Our Church History
The exact date of the first Mass celebrated in the South Lyon area is impossible to determine although it was sometime before 1880. The Catholic Community at this time was a mission of Saint Patrick Parish in Northfield Township, Washtenaw County, and the first priest to celebrate Mass was Father Van Watershoot. Having no building, services were held alternately at the homes of the James Wood family on Pontiac Trail, between Eight Mile and Nine Mile Roads, and the James McMahon family.
The barn at the McFadden farm, now owned and occupied by the Ray Foley family (2225 East Ten Mile Road) was the first building to be used by the Catholic Community; however, it was never called Saint Joseph Church. The building was used as the Presbyterian church in 1859 and its site was just west of the intersection of Ten Mile and Martindale Roads. The Presbyterians used it for their services until their present building was erected in 1883. The building was put up for auction and Jim Duncan, a prominent local man, bought the building and its one acre of land for either five or six hundred dollars; no one is sure of the exact figure. Mr. Duncan, a non-Catholic, presented the deed to two of the Wood sisters who later became Mrs. James (Mary) Kennedy and Mrs. George (Margaret) Comiskey. The Wood sisters were daughters of Mr. Duncan’s staunch friend and neighbor James Wood. He bought the building for the purpose of presenting it to the local Catholics.
Immediately upon receiving the gift, Margaret and Mary Wood turned the deed over to the Catholic Community. At the time the building was received from the Wood sisters, oversight of the community was transferred to Saint Patrick Parish, Brighton, and was served by Father Garry, followed by Father Wittliff and Father Hennessey. The building was used as the place of worship for the Catholic Community and served that purpose until the mission church was built on the corner of North Lafayette Street (Pontiac Trail) and Able in 1910.
Saint Joseph Mission Church (or as people often describe it, the little brick church near the railroad tracks) was sold in 1970. According to the documents taken from the cornerstone at that time, Auxiliary Bishop Edward D. Kelly of the Diocese of Detroit dedicated the new church in 1910 and Saint Joseph was taken as the patron. Father Hennessey officiated at the first Mass celebrated at Saint Joseph Catholic Church. At the time of the first Mass, parishioners had donated all the labor and the church was paid for in full. The cornerstone was laid on May 19, 1910.
According to the documents removed from the cornerstone, fewer than twenty families belonged to the mission church at that time. They were the families of James Wood, Sr., James Bridson, Michael Comiskey, James McMahon, James Warden, Mrs. Glenan, Mrs. Mary Marshall, James Laughton, Tom Gilligan, Ed Fitzgerald, Wm. Kennedy, John Kennedy, Fred Monahan, Joseph Zella, Mike Ryan and Joseph Gaffka. Other subscribers listed in the papers from the cornerstone are Mr. James Hurley, Jacob Peas, Michael Murphy, Joseph Pendergast and Frank Foley.
Responsibility for the mission was transferred to Saint Mary Parish, Milford, in approximately 1913 and was served in the following years by Fathers Dowdle, Dalon, Foley, Haney and Mahoney. Father Joseph Rybinski, from Saint Mary’s Seminary, Orchard Lake, also served the mission as an assistant from the time of Father Dominic Foley (about 1938) until the mission became a full-fledged parish in 1965 and Father Edmund Battersby was named its first pastor.
Due to the growth of the parish (approximately 222 families at that time), a new church and rectory were built at 830 South Lafayette Street (Pontiac Trail) and was dedicated on December 20, 1966, by John Cardinal Dearden, Archbishop of Detroit. Following Father Battersby as pastor were Father Leonard Partensky, Father Gerald Nitoski, Monsignor Albert Matyn, Father Howard Vogan and Father Ken Chase.
In July 2010, families registered in the parish numbered about 2750. On July 1, 2010, Father Stan Tokarski became pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, South Lyon.
Saturday at 5:00 PM
Sunday at 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 Noon
Tuesday at 7:00 PM
Wednesday & Friday at 9:00 AM
Holy Day Mass as Published
Sacraments And Pastoral Concerns
Sacrament of Baptism
The sacrament of baptism is ordinarily celebrated on the second and fourth Sundays of the month following the 12:00 Noon Mass. Please call the Parish Office at 248-446-8700, at least two months in advance in order to make arrangements. There is a required Baptismal prep class which is normally offered on the second Monday of each month. Please call the Parish
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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
(RCIA) is the process whereby new members are initiated into the Catholic Church through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and eucharist, and baptized Catholics may complete their initiation. For information, call Cathy Borsh, Pastoral Associate, Ext. 109.
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Sacrament of Marriage
Please call the Parish Office at least 6 months before the proposed marriage dates in order to arrange for the necessary preparation. An appointment is necessary before a wedding date may be scheduled.
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Interpeter for Hearing Impaired at 5:00 PM Mass on the third Saturday of each Month.