St. Florian Church doesn’t need a miracle after all

By Charles Sercombe

There is no need to pray for the future of St. Florian Church.

A number of folks in town became panicky from overhyped media reports of a recently released study by the Detroit Archdiocese on the future of area churches.

In that lengthy report, it was mentioned that the St. Florian Parish might have to be closed down and its buildings sold off.

Before you start thinking of who to crucify, listen to what Fr. Miroslaw Frankowski has to say.

“The Parish is not in trouble,” Fr. Frankowski told The Review, “as long as the Society of Christ remains.”

Fr. Frankowski is a member of the Society of Christ Religious Order, which consists of Polish priests who cater to Polish-American parishes. Fr. Frankowski said there are absolutely no plans for the Society to leave St. Florian or Michigan.

According to the Archdiocese report, St. Florian could also close if the Parish fails to settle up a $1.85 million debt.

The Parish incurred the debt after operating its elementary and high schools at a loss for several years. The schools were closed down its school several years ago, and the Parish has been leasing buildings to a private charter school organization.

Fr. Frankowski said the Parish has a payback plan, which it has met, and is able to pay its monthly bills.

If anything, St. Florian is thriving. With 870 registered parishioners, it is the second largest Polish-centric church in the state.

Cindy Marklin Bonneau, a member of the Parish Council, said there are also six active religious societies in the Parish, as well as other activities and services being offered.

She said the Archdiocese report was merely a beginning of discussions going on about how to keep churches open.

“I wish the Archdiocese had not released this,” she said in reference to the report. “A lot of these suggestions are going to be thrown out. It’s causing a lot of uproar for nothing.”

According to the suggestions, which were put together by dozens of committees comprised by laypersons, several well-known churches could be closed over the next few years.

The Archdiocese has not made any final decisions on the future of the churches.

As of now, none of the Hamtramck Catholic churches are slated for closure, but some may have to start sharing services with other parishes.

One thing is for sure. The Detroit Archdiocese has a dwindling number of priests, with an average age at 69, to service the 270 parishes in the area. There are also money troubles for the Archdiocese as well.

Mayor Karen Majewski said on her Facebook page that the church needs to look at the “root” cause of why fewer people are participating in services.

Some critics of the church say many have left due to a number of reasons, which include not allowing priests to marry and the church’s stance on birth control and abortion .

7 Responses to St. Florian Church doesn’t need a miracle after all

  1. Ms. R.

    December 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I am glad to see that St. Florian will not be closing. I was a resident of Hamtramck for 30 some years, and went to high school there in the early 80’s. My comment lends itself to the reasons why people are leaving the Church. Apart from the issues of birth control and abortion, the Church has also tightened the reins when it comes to baptism, and in that I mean the REQUIREMENTS one must possess in order to QUALIFY to have their child baptized in the Church. I live out of state and was surprised to learn of all the new rules passed down by the Archdiocese of Houston that said parents must belong to the Church, be giving current monthly support to the Church, and the godparents had to be Catholic, AND must have completed ALL of the Sacraments…and there must be paper proof! I called church after church and got the same story. I was even told that maybe my choice of godparents should be changed. Can you imagine that? We have no other relatives living here, and my husband’s side of the family is Protestant, but we were going to baptize our daughter in the Catholic faith anyway, like me. It seemed that none of the chosen godparents were good enough. These people lived out of our state as well and would have traveled here for the baptism. One church told me that they would have to take classes in their home state and then bring the required paper work here, for proof. I could not believe any of this and was extremely disallusioned . We decided to wait and have her baptized later on, when she is older. My views have changed dramatically since I was a child. The man Jesus would have never spoken to me the way those people did. This is part of why I have shied away from going to “church’. I don’t believe that all of us have to come together under one roof in order to find God. Evidently someone else at one time thought so too, or Constantine wouldn’t have excised that belief from the current, accepted version of the Bible. Makes you wonder why so much was taken out and revised. I believe mankind has been told what to believe, and not question. I’ll never set foot in a church again, but our daughter will be brought up with a belief in God, in a loving family whose members don’t quite measure up to the Church’s standards.

