Plan calls for transfer of historic Hamtramck church to neighboring parish

St. Ladislaus Church is seen on Caniff Avenue in Hamtramck.

St. Ladislaus Church is seen on Caniff Avenue in Hamtramck.

HAMTRAMCK — A plan to transfer a historic Hamtramck church from one parish to another will have the effect of strengthening both parishes and ensuring the local Catholic community continues to be well-served, according to a letter from Auxiliary Bishop Donald F. Hanchon.

Under the plan, St. Ladislaus Church, which currently operates as a worship site of St. John Paul II Parish in Hamtramck, would become a chapel of the nearby St. Florian Parish instead.

Bishop Hanchon’s letter, which was addressed in July to members of both parishes, said members of a transition committee for St. John Paul II Parish had met in May to decide the future of the parish’s two worship sites — St. Ladislaus Church and Transfiguration/Our Lady Help of Christians Church — which had resulted in a split vote over which site would remain open.

“Shortly after the ‘deadlocked’ vote … I received an unexpected offer from Fr. Miroslaw Frankowski, pastor of St. Florian Parish,” Bishop Hanchon wrote in a letter co-signed by Fr. Frankowski and Fr. Andrew Wesley, pastor of St. John Paul II. “He reminded me that, historically, St. Ladislaus had been broken off from St. Florian (back in the 1920s, I believe) … making it, in some ways, a ‘daughter’ of St. Florian. Having heard rumors of a possible closing of the St. Ladislaus site, he proposed — if all parties agreed — to having St. Florian take over the St. Ladislaus site.”

The transition would be contingent upon whether those who attend Mass at St. Ladislaus could financially sustain it, the bishop wrote, but members of the transition committee and archdiocese were “positively disposed” to the idea.

After special meetings with both parish councils and a series of “town hall meetings” with parishioners in August, a decision was made to move ahead with the plan, which must be approved by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron before it takes effect.

As a result of the transition, St. John Paul II Parish would be left with a single worship site — Transfiguration/Our Lady Help of Christians Church — with reconstituted parish and finance councils. A third site, St. Louis the King Church, was closed in 2014.

As a chapel of St. Florian Parish, St. Ladislaus Chapel could be used for funerals and Masses, but other sacramental activities such as weddings and baptisms would take place at St. Florian Church. Those who attend Mass at St. Ladislaus would be encouraged to register as parishioners at St. Florian Parish.

St. Ladislaus Parish was established in 1920, with the current church building constructed in 1953.