 1

Christ Our Light Parish, Troy

Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson

St. Anastasia Parish, Troy

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Troy

St. Lucy (Croatian) Parish, Troy

South Oakland Vicariate Family 3

Sacred Heart Parish, Auburn Hills

St. Damien of Molokai Parish, Pontiac

St. Hugo of the Hills Parish, Bloomfield Hills

St. Thomas More Parish, Troy

South Oakland Vicariate Family 4

National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica Parish, Royal Oak

St. Justin – St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Hazel Park

St. Mary Parish, Royal Oak

St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Madison Heights

South Oakland Vicariate Family 5

Church of the Transfiguration Parish, Southfield

Divine Providence Parish, Southfield

Our Lady of La Salette Parish, Berkley

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Oak Park

Thumb Vicariate Family 3

Sacred Heart Mission, Brown City

SS. Peter and Paul Parish, North Branch

St. Mary Parish, Burnside

St. Patrick Chapel, Clifford

South Region

Downriver Vicariate Family 1

Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Taylor

SS. Andrew and Benedict Parish, Detroit

St. Alfred Parish, Taylor

St. André Bessette Parish, Ecorse

St. Constance Parish, Taylor

St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park

St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Melvindale

Downriver Vicariate Family 2

Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, Lincoln Park

Our Lady of the Scapular Parish, Wyandotte

St. Pius X Parish, Southgate

St. Vincent Pallotti Parish, Wyandotte

Downriver Vicariate Family 3

Our Lady of the Woods Parish, Woodhaven

Sacred Heart Parish, Grosse Ile

St. Cyprian Parish, Riverview

St. Joseph Parish, Trenton

St. Roch Parish, Flat Rock

St. Timothy Parish, Trenton

Monroe Vicariate Family 2

St. Anne Parish, Monroe

St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Newport

St. John the Baptist Parish, Monroe

St. Mary Parish, Monroe

St. Michael Parish, Monroe

Northwest Wayne Vicariate Family 2

Our Lady of Victory Parish, Northville

St. Colette Parish, Livonia

St. Edith Parish, Livonia

St. Kenneth Parish, Plymouth

West Wayne Vicariate Family 1

Church of the Divine Child Parish, Dearborn

Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn

St. Anselm Parish, Dearborn Heights

St. Linus Parish, Dearborn Heights

St. Sabina Parish, Dearborn Heights

West Wayne Vicariate Family 4

SS. Simon and Jude Parish, Westland

St. Mary Parish, Wayne

St. Mary, Cause of Our Joy Parish, Westland

St. Richard Parish, Westland

St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Garden City

Second wave (July 2022)

Central Region

Genesis Vicariate Family 1

Mother of Divine Mercy Parish, Detroit

Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish, Hamtramck

St. Florian Parish, Hamtramck

St. Hyacinth Parish, Detroit

St. John Paul II Parish, Detroit

Trinity Vicariate Family 2

Christ the King Parish, Detroit

Gesu Parish, Detroit

SS. Peter and Paul (Jesuit) Parish, Detroit

St. Charles Lwanga Parish, Detroit

St. Moses the Black Parish, Detroit

St. Peter Claver Parish, Detroit

St. Suzanne/Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish, Detroit

Northeast Region

Central Macomb Vicariate Family 1

San Francesco Parish, Clinton Township

St. Hubert Parish, Harrison Township

St. Louis Parish, Clinton Township

St. Peter Parish, Mount Clemens

Central Macomb Vicariate Family 2

Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, Sterling Heights

SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Sterling Heights

St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish, Sterling Heights

St. Rene Goupil Parish, Sterling Heights

Central Macomb Vicariate Family 3

Our Lady of Grace (Vietnamese) Parish, Warren

St. Anne Parish, Warren

St. Faustina Parish, Warren

St. Louise de Marillac Parish, Warren

St. Mark Parish, Warren

St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families Parish, Warren

Central Macomb Vicariate Family 4

St. Blase Parish, Sterling Heights

St. Ephrem Parish, Sterling Heights

St. Martin de Porres Parish, Warren

St. Michael Parish, Sterling Heights

North Macomb Vicariate Family 3

SS. John and Paul Parish, Washington

St. Clement of Rome Parish, Romeo

St. John Vianney Parish, Shelby Township

SERF Vicariate Family 1

Holy Innocents – St. Barnabas Parish, Roseville

Our Lady of Hope Parish, St. Clair Shores

St. Isaac Jogues Parish, St. Clair Shores

St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, St. Clair Shores

St. Pio of Pietrelcina Parish, Roseville

SERF Vicariate Family 2

Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Grosse Pointe Woods

St. Basil the Great Parish, Eastpointe

St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Clair Shores

St. Lucy Parish, St. Clair Shores

St. Veronica Parish, Eastpointe

SERF Vicariate Family 3

St. Ambrose Parish, Grosse Pointe Park

St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park

St. Matthew Parish, Detroit

St. Paul on the Lake Parish, Grosse Pointe Farms

Northwest Region

Lakes Vicariate Family 2

Holy Spirit Parish, Highland

St. Mary Parish, Milford

St. Patrick Parish, White Lake

St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford

Pontiac Area Vicariate Family 2

Christ the Redeemer Parish, Lake Orion

St. John Fisher Chapel University Parish, Auburn Hills

St. Joseph Parish, Lake Orion

South Oakland Vicariate Family 2

Holy Name Parish, Birmingham

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, Beverly Hills

St. Owen Parish, Bloomfield Hills

St. Regis Parish, Bloomfield Hills

South Oakland Vicariate Family 6

Our Lady of Albanians Parish, Southfield

St. Paul (Albanian) Parish, Rochester Hills

South Oakland Vicariate Family 7

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington

St. Andrew Kim Parish, Northville

St. Fabian Parish, Farmington Hills

Thumb Vicariate Family 1

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Emmett

Sacred Heart Parish, Yale

St. John the Evangelist Parish, Allenton

St. Nicholas Parish, Capac

Thumb Vicariate Family 2

Immaculate Conception Parish, Lapeer

Sacred Heart Parish, Imlay City

St. Cornelius Parish, Dryden

South Region

Monroe Vicariate Family 1

Divine Grace Parish, Carleton

St. Gabriel Parish, Ida

St. Mary, Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish, Rockwood

Monroe Vicariate Family 3

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Temperance

St. Anthony Parish, Temperance

St. Joseph Parish, Erie

Northwest Wayne Vicariate Family 1

Holy Family Parish, Novi

St. James Parish, Novi

St. Joseph Parish, South Lyon

St. William Parish, Walled Lake

Northwest Wayne Vicariate Family 3

Our Lady of Loretto Parish, Redford

St. Aidan Parish, Livonia

St. Genevieve – St. Maurice Parish, Livonia

St. Gerald Parish, Farmington

St. John XXIII Parish, Redford

St. Michael Parish, Livonia

St. Priscilla Parish, Livonia

St. Valentine Parish, Redford

Northwest Wayne Vicariate Family 4

Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth

Resurrection Parish, Canton

St. John Neumann Parish, Canton

St. Thomas a’Becket Parish, Canton

West Wayne Vicariate Family 2

St. Aloysius Parish, Romulus

St. Anthony Parish, Belleville

St. Stephen Parish, New Boston

West Wayne Vicariate Family 3

St. Alphonsus – St. Clement Parish, Dearborn

St. Barbara Parish, Dearborn

St. Cunegunda Parish, Detroit

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, Dearborn

St. Sebastian (St. Maria Goretti) Parish, Dearborn Heights