St. Andrew Roman Catholic Parish

St. Andrew Roman Catholic Parish

7060 McGraw in southwest Detroit

St. Andrews was one of nine parishes established by the Roman Catholic diocese of Detroit to serve the Polish population of south and west Detroit.  In the nineteenth century, the first two parishes were established: St. Casmir (1882) and St. Francis of Assisi (1888).  Four more parishes were created prior to St. Andrew to serve Roman Catholic Poles on this side of the city: St. Hedwig (1903); Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1911); Our Lady Queen of Angels (1915) and St. Stephen (1917).  There were only two Polish Catholic parishes founded west of Woodward after St. Andrew:  Saints Peter and Paul (1923) and St. Cunegunda (1926).  Five of those nine parishes:  St. Francis of Assisi, St. Hedwig, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady Queen of Angels and St. Cunegunda were active churches in 2009.

St. Andrews was established in 1920. Prior to the completion in the 1950s of the "A-frame" church on McGraw Avenue, services were held in the "basement church" for about 30 years.  It was located, and its main entrance was, at the south end of the brick school building.  One had to walk down a short flight of ?outdoor? stairs to enter the main entrance since the floor level of that "temporary" church was perhaps 4 to 6 feet [below] ground. (Information contributed by Ron Burek of Northville, MI)

By the 1950s, funds were available to erect the very modern and appealing church that you see pictured above.  The parish survived for 88 years, but in 2008 it was merged with nearby Our Lady Queen of Angels parish.  There are no signs on the former St. Andrews Church indicating that it is for sale or is being used for any purpose.

I believe that this parish was named for St. Andrew, the Apostle, who was also a brother of St. Peter.  For reasons that I do not understand, St. Andrew is one of the patron saints of both Russia and Scotland.  Perhaps, the Poles who settled in this neighborhood revered him, but I do not have any information about how this name was selected for a Polish parish.  This parish should not be confused with the active St. Andrew Roman Catholic Parish in the Detroit suburb of Rochester founded in 1912 or with St. Andrew Kim parish in Northville.  St. Andrew Kim was established in Northville to serve Korean Roman Catholics in the Detroit area and bears the name of the first Korean to be ordained as a priest of the Catholic Church.

Architect: Unknown to me
Date of Construction of the church pictures above: 1956
Use in 2009: Abandoned church awaiting sale or renovations
Website for information about Polish catholic parishes in or near Detroit:
City of Detroit Designated Historic District:  Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: Not listed
National Register of Historic Places: Not listed
Picture: Ren Farley; November 12, 2009
Description updated: January, 2018

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