ST. STANISLAUS KOSTKA PARISH

FOUNDED: APRIL 17, 1914

 

November 25, 1913, marked the beginning effort and appeal in establishing a new Roman Catholic Church to benefit

the local polish community. Two residents of Ford City, Theophil Szulc and Adam Nowakowski, along with support from

the local community, contacted the Diocese of Detroit requesting a priest and permission to start a new parish.

These efforts were realized on April 17, 1914 when newly appointed pastor, Rev. Alexander Konus celebrated Mass

as the first official act of the newly established St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, located on Biddle Avenue. Later that year,

through joint purchase and donation of land by Mr. Antoine Labadie, the church edifice was physically moved to -its current location. However, since the parish was growing rapidly, Fr. Konus realized a new church was necessary. Thus, in 1915 groundbreaking began for the new church to be located on the comer of Antoine and McKinley Streets. On November 21, 1915, the cornerstone was blessed by His Excellency Bishop Edward Kelly, and the church was officially dedicated on August 20, 1917. The church building was described as a low-lying structure with its main floor in the basement level. The new church was constructed at a cost of $16, 146.00.

 

The first church was utilized as a combination church and school building. The education of the children was pioneered

by Mr. Frank Szymanski who served as teacher until 1921, when the duties of the parish would then be in the hands

of The Sisters of Si. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio. In 1921, a convent was built to house the sisters and in 1924 a new school

was built. The structure continues to be used today, educating children from preschool to eighth grade.

In 1936, Fr. Szumowski oversaw construction of the gymnasium, which would serve the parish athletic events.

When the need arose once again for a new and larger church, to be built on the site of the old church, the gymnasium served as the parish gathering place. The 1957 fundraising efforts begun by Fr. Sysol were realized by the new pastor, Fr. Edward Sobczak, appointed in 1958.

 

After the solemn ground breaking ceremony on May 10, 1959 official construction of the new church began January

11, 1960. The solemn dedication slated for March of 1961 was abruptly advanced due to a fire in the gymnasium church

building on February 15, 1961. The new church building was officially dedicated by Archbishop John F. Deardon on

February 28, 196l. The new SemiMGothic structure was built to accommodate 600 people at a cost of $325,000.

In 1965, St. Stan's joined forces with other local parishes in establishing another local Catholic High School to further

the education of our young parishioners. The establishment of Gabriel Richard High School was realized in 1965.

As the years passed, the inevitability for change began occurring in 1977 when Fr. Sobczak retired and the parish

sought the change of Diocesan priests staffing the parish to that of a Religious Community of priests, The Society of Christ to serve the needs of both the Polish and English speaking parishioners. During the years the Society of Christ served the parish, the parish approved a church renovation, specifically the sanctuary, under the direction of Fr. Jozef Furman. The result of this renovation is the sanctuary you see today.

 

Another remarkable change for the .church interior occurred under the direction of Fr. Mitchell Szarek. Over the

period of time from 1991 through 1993, St. Stan's installed beautiful stained glass windows throughout the church, through the generosity of various parishioners. The windows installed in the main body of the church were obtained from a closing parish and carefully transferred, refurbished and reinstalled in St. Stan's , by the same man, Mr. Leo Weeg, who painstakingly installed them in the original church. Following the installation of the windows in the main church, windows in the sacristy were commissioned by members of the parish and an appeal to parishioners for donations to commission stained glass windows for the choir loft. The result is what is shown on the lead-in page of this directory: the center window being that of the risen Lord with St. Cecilia and St. Stanislaus on either side panel. These stained glass windows are a beautiful enhancement to our church.

 

Throughout the years, as a result of strong parochial education in the parish and parish families, St. Stanislaus

Kostka is proud to have nurtured vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. The parish has seven priestly vocations and fifteen vocations to the religious life.

 

As many events have taken place over the course of the long history of our parish, the parish still centers it activities

around the church liturgical year as well as richly maintaining its Polish ancestry through custom and tradition.

For eighty years of existence as a parish community, St. Stanislaus Kostka has a rich history, one founded in faith in

the Catholic Church. As the years continue, the old traditions are continued and new traditions are founded.

 

Today St. Stan's continues to grow in faith in Jesus Christ and looks forward to serving God and the Wyandotte

community for years to come.

 

 

Our Story