  2. Mary Urbanski

    November 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    The reason that people have left is the pastor caters only to the newly immigrant Polish. People like me who are alienated from the parish they grew up in.

  3. Ms. M

    August 29, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    If the archdiocese wants to gain parishioners and that means Sunday collections too, they need to get with the social needs of today, not the 11th century.
    The biggest reason people are leaving the Roman Catholic church is the double standard.
    In 1971,yes that far back, my mother owed $50.00 for my tuition, we were poor people. This was the year of my Eighth Grade Graduation. I was not allowed to participate in the church graduation ceremony because the tuition wasn’t paid, how Christian was that?
    When my 4 month old brother died in 1951 my mother didn’t have the $5.00 that the priest demanded in order to come to the house and bless the baby and give last rights. How Christian was that? The landlady gave him the $5.00 and a few choice words to go with that.
    When my youngest daughter was to receive First Communion the pastor suddenly decided to have an inquisition what he called a meeting to discuss the fact that her father was not Catholic, yet this is after she had attended the school and church since she was baptized there. It was well known dad was not Catholic and we, her parents agreed to bring up our children in the Catholic faith, the pastor said he is reluctant to allow her to receive communion, that I was making a mockery of the church. I told him then let her come into the meeting room and he should tell this child, my child, that she will not make her communion, he then said he had reconsidered it and will make this allowance to allow her to make her communion. This is after my oldest child already made her communion, and it was the same pastor. Where did this all come from? How Christian was that?
    Time to come into the 21st century and allow birth control. Is it better that families have more children than they can afford to feed, clothe and educate? Besides many parents use birth control and still belong and go to church and are active in parish activities.
    Time to come into the 21st century and allow priests to marry or the Roman Catholic church will diminish, yes it will come to that eventually. Maybe there won’t be so many cases of priest sex scandals if allowed to marry. The church is too greedy to pay for the families and be liable for them living on church property. Hmm, maybe consider married priests with families to be examples to the congregation of a family unit, the family that prays together, stays together, hmm a novel idea.

  4. michael a bonk

    August 31, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    mr.b no sympathy from me if they close. the churches of hamtramck could care less,when immaculate conception, st, stanislaus, ressurection, st. albertus. were all forced to close. the clergy, religious, and members treated the people from other parishes like dirt. I was forced to go to florians for two years, and every day I got off the bus on campau, the nuns would say we can clean the floors now, the smatas got off the bus. I hope they tear it down. I have never went back nor will I.

  5. Michael Lacey

    November 7, 2020 at 2:18 am

    St. Florian Church must remain open. It has done it’s job well for over 100 years. Fr Mirek is the most welcoming priest I have ever met. He drove almost one hour to anoint my sister on a Sunday night when no “American” priest could be found, even though my sister was not a parishioner. She died less than 3 days later. I am not even Polish but that made no difference when I joined the parish. I had found a church home and have been treated well. The staff there are hard working and kind people.
    It may be true that many Things about the Catholic Church need to come to grips with reality but people usually are aware of that before they join. Pope Francis is trying his best to modernize church teaching but faces a lot of pushback with the Curia that still operates in the Middle Ages. People need to ignore most of that and focus on prayer and trying to be more like Jesus. I for one like that church and will continue to support its’ efforts.

  6. Rosalie (Haamen)

    February 7, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Mr. Lacey – I’m so happy your Fr. Mirek was there for your family in a time of need. I grew up in Hamtramck, and two of our children were baptized at St. Florian. We no longer live in the area, but my family will always have fond memories of St. Florian Church. I’m happy to know the church will remain open. My only comment to the critics of Catholicism is that our faith is steeped in tradition. It’s not easy to follow guidelines that don’t fit out personal likes and demands. It’s not the church’s responsibility to change with the times. Being Catholic takes time and effort and I’m proud to be a part of it.

  7. Monica Proffitt

    October 8, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    I grew up in Hamtramick.I had to attend St.Ladislaus,because I lived on Belmont,and out of St. Florian parish district.But St. Florian was a big part of my families history,and much to St. Lads dismay,we spent all Holidays at St.Florian I’m and MANY Sundays there
    If the Catholic Religion is dwindling,it is because the times have changed with progress. Many religions are steeped in Tradition

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