Michigan's Newest Arab American Church to be Dedicated: St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church
Named after a saint known for his miracles around the world, the St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Community is proud to announce the opening of a stunning 29,000-square-foot church in Macomb County, Michigan located in the greater Detroit area.
A Dedication Mass and Celebration will be held Sunday, Sept. 16 at the new church, located at 43888 Hayes Road in Clinton Township. The church is home to Michigan’s largest Maronite Catholic community in Michigan.
“We are delighted to offer a beautiful new home for our parishioners,” said Chorbishop Alfred Badawi, pastor of St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church. “It is humbling to build an honor for St. Sharbel, who has performed dozens of miracles right here in metro Detroit, and who inspires devotion among Christians of all denominations.”
For more than three decades, St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church has served a diverse population of parishioners in southeastern Michigan, including a large population who immigrated to Detroit from the Middle East. The church was formerly located in Warren but moved to Clinton Township as part of a major expansion and construction project. The new sanctuary features architectural influences from churches in Lebanon.
A Brief History of the Maronite Community in Michigan
The Maronite community in Detroit began with the arrival of Lebanese Maronite immigrants in the late 19th century. Many more quickly followed, making Detroit one of the largest Maronite communities in the United States.
St. Maron lived on the mountains of Cyrrhus, near Antioch, in the 4th century AD, in the open air. God bestowed on him the gift of healing, which made his fame spread in the entire region. St. Maron died around the year 410 AD. His disciples continued his mission. Abraham the hermit, the apostle of Lebanon, converted the Phoenician inhabitants of the mountains of Lebanon. Jebbet Bsharre and Mnaytra adopted Christianity. The Phoenician pagans became Maronite Christians
The community was well-represented by various villages from Lebanon. Between 1880 and 1890, people from towns such as Serhel, Hasroun, Tourza, Arbit-Ozhia, Knwair, Zahle, Kubayyat, Acor, and the Kesrawan and Metn districts migrated to the Detroit area.
As the Maronite community grew larger, the need for their own place of worship became more apparent. Saints Peter and Paul Church in downtown Detroit served the Maronite faithful for worship and for education.
When the community was large enough to warrant the building of their own church, a call was placed to the Maronite Patriarchate in Lebanon, which resulted in the establishment of the first Maronite Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan, St. Maron Catholic Church, located at 1555 East Congress Street, was formally dedicated on April 30, 1916.
The community continued to migrate as the area enjoyed economic prosperity. Following a pattern of suburban development taking place throughout the country after World War II, families moved north along Jefferson Avenue into the eastern flourishing suburbs of Detroit to areas such as Grosse Pointe and Saint Clair Shores.
As people migrated from the older neighborhoods, the center of the Maronite community also shifted. St. Maron Church was relocated in 1966 from East Congress to the corner of Kercheval and St. Jean.
The community continued to grow and expand, the necessity of a new church became a reality. The St. Sharbel complex was acquired in April of 1987 in the city of Warren. The establishment of two churches within one parish became known as St. Maron/St. Sharbel. In 1993, a new St. Sharbel Church and Banquet Hall were constructed on the property located at 31601 Schoenherr Road, north of 13 Mile Road in Warren, Michigan. Additionally, the clergy of St. Sharbel Church served the community of St. Rafka Mission in Livonia from 2003 until 2014 when it was established as St. Rafka Maronite Church.
Over the years, the community of St. Sharbel Church continued to grow when families began moving to the suburbs north of Warren. A decision was made to move to a more central location in the city of Clinton Township.
The move to the new Clinton Township location continues the mission of the Maronite community, allowing the community to grow in faith and spirit, and preserve the treasures of their traditional values and culture for decades to come.
For more information about Events this Weekend:
For more information about St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church, visit: stsharbelmichigan.com.
Compiled by Arab America