Historic Detroit

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All Saints Catholic Church

All Saints parish was founded Nov. 1, 1896, in Delray, at the time, a community that was not within the city limits. It was, even then, a heavily industrial area, and had a number of immigrants living near the factories in which they worked. So, unlike many other parishes in the city that tended to cater to one ethnic group (Polish, German, etc.), All Saints was a mixed parish.

The first All Saints church stood at the corner of South and Crossley streets.

By 1906, Delray was absorbed by Detroit. Between 1913 and 1915, All Saints pastor Father Henry Sullivan raised $65,000 to build a parish school staffed by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters and a rectory, as well as pay off the parish's debt. The first school opened in 1915. This church soon followed, with its cornerstone placed Oct. 25, 1925, and its dedication behind held Aug. 7, 1926. It was designed by architect Andrew Morrison.

The church reached its peak membership in the early 1950s of about 700 families. However, in 1961, construction began on the Fisher Freeway (Interstate 75), which not only took many parishioners' homes, but also served to cut off the parish from many neighborhoods. Coupled with the white flight following the unrest of 1967, All Saints quickly started bleeding congregants. As the decades marched on, and Detroit began to bleed residents, houses went vacant and more industry moved in. Delray became rundown, polluted and a rather undesirable place to live. Both the parish's elementary and high schools were shuttered in June 1970. When the buildings were torn down, a small memorial was created on the church grounds to honor their history, including one of the cornerstones.

In addition, church leaders said many Latino families who worshiped stopped attending because they feared immigration raids.

"Attendance was so sparse just before closing, only three people attended a Wednesday night Mass," the Detroit Free Press reported on March 25, 2022.

Finally, with upkeep costs of an aging building mounting and a small congregation to pay them, it was decided to merge All Saints with nearby St. Gabriel Parish, effective Jan. 1, 2018. The church celebrated its last Mass on New Year's Eve of 2017. The Archdiocese deconsecrated the church and sold it in 2020. It was demolished in March and April 2022. Much of the area was clear-cut for the new Gordie Howe International Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Last updated 28/03/2022