Detroit — Work has begun to restore the steeple of historic St. Josaphat Church in Detroit, and is expected to be completed by early June.
According to a parish bulletin item March 30, the Archdiocese of Detroit has contracted with Detroit Cornice & Slate Co. to restore the exterior and interior of the steeple, which was badly damaged in a windstorm last November.
The work is also expected to stabilize the structure and bring it up to current building codes. St. Josaphat has been closed to the public since the steeple was damaged and can still be seen leaning visibly from Interstate 75. Once work has been finished, Mother of Divine Mercy Parish — which also includes St. Joseph and Sweetest Heart of Mary churches — plans to hold a rededication Mass to reopen St. Josaphat.
The work of restoring the steeple will be funded by a combination of insurance and funds raised through the parish’s “Save Our Steeples” campaign, which had raised more than $32,000 as of early March. The parish also began its Changing Lives Together stewardship campaign in April, which is expected to help defray the costs of the steeple repair.
Loyola gym steeple falls
A strong gust of wind the morning of April 14 toppled the steeple atop Loyola High School in northwest Detroit, the former St. Francis de Sales Church, falling to the sidewalk along Monte Vista street about 9 a.m..
The former church, which is now used as the gymnasium for the Catholic all-boys school, merged with Precious Blood Parish in 2005 to form St. Peter Claver Parish.
The steeple’s falling did not injure anyone nor cause much damage to the school’s roof, and school officials were expecting a visit from insurance representatives April 15. The copper that had covered the steeple was removed to keep potential scrappers away, school officials told the Detroit Free Press.