Detroit Latin Mass Church Kicks Off Renovations

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by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  May 24, 2018   

St. Joseph Oratory begins with complete restoration of church tower and steeple

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DETROIT ( - A historic Detroit Catholic Church is having its first major renovation since 1892.

Canon Michael Stein, pastor of historic St. Joseph Oratory, announced on Monday, "The grandeur of the moment must not be lost on us," adding, "this is the first major construction project on the building of the church since 1892."

In just seven months, over $650,000 has been raised to begin the first major project on the church to completely restore the wood, copper and stone on the 200-foot tower and steeple.

Detroit Cornice and Slate, a local company in business since 1888 with extensive restoration experience and knowledge, will be conducting the work which is expected to last throughout the summer.

Stein noted the parish is a "very active piece of the Detroit Renaissance," and the restored structure will help to bring more people into the area, adding, "living the life of the Church means a greater ministry in culture and the arts, a greater outreach to the underprivileged."

"Our 200-foot spire is a reflection of our souls ascending to God through the sacred liturgy and sacraments that take place within the same holy edifice," he said.

He said the church "calls us … calls Detroit to a higher vocation," and said their "steeple reflects man's true spiritual calling: to be raised by God and united to Him in Heaven."

Built in 1873, St. Joseph Church was a parish home for Detroit's German immigrants and, since it has been entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King, is now a place where hundreds of families attend the Traditional Latin Mass.

The Historic Renewal campaign is seeking to raise $2.5 million over three years to address serious structural and grounds issues in the historic downtown parish.

The first million dollars raised is funding the most important needs of the church, parking area and rectory.

People can go to Historic Renewal's website for more information and can give donations through GoFundMe.

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