CELEBRATE OUR PATRONESS:
In 2011, St. Anne, mother of Mary and grandmother of Christ, was named by the Vatican as the patroness of our Archdiocese. Why? Archbishop Vigneron stated, “St. Anne has been integral to the story and history of Detroit, and the first Catholic presence in southeast Michigan.” Detroit’s relationship with her dates to the city’s founding; the first Mass in the Archdiocese was celebrated on St. Anne’s feast day, July 26, in 1701. That same day, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and 51 settlers established Sainte Anne de Detroit – the first Catholic church in Detroit and the 2nd-oldest Catholic parish in America. Catholics pray to saints for their intercession and look to their lives as stellar examples. St. Anne has heard and guided many Detroiters for centuries!
To commemorate St. Anne’s feast day, the Archbishop will preside over an ecumenical vesper service on Tues. July 25 at 7 PM at our Cathedral. The Very Rev. Nicolaos Kotsis, a Greek Orthodox pastor, will be the guest homilist and our relic of St. Anne will be reverenced. Please join us!
REMEMBER, ACT, AND HOPE:
Local pastor Fr. Victor Clore wrote a reflection on another important date we will remember next weekend. On July 23, 1967 the Detroit riots began. As Fr. Clore stated: “The insurrection exploded from decades of institutional racism and segregation. Homeowner’s associations, federal FHA regulation and city policies resisted integrating. . . Detroit was especially tense that summer.” The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar near the corner of 12th St. (today Rosa Parks Blvd) and Clairmount Ave. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in U.S. history, lasting 5 days and surpassing the violence and destruction of Detroit’s 1943 riot.
To help end the disturbance, Governor Romney ordered in the MI Army National Guard and President Johnson sent in 2 Airborne Divisions. The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. The riot was prominently featured in the news media, with live TV coverage and extensive newspaper and magazine reporting. Ironically, Detroit had been known for developing progressive anti-poverty programs and police-community relations. Mayor Cavanaugh summed up the feeling: “Today we stand amidst the ashes of our hopes. We hoped that what we had been doing was enough to prevent a riot. It was not enough.”
We will commemorate the anniversary of that challenging time next week at our 11 AM liturgy. We won’t be celebrating the violence; we will be recalling the names of those who lost their lives and celebrating the new hope Christ empowers in us and the action He calls forth from us.