Three Centuries of Changing Lives Together

Detroit’s Catholic history dates from July 24, 1701 when Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac led a group of French traders, accompanied by two priests, to the banks of the Detroit River. Two days later, construction began on a chapel dedicated to Ste. Anne. Located in the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge, Ste. Anne’s is the parish church of the second oldest continuously operating parish in the United States.

Since that rich historical beginning, dedicated Catholic priests, religious, and lay leaders have spread hope, education, and spiritual instruction throughout Southeast Michigan. Godly men such as Father Gabriel Richard and Father Frederic Baraga were early leaders in this community of Catholics, which later became the Archdiocese of Detroit. Today, the faithful of the Archdiocese can reflect with gratitude upon three centuries of faithful Christian mission that continues to spread the Gospel message to area Catholics and their neighbors.

The six counties that comprise the Archdiocese of Detroit are home to an estimated 1.4 million Catholics, representing 32% of the total population. The 274 parishes of the Archdiocese reflect southeast Michigan’s diverse cultural and social tapestry, with European, African-American, African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures all situated within the Archdiocese. Responding to the call for the New Evangelization, the people of the Archdiocese also serve their communities through two missions, 103 Catholic schools, and five institutions of higher education including colleges, universities and seminaries.

The Church in southeast Michigan is working as one family of faith dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel and celebrating the Sacraments in each of its unique communities. As in its humble beginning, the Archdiocese of today is witnessing many pressing needs as well as tremendous opportunities through its parishes, schools, and institutions. And, as our predecessors did, we will confront these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities in front of us as we move swiftly into a highly complex world of clashing cultures, competing values, advancing technology, and the new economic reality of our times.

For more than 300 years, the Church of Detroit has ministered to its community and transformed lives in the name of Jesus Christ. All of us, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit, are now invited to join in continuing this holy mission by building this vision of our future, a vision requiring the generous support of all the people of the Church in southeast Michigan.


This is an opportunity for parishioners across the Archdiocese to join as never before, setting their hearts aflame for Jesus Christ, by Changing Lives Together, forever. Get Involved…