In and Around Detroit in 1910: historical photographs and text

Souvenir Album In and Around Detroit 1910

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St. Mary's Church and Residence,  Monroe, Michigan   1910

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Right Rev. Mgr. Edward Joos

St. Mary's Church.  Monroe, Mich.

1910--The parish known as St. Mary's in Monroe, is the second oldest Catholic congregation in the northwest of the United States. The first settlers were the sturdy old French, who came to Monroe in 1784 and started what has become the present city. At this time the pioneers had the Ottawa Tribe of Indians as their neighbors on the south bank of the Sturgeon River, as the River Raisin was then known, and the Pottawatomies on the north. About 1784 there were some thirty-five residents on the banks of the Raisin and the need of a priest became urgent. The Bishop of Quebec in 1784 sent Rev. Father Frechette to the settlement to look after their needs and make it a part of Old St. Anne's at Detroit. On Oct. 15, 1788, the settlers selected a site for their church about two miles west of the present one and here began the observance of their religion. Fr. Frechette attended the community until 1794, when a permanent appointment was made by the same Bishop in the selection of Rev.Edmund Burke. He remained with the parish until 1796.

The congregation of St. Mary's was under the charge of many priests until the year 1831, when the Rev. Carabin took charge. He remained until 1843. It was during his administration that the present St. Mary's was built. In 1843 the Redemptorist Fathers assumed charge and remained until 1855. The year of 1858 saw the upbuilding of the church and parish under the rectorship of the late Monsignor Edward Joos and it stands today a monument to his ability and energy. In June 1871 he was made Vicar Generaly and took charge of St. Mary's Academy. He was succeeded by Rev.Fr. C. Maes, now Bishop of Covington, Ky. He remained until 1873. He was succeeded by the Rev. B.G. Soffers, who was with the parish until 1898.

Fr. Joseph Joos succeeded Fr. Soffers, who died Oct. 28, 1899. On Sept. 12, 1901, Fr. James S. Downey was assigned as his assistant and both continue in charge up to the present time. Since this time the old church has been beautified, a $30,000 addition has been added which, in the course of time, will  form a portion of an entire new church.

At present a large and commodious stone and brick school is under construction and will be ready for occupancy next September.  (page 40)

Containing Illustrations of Catholic Churches, Schools and Acadamies and Institutions
  (includes Windsor, Ontario area)

The photographs and text were published in 1910 in honor of the seventh Annual Meeting of the Catholic Educational Association which met in Detroit, Michigan, July 5, 1910