Senior living facility planned for former St. Gertrude site

Bill Dodds | Special to The Michigan Catholic

The former church of St. Gertrude in St. Clair Shores is seen in this file photo. According to a plan by developers under contract to purchase the site, a 139-unit senior residential complex could be built on the property by 2016.

The former church of St. Gertrude in St. Clair Shores is seen in this file photo. According to a plan by developers under contract to purchase the site, a 139-unit senior residential complex could be built on the property by 2016.

St. Clair Shores — The site of the former St. Gertrude Church in St. Clair Shores could soon see the construction of a new, 139-unit senior residential complex.

Developers with Birmingham-based Cypress Partners revealed plans for the complex May 28 to a group of neighborhood residents near the former parish, on Jefferson Avenue north of Martin Road. Plans include both independent and assisted senior housing and could include both one- and two-bedroom units.

Cypress Partners is under contract to purchase the former church property from the Archdiocese of Detroit, but a sale has not yet been completed as the city of St. Clair Shores continues to contemplate approval of the senior housing project.

If the project is approved and the sale goes through, construction on the new senior housing could begin by the end of 2015, developers said, with the former church building slated for demolition in the spring of 2016.

St. Gertrude Church was merged with another St. Clair Shores church, St. Germaine, in 2009 to create Our Lady of Hope Parish. The St. Gertrude site was closed in 2014 and put up for sale, along with its former school building.

Guest Commentary

The Ten Commandments for ruining your family reunion

After working hard all year, you were really looking forward to your little summer vacation. Then the extended family had the nerve to suggest some big get-together!

Fortunately, it’s easy to sabotage their event if you follow the Ten Commandments for Ruining Your Family Reunion.

  1. Thou shall not help do any of the planning but shall complain about the choices the planners made. Yes, this is really two rules, but they’re interdependent. The beauty of it is that there will always be something to complain about because no reunion runs perfectly.
  2. Thou shall brag about thy job, thy income, thy children, thy car, thy home or anything else that is better than thy relatives’. There’s no quicker way to let it be known that, “yes, we’re all one big family, but some members are better than others, and by ‘better’ we mean, of course, better off.”

III. Thou shall dust off and polish old grudges and retell old stories that embarrass others: Remember when that one really annoying relative had the nerve to …? Well, maybe you can’t recall all of the details, but you know you were offended and you’re certain it was that person’s fault.

Then, too, just to keep the event entertaining, it’s always good to gather an audience and begin to tell the tale of “The Day My Little Sister Got Car Sick on the Way to Church” or “Bob’s Prom Date.”

  1. Thou shall not first speak to the person with whom thou has had an ongoing tiff until that person — contritely — speaks to you. Jesus said love your neighbor. Thank God you don’t live next door to you-know-who!
  2. Thou shall treat all in-laws like outlaws. Sometimes they’re just so annoying. They’re too loud or too quiet or too … something. (If you are attending your spouse’s family reunion, take comfort noticing how all of them are just too loud or too quiet or too … something.)
  3. Thou shall drink too much. And we don’t mean lemonade. Are you concerned that you won’t be able to take advantage of this commandment because you’re a teetotaler? Not a problem. Reverse it. Give “the look” and “the self-righteous huff” (you know what we mean) to anyone who dares even to crack open a beer or sip a glass of wine.

VII. Thou shall visit with the relatives thou like and ignore all the others. This is just common sense!

VIII. Thou shall loudly refuse to take part in any games or other such nonsense. Or, thou shall lead all games and other such delightful experiences and shall demand everyone participate, liberally throwing around the term “party pooper” for anyone who does not join in.

  1. Thou shall accentuate the negative. Point out those wrinkles, that paunch, that hair loss. Never hesitate to offer the observation, “The years have not been kind to you.”
  2. Thou shall return home secure in the knowledge that thou just knew thou were going to have an awful time and thou were absolutely right!

Bill Dodds, whose wife, Monica, passed away in 2013, continues to write columns for Catholic News Service. This column was written jointly by the two of them in 2010.