Detroit: a city whose name connotes crime, a failing infrastructure, and desperation. But an area is never really hopeless! This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Detroit uprising, where, during five days of violence, thousands of buildings burned and more than 40 people lost their lives in racial and economic uprisings all over the city. While trying to move past the causes and effects of these social difficulties, the people of Detroit have been turning to God more dynamically. Archbishop Vigneron wrote a beautiful pastoral letter this summer entitled “Unleash the Gospel” and in November, the Archdiocese will celebrate the beatification of Venerable Solanus Casey OFM. Both events offer beacons of hope and renewal for the city and church!
The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity was founded to serve in areas of deepest apostolic need, and so six years ago, SOLT moved into Detroit to serve at the parish of Most Holy Redeemer (MHR), a huge bilingual community in the Mexicantown district. This mission truly is a gem among many parish gems in Detroit. Established in 1880 by the Redemptorist community, MHR is a huge vibrant parish with five Sunday Masses, an elementary school, an adoration chapel, and many thriving parish ministries. Our SOLT seminarians are also in residence at the parish, studying at the nearby Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
This month of August, three of our SOLT Sisters joined the team in Detroit, completing the three-fold aspect of priests, sisters, and laity serving here. Sr. Kateri Marie, Sr. Mary Solanus Casey, and newly-professed, Sr. Mary Agnus Dei will be serving in the parish and school in different capacities. A former doctor’s office across the street from the church was bought and is currently being renovated as the “new” convent. The excitement is high for this new transition in Detroit! Sr. Kateri Marie said, “The parish seems to be very excited about SOLT Sisters coming to the mission! Even though there are other communities of sisters in the area, the parishioners are excited for us to be present.” She also stated, “I think the witness of fidelity to Jesus and His Church is going to be very important for SOLT Sisters to manifest at this mission.” Detroit definitely needs, and will be receiving, some people who believe in them and are willing to stay among them in the struggle. “For hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Rom. 8:24).”
We thank the Most Holy Trinity for sending our sisters to serve in this area of the peripheries, and we ask our Mother Mary to accompany our sisters in mission. To learn more about this SOLT mission, please visit the website http://holyredeemer.comcastbiz.net/Staff.html
If you would consider helping the SOLT Sisters repair and furnish this new convent, your contribution would be greatly appreciated! Contributions may be made by clicking ‘donate’ at http://www.solt.net/ with the memo: “New Convent in Detroit.” Most importantly, please keep us in your prayers as we serve God’s people. Ave Maria!