I have countless memories at Our Lady of Sorrows from when I was a kid, I honestly remember events at church more clearly than most things in my life. Granny has always been an active member and we spent a lot of time there. The decline in church attendance has had a large impact on the Catholic Church and, due to its declining popular, Detroit churches have been greatly affected. Several years ago the diocese closed Our Lady of Sorrows, merged the parish with Annunciation and renamed it Good Shepherd. Located off Jefferson on the Eastside (just north of Indian Village), I can’t say I get there often but I do try to visit regularly.
Going to church with Granny always brings back fond memories because she continues to be the choir director. For as long as I live nothing will make me feel more love or entertainment than watching Granny in this role. She’s heartfelt and passionate but also not a very good singer – I can say this because I share her singing ‘talents’. If you’ve seen Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig’s Garth and Kat sketches on SNL you will have a pretty good idea about what it’s like to be in the choir [Note: it’s fantastic].
The parish community is small but there are several familiar faces I’ve known all my life. Even if you didn’t know them all your life you would feel like you did because the church is very welcoming. Unlike my suburban church, giving the sign of peace doesn’t take 10 seconds, it takes several minutes and everyone walks around to say hi and give hugs. This is my favorite part of Mass when I’m at Good Shepherd.
One familiar face is Mary and she graciously agreed to let me interview her. Since it almost always happens when I have an interview, I experienced technical difficulties and there is glare. One day (soon) I will update this picture.
Do you live in Detroit?
I live on the Eastside.
What do you like about Detroit, what keeps you here?
What keeps me here? Family and friends. And I just like Detroit. I know it’s coming back. There’s a lot of things to do. People say there’s nothing to do in Detroit but that’s because they’re stuck in a rut and they don’t try to do anything. We have a lot of things to do.
What are your favorite things to do?
I like art, I like plays and I really like to go out to eat. We have some fantastic restaurants here.
How can Detroit improve?
There’s no loyalty among the young people but I don’t think that’s just Detroit, I think that’s the United States as a whole. When we were coming up, we were loyal. Now young people have seen so much tragedy in their lives and they’re immune to killings and robberies. Drugs have ruined everything. We need jobs – good paying jobs – then I know it would get better.
What are you looking forward to in the next five years for Detroit?
I’m looking forward to it continuing to grow and for people to come together as a community and help one another and look out for one another.
It’s the people who make the church but the building is gorgeous. Constructed in 1912, it always leaves me in awe because it has all the fine detail so many new churches lack. If you’re interested in seeing Good Shepherd in person, Mass is Sunday at 10:00 a.m.. On April 19, 2015, a Mass Mob has been scheduled
and there will be an additional service at noon. It will be my first Mass Mob and I’m excited to see what it’s like. I might even try to convince Mr. B to go with me.