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Welcome to St. Anne Parish

 

St. Anne Catholic Parish History

 

IN THE BEGINNING . . . .

In August 1943, four Mothers from the Village of Warren area went to the Chancery Office to see Archbishop Mooney regarding religious instruction for the children of the village.  The Archbishop assured them that instruction classes would be started, but could give them little assurance of a Parish due to the number of priests then engaged as Chaplains in the War.

In September 1943, instruction classes were begun in the Sisters' convent on Van Dyke, the Motherhouse of the Slovak-Dominican Sisters.

This arrangement served as a partial solution, but lack of space in the convent, and transportation problems due to the war, were factors to be met and overcome.  In the Spring of 1944, Mr. Norman Halmich, then Postmaster and Storekeeper, displayed in his store a petition to be signed by Catholic parents for religious instruction of children in Warren.

In late June, 1944, the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, four in number, opened a vacation school in an empty store on Chicago Road.  This, too, was inadequate, in space, so the vacation school was mainly held under the trees in the Village Park.  In the Fall, the same Mission Helpers returned to Warren weekly for Saturday instructions, held in the Village Barn.

 

ESTABLISHING A PARISH. . . .

In December, a Christmas Program was conducted in the Barn for the parents and children.  It was at this meeting that discussion arose regarding the possibility of establishing a parish in Warren.  Enthusiasm ran high, with the result that a total of $2,500 was donated for a Parish.  The money was forwarded to the Chancery Office for future use.

In March of 1945, announcement was made from the Chancery Office that a Parish was to be established in the vicinity of Mound and 13 Mile Roads.  Fr. Frank J. Walsh was given the assignment.  The new Parish was named in honor of St. Anne, the Mother of our Blessed Lady.

The first meeting of the men of the Parish was held in the home of Dr. John DeYonker, a practicing physician and surgeon for the area.

Arrangements were made by Dr. DeYonker with Dr. Paul Cousino and the Warren Consolidated Board of Education to use the Victory High School for Sunday Masses.

The first Mass was offered on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945 at the Warren Public High School gym.  Dr. DeYonker served as the altar boy at that Mass.  Mrs. Henry Claeys played the organ.  The infant Parish worshipped in the school for a year.  With the establishment of the Parish, the Dominican Sisters of Racine, Wisconsin came from St. Clement's, Centerline to take over the weekly religious instruction classes of the children, and continued through the early years until the first unit of St. Anne School was built.

 

SITE SEEKING . . . .

In those days there was a slightly different approach to establishing a parish.  First in importance was a site to be found.  Again Dr. DeYonker took the new Pastor on a site-seeking tour of the area, pointing out available acreage. 

Among the men attending the next meeting at the Doctor's home was the late Mr. Norman Halmich who graciously donated five acres of land on Mound Road at Arden Avenue.  Later on, foreseeing the future need of the parish he donated another five acres adjacent to the original five, which now comprises the present parish property.

At that time, Fr. Walsh was living at St. Lawrence Rectory where Msgr. Edward DeKeyser was Pastor.  One evening a telephone call came from Dr. DeYonker stating that Dr. Wilde was moving from the Village, and his home at 5804 Arden was available.  This location was convenient to the Victory High School (the present Murthum School) as well as the permanent Parish site.  In late 1945, the home was purchased and used until 1958 when the Administration Building was built.

 

THE FIRST CHURCH . . . .

The first church was the Warren Village Barn, which was purchased for $14,000.  The first Mass was said in the remodeled barn Easter Sunday, April, 1946.  At that time there were 225 families.  Furnishings of the chapel came from many quarters:  Main Altar Candlesticks from Annunciation Church, Detroit; Side Altar from Augustine, Richmond; Floor Coverings from Fisher Building, Detroit; Vestments from Sacred Heart, Imlay City; Statue from St. Patrick's, Wyandotte; pews from St. Juliana, Detroit.  Original Monstrance, Missal and chairs from Fr. John Ryan of the Confraternity Office.

 

CONTINUOUS GROWTH . . . .

St. Anne Parish originally comprised twenty square miles, from 12 Mile to 16 Mile Roads, and from Dequindre to Schoenherr.  Due to the enormous growth of the City of Warren, other Parishes were established.

What St. Anne lost in territory was gained in population.  In 1945, 210 families were registered in the Parish.  The construction of the second church began in April, 1953, and was completed around September for an estimated cost of $150,000.  The building was an Auditorium/Gymnasium type to be used as a temporary church.

In 1962, the thinking turned towards a new permanent Church.  After permission was granted by the Archbishop of Detroit, the firm of Charles M. Valentine and Associates of Marysville, Michigan was engaged to design the new Church.

When plans and specifications were finally approved, bids were sent to ten qualified contractors.  The time-honored firm of Clarence Gleeson Incorporated was the successful bidder as General Contractor.

Ground for the new Church was broken on April 5th, 1964, and the twenty-year dream became a reality.

 

DEDICATION A JOYOUS SUCCESS . . . .

The ceremony on Saturday, August 21st, was a spectacular combination of sights, sounds and people.  Many visitors added to the joy of the occasion.  We were honored by the presence of Archbishop John F. Dearden, and his Secretary, Father Joseph Imesch.  Fathers Bernard Crowley and Raymond Clancy served as Chaplains to the Archbishop.  Father Frederick Delaney, in his inspiring sermon, pointed out to us the meaning of the occasion.  Many priests and sisters, old friends of the Parish, shared in the celebration.  It was a thrill to see members from our neighboring churches join in the spirit of the day.  The visiting Ministers were Reverends Ken Brand, Wallace Zink, John Baumgartner, John Salles, Ray Cover, and John Bergman.

