February 1, 2013

Detroit parish preserves past for the future

Good Shepherd Parish in Detroit, where parishioners were among the first to launch a Changing Lives Together campaign.

A Detroit parish located amid city landmarks, nearly 100 parishioner households at Good Shepherd are funding several repairs and upgrades to church facilities through Changing Lives Together. Located a mile east of Belle Isle, north of the Manoogian Mansion, and just west of the Roostertail Restaurant, Good Shepherd parishioners are in the front row of Detroit’s past and present. Founded in 1906 as Annunciation Parish, Good Shepherd was formed in 2006 from the merging of Annunciation with the former Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Anthony parishes.

The much-admired interior of Good Shepherd incorporates graceful arches and several stained glass windows from the original 1911 construction.

Good Shepherd’s church building was constructed in 1911, and in recent years was showing its age. In 2010, the lamps framing Good Shepherd’s distinctive church building had gone dark. The church steps, as well as the porch and railings, were in dangerous disrepair. The rectory porch and garage roof were also worn out. “Changing Lives Together came along at a good time for us,” said Father Michael Nkachukwu, assigned in 2006 as Pastor at Good Shepherd. “We had been postponing about $100,000 in repairs, because we weren’t sure about the best way to get parishioners involved and raise the funds,” he continued. “Then Changing Lives Together came along and the timing couldn’t have been better.”

Good Shepherd’s Changing Lives Together leadership team with Archbishop Vigneron at a campaign kickoff event.

Parishioner pledges to the Good Shepherd campaign totaling nearly $64,000 resulted in all the overdue repairs being completed in 2012. “Changing Lives Together helped bring us closer together as a community of faith,” said Father Nkachukwu. “Having safe and structurally sound parish facilities was a major concern for us a few years ago, and now we’re able to focus more of our time and effort on fulfilling our parish mission to be a faith-filled, dynamic Christian community committed to proclaiming the Word of God through Eucharistic worship, living as Christ’s models of love and peace, and serving the needs of our brothers and sisters,” he concluded.

Updated: February 2013

Changing Lives Together is a series of parish campaigns to generate resources to fulfill parish-developed plans and priorities. Learn more about the initiative in your parish.