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Saturday, 12 October, 2013 10:53 PM
2013 St. Hedwig Catholic Church Fall Festival wraps ups in Detroit
The line for food at the 2013 St. Hedwig Fall Festival in Detroit.
DETROIT -- We attended the St. Hedwig Fall Festival, which was held in the basement of the church. Fr. Ravi, Assistant Pastor, was gracious enough to open up the church, turn the lights on and give us a tour and some history of the church.
In 1903, Fr. Jan Mueller was appointed pastor and custodian of a new parish. The new Polish priest would tend to the Polish population in the neighborhood. Twelve lots were purchased on Junction Street and it was here they built a church and a school. The upper floor was designed to be a church which accommodated 1200 people and the lower floor were four classrooms and living quarters for the teaching sisters. The basement was a wide spacious hall that served Parish societies for meetings, celebrations, and performances. The cost of all this was $70,000. As of today, this church, school and hall is no longer standing.
As the Parish grew, they built a three-story rectory which was completed in 1909 and cost $20,000 and is still standing today. The convent was completed in 1911 and in 1915 the new brick and stone church had started construction and was completed in 1916. On November 30, 1916 the consecration of the new St. Hedwig church was performed. The school was completed in 1920. All are still standing today. There were also three church societies that also arose: St. Hedwig Society, the Holy Rosary Society which exists to this day, and the Young Ladies Society.
In the 1970's, 80's and 90's, urban sprawl was the cause of people in the parish declining in attendance and moving to the suburbs. However, as Detroit experiences a rebirth into the 21st century, things are looking up. The church celebrated its 100 years in 2003. It is the third oldest Polish parish in Detroit.
Now St. Hedwig has a capacity of 2,000 people. The feast day of St. Hedwig is October 16 but feast day mass will be celebrated on Sunday, October 13. The church is so massive that it costs $6,000 to heat the church in the winter. There is no air conditioning in the summer. There is a 40 percent Spanish congregation along with the older Polish people in the neighborhood.
Mexican Popusa was available for $5
The City Chicken dinner was priced at $9
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