In the summer of 1977 plans were made to renovate St. Anne Church.  The changes made were:

1.) Moving of the tabernacle to a Eucharistic chapel.  A hanging sanctuary lamp was placed outside the Chapel entrance and several were hung around the Tabernacle to show the prominence of the Eucharist.

2.)  Positioning of the presiding chair.  The presiding chair is the chair of the celebrant.  It should indicate the priest's role of presiding over the assembly and leading the prayers.

3.)  Moving forward of the altar in order to give prominence to the lectern.  The place from which the Word of God is proclaimed is also important.  The lectern should be so placed that the ministers can be easily seen and heard by the faithful.

 

1983 - THE FUTURE . . . .

As with every large parish, St. Anne has seen a lot of growth and activity through the years.  Every summer the parish has had a considerable amount of repair work done.  With building and facilities getting older, upkeep and maintenance is no small and inexpensive task.  The entire sewer system of our parish was replaced.  The elementary school has been repainted.  Grounds around the school were restored to their original setting.  Even more work will be planned for the future.

St. Anne Catholic Community is still expanding.  Plans for this will be published soon.

The most important part regarding our parish history is that it is a living history.  Our parish is a living people who owe much to the past while holding a firm and positive view of the years to come.  With God's help we can continue the work that has been handed down to us -- continuing to be a sign of his presence in our world.

 

FOUNDING PASTOR

In March, 1945 the Chancery announced that a parish was to be established in the area of Mound and 13 Mile Roads.  The assignment was given to Fr. Frank Walsh, and the new parish was named in honor of St. Anne, the Mother of our Blessed Lady.

Born in Detroit on September 18, 1902, Fr. Walsh attended St. Vincent de Paul Grade School and High School, Detroit.  He was ordained June 8, 1930 after attending the University of Detroit and St. Mary's Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.  After ordination he served as Associate Pastor at SS Peter and Paul Church, formerly known as Old Cathedral, St. Matthew, Epiphany, and Assumption Grotto, all in Detroit.

Golf was Fr. Walsh's favorite sport, although he played on Class "A" baseball and Class "A" sandlot teams.  He was a member of Seniors Golf.

Fr. Walsh retired in 1970 and died September 19, 1978, on day after his birthday, at the age of 76.

 

SECOND PASTOR

Fr. Fabian Slominski was appointed second Pastor of St. Anne in June, 1970.  He was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 12, 1924.  He grew up in Holy Name Parish in Detroit where he attended Holy Name Grade School.  He graduated from Sacred Heart Seminary High School and College.  Fr. Slominski studied theology at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, and was ordained by Cardinal Mooney on May 22, 1948.

After ordination, Fr. Slominski served as Associate Pastor at Mt. Carmel Parish in Wyondotte, St. Florian Parish in Hamtramck, and SS. Peter and Paul and St. Bartholomew, both in Detroit.   He also served for three years as Pastor at at Corpus Christi Parish, Detroit.

For reasons of health, Fr. Slominski left St. Anne in June, 1983 for a year of recuperation.  Since that time he has been reassigned as the Pastor of St. Cletus Parish in Warren.

 

THIRD PASTOR

Fr. Stanley A. Wyczawski was appointed the third Pastor of St. Anne Catholic Community effective June 27, 1983.

Born on October 3, 1946, the son of Stanley J. and Johanna E. (Jeziak), he attended St. Sebastian and St. Martha Grade Schools, Sacred Heart Seminary High School and College; and St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth.  He was ordained to the priesthood on February 2, 1973 by Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton.

Fr. Stan served his internship at St. Brigid Parish in Detroit.  Since then, he has been assigned to St. Veronica Parish in East Detroit; St. Rene Goupil Parish in Sterling Heights; St. Lawrence Parish in Utica.  In June of 1981 he was assigned by Cardinal Dearden to be the Pastor of St. Anne Parish in Ortonville, where he was until being assigned by Archbishop Szoka to be the Pastor here at St. Anne in Warren.

Fr. Stan's hobbies include:  listening to classical music, collecting wood carvings, crystal, duck decoys, paintings, and just about everything else.  He was greatly interested in the senior citizens and committed to Catholic education.

 

FOURTH PASTOR

Fr. David Koss accepted the responsibility of St. Anne Parish in July 1991.  He remained until April of the following year.

 

FIFTH PASTOR

Father Michael Kazer assumed the pastorate for the next thirteen years.  He devoted considerable attention to the grounds, particularly the garden area next to the church.  The old convent was razed during his tenure. 

 

SIXTH PASTOR

In July, 2005, Rev. Alberto Bondy, an alumnus of the elementary school, became the sixth pastor of St. Anne.  Active committees for both the finance and pastoral councils were reinstituted.  The school library and computer rooms were updated and Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten were opened.

Well into the new millennium, St. Anne is actively continuing its ecclesial mission begun 70 years ago.  The serious involvement of so many in the educational, athletic, social and service groups of the parish community attest to our busy successful past, productive present, and bright future in God's provident care.