St. Joseph Oratory | Historic Renewal
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What's the Plan?

We are planning to raise $2.5 million over the next three years for needed capital improvements. Our first priority will be to restore the steeple. The cost for the steeple restoration alone will most likely exceed $600,000. Concurrent with the steeple repairs, other immediate repairs to the Church’s stonework are needed. Major projects by year depending on available funding are as follows:

Year 1: $1,000,000

  1. Steeple restoration

  2. Begin Church stonework
  3. Parking lot lighting
  4. Rectory basement waterproofing
  5. Replace Caretaker’s House roof

Year 2: $750,000

  1. Replace entire East parking lot

  2. Install security gate and new fencing
  3. Continue with Church stonework
  4. Replace entire Church electrical system

Year 3: $750,000

  1. Replace entire Rectory roof

  2. Complete Church stonework

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What Happens After Year 3?

Most of the interior walls of the Church are in need of complete restoration due largely to water damage and other related weather issues over the years. The greatest damage to date has taken place in the two upper Sacristies. However, before any extensive interior restoration can take place the entire Church building envelope will need to be completely secured.

After the Steeple and Church stonework is done and all the electrical systems replaced, the entire Church roof will need to be replaced. It is hopeful that the extensive repair work completed on the church roof, in March of 2017, will last until the roof can be replaced. Additionally, the Church’s boiler and heating system is expected to last at least three more years.

The current plan is to completely replace the existing heating system which will include central air conditioning and humidity control. With a secure Church building and a controlled interior environment, the interior restoration can be started.

Other Longer-Term Projects:

The restoration of the Church’s interior may take place over several years and be completed in phases. Other projects that the Parish may likely need to undertake include the following:

  1. Expand the Social Hall
  2. Renovate the Caretaker’s House
  3. Replace the furnace in the Rectory
  4. Expand main parking lot and resurface
Water Damage
Interior of St. Joseph's Oratory

What is St. Joseph Oratory?

St. Joseph Oratory is a landmark center of Catholic faith, culture, and community in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market district. St. Joseph Church is a magnificent Victorian Gothic edifice completed in 1873 and noted as of national architectural significance. Since October 2016, the Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest have served and led the local faithful. The Institute has brought to St. Joseph daily Traditional Latin Masses, regular devotions, liturgical instruction, and an active parish life. As a result, the parish community at St. Joseph Oratory continues to grow enriching both younger and older individuals and families from all backgrounds and neighborhoods.

In July 2013, the Archdiocese of Detroit merged St. Joseph with two nearby parishes. Then in October 2016, St. Joseph became its own parish under the spiritual and pastoral care of the Institute of Christ the King.

Msgr. Giles Wach

the Institute of Christ the King

Founded in 1990 within the Roman Catholic Church, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a society of priests, sisters, and oblate brothers whose aim is to bring the truth in charity of Christ the King to every sphere of human life. Currently serving in eleven countries around the world and in thirteen dioceses across the United States, the Institute is devoted to the sanctification of souls through the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite with Gregorian chant and through the spirituality of its holy patrons: St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Benedict, as well as St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

At the invitation of Archbishop Allen Vigneron, the Institute arrived in 2016 to re-vivify the newly-unmerged parish, and to minister to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit through a full sacramental life formed and nurtured by the Traditional Latin Mass.  Sacred music, generous service of the poor, and cultural enlivenment have all flowered and continue to grow in the beautiful St. Joseph’s Church in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market, an active and rapidly
re-developing urban hub.