Sunday, September 24, 2006

Grand Rapids Catholic churches

A little bit of Grand Rapids history ... apparently the Catholic quarter, made up of German, Irish, Polish and other immigrants was on the other side of the river from downtown ... and there's three really beautiful churches there. St. James (which I didn't get a shot of), which served the Irish community, St. Mary's (below), which served the German community and St. Adalbert's (also below) which served the Polish community, and which was raised to the dignity of a minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II.

St. Mary's

Facade of St. Adalbert's. It started raining heavily just as I took this shot (you can see a blurry blob on the top right where a drop hit the lens), so I couldn't get a view of the three lovely domes on the other side.

The interior of St. Adalbert's (we got there just before the Saturday vigil started)

All three churches are within a mile of each other. Ah those old days of the ethnic immigrant church!

Interestingly, there's a lot of Vietnamese in the Grand Rapids area (it was one of the places for refugee settlement in the Vietnam war), and over 10% of the active Dicoesan clergy is of Vietnamese descent. In fact, it seems that Vietnamese Masses are a lot more common than Spanish ones!
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Jennifer said...

Those are all beautiful churches. Did you get a chance to go to the bascilica? I graduated from GR Catholic Central and St. Andrews was right next door. That was were our graduation Mass was held. Absolutely gorgeous.

Gashwin said...

Hey Jennifer ... thanks for all the comments. We were in the Basilica for a few minutes just before the Saturday vigil was about to start. Absolutely gorgeous, I agree!

Glad that my posts here brought back happy memories for you!