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<< Entertainment >>

Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 13 August, 2012 8:17 PM

REVIEW: Sweetest Heart of Mary Pierogi Festival is my new favorite tradition

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Sweetest Heart of Mary Parish in Detroit.

 

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

 

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DETROIT -- Polish immigration to Detroit began in the 1870's. The organizers of Sweetest Heart of Mary Parish were immigrants from that section of Europe that formerly constituted the nation of Poland. A parish school was built in 1886. Sweetest Heart of Mary Parish was completed in 1893. The rectory on the property was built in 1901. The school building made an addition in 1905.

The parish also maintains a cemetery called Sacred Heart of St. Mary. This was established in 1894. This church is the oldest Polish parish still in operation within the boundaries of the Archdiocese of Detroit. The parish continues to have a Polish ethnic flavor, although Polish languages have minimal usage in worship. However, they have Polka masses. The church holds 1,500 parishioners.

The parishioners have been organizing an annual Pierogi Festival on the grounds of the church since 1983. This event has grown from a Sunday fundraiser into a two-day festival that draws thousands of metro-Detroiters to the grand old church at the corner of Canfield and Russell in the old Polish section of Detroit. I walked inside this church and was amazed. I have never seen a more beautiful church. The stained glass and all the altars were amazing. The detail and architecture was like no other.

The origin of the Pierogi Festival was an annual school reunion Mass and picnic that was held in September to commemorate the beginning of the school year. Sweetest Heart of Mary Schools (elementary school and high school) had been in existence from 1886 to 1966. During this time hundreds and hundreds of children were educated there by the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. The annual picnic provided alumni with an opportunity to return to their old school and visit with old friends and faculty.

When the reunion picnic became too large, the festival was created. Pierogi was chosen as the theme because they are probably the best known Polish food. The pierogi served at the festival are all handmade here at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church by volunteers who get together weekly. They sell them all year around, frozen. They make about 16,000 pierogis. Servers from the Polish Village in Hamtramck served up the Polish plates.

I really enjoyed the food and the entertainment was fabulous. I can see this festival will be my tradition year after year.

For more information about the Sweetest Heart of Mary Pierogi Festival, visit www.historicsweetestheart.org.

Related Story: REVIEW: The Detroit Princess Riverboat cruise is highly recommended for all

 

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Masses are held on Fridays at noon, Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The parish was founded in 1889.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

This year's pierogi festival took place on Saturday, Aug. 11 and Sunday, Aug. 12.

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The main altar

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Side altar inside the church

 

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