Detroit Gesu Catholic Church and School
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In a reconfigured farmhouse just a mile outside of the city limits of Detroit, a Jesuit priest and 25 men, women, and children gathered to celebrate Sunday mass on March 19, 1922. The Reverend John McNichols named the Catholic mission church Gesu, the Italian word for “Jesus.” Gesu became one of Detroit’s landmark parishes. Its history illustrates the Motor City’s boom, bust, resilience, and resurgence. It was the home parish of four Detroit mayors, powerful members of Congress, auto industry titans, sports legends, artists, authors, and actors. At its peak in the mid-1960s, Gesu School enrolled 1,600 students. Because of Detroit’s decline and its racial and economic struggles, Gesu is one of only four Catholic elementary schools that remain in the city. But as Detroit rebounds, Gesu School is growing again.
Arcadia Publishing
: 9781467127356
: Arcadia Publishing
: 10/09/2017
: Michigan
: Images of America
: 199 Black And White
: 128
: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
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About the author
Author Patricia Montemurri is an award-winning Detroit journalist whose in-laws were the church’s architects and stained-glass designers. Gesu’s history unfolds here through vintage photographs from the parish archives, the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the University of Detroit Mercy, the Walter P. Reuther Library, the Michigan Catholic, and the albums of Gesu parishioners and graduates.
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