History of St. Martha Church

In April, l954 Cardinal Mooney purchased nine acres of wooded land from Ford Motor Company to be the future St. Martha church and school. Fr. Peter Borkowicz was appointed founding pastor with over 700 families from the neighboring parishes of St. Sebastian, St. Mary Magdalene, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph.

Summer masses that first year were celebrated in Snow school then, in the fall, in the auditorium of the Edison Institute at Greenfield Village. With a loan from the Archdiocese, “sweat equity”, and a successful capital campaign, the founding families cleared the land and raised $135,000 to begin construction. December 19, 1954, saw groundbreaking ceremonies leading to laying of the cornerstone on March 13, 1955.

July, 1955 saw 175 parishioners put the final touches on the new church in preparation for the celebration of the first Mass and first communion for sixty young parishioners. In September of the same year school doors opened to 160 pupils and three Holy Family of Nazareth sisters and one lay teacher.

Over the years St. Martha has seen the growth of its parish organizations and activities, many of which continue to this day. While the school closed in 1974, the religious education of parish families continues and welcomes new families each year. Along with the contribution of hundreds of parish families over the years, St. Martha has been blessed with the priestly service of many dedicated pastors. We are grateful for their pastoral dedication to St. Martha and its contribution to the Dearborn Community

Pastors of St. St. Martha Church

June, 1954-June, 1966 Fr. Peter Borkowicz

June, 1966-June, 1971 Fr. William Rademacher

June, 1971-Sept. 1974 Fr. Francis Zdrodowski

Sept. 1974-March, 1981 Fr. Norbert Kendzierski

March, 1981-July, 1985 Fr. Robert V. Monticello

July, 1985-June, 1991 Msgr. Edward C. Burkhardt

July, 1991-June, 2000 Fr. John. F. Child

July, 2000-June, 2006 Fr. Donald Walker

July, 2006-June 2013 Fr. Terrence Kerner


History of St. Joseph Church

The St. Joseph community began on December 13, 1942, as a mission of Sacred Heart parish, Dearborn. Because of gas rationing during the war, residents of “Foundation” rented a store from the Ford Foundation at the corner of Greenfield and Rotunda.

Over time, Msgr. Sharpe procured ten (10) acres from the Foundation as a site for the present church, which became a reality in July of 1953. The first mass was offered on Sunday, July 19, 1953, by Fr. Brennan, parish administrator and professor at Sacred Heart Seminary. The church was officially dedicated by Edward Cardinal Mooney on September 9,1953, at a total cost of $130,500. Hopes for building a grade school and possibly a girl’s high school were never realized. Instead, efforts began in December, 1958, to build a rectory and parish office and were completed in April the following year. The current hall began construction before Christmas 1960 and was dedicated in 1961.

In June, 1963, after completion of his teaching assignment at the Seminary, Fr. Gerard Brennan, the long serving Administrator of St. Joseph, became its first pastor by appointment of Archbishop John Dearden. Fr. Brennan served faithfully until his retirement in 1990. Fr. Adolph Redwick was installed by Bishop Schoenherr as his successor on July 14, 1990. Fr. Redwick served the St. Joseph Community until his untimely death in March 2006. Fr. Terrence Kerner currently serves as the third pastor of St. Joseph having been appointed by Cardinal Maida in July, 2006.

Pastors of St. Joseph Church

December,1942- June, 1952 Msgr. Sharpe, Administrator

July,1952- May, 1963 Fr. Gerard S. Brennan, administrator

June,1963- June 1990 Fr. Brennan, official appointment as Pastor

July,1990- March, 2006 Fr. Adolph Redwick

July,2006- June 30, 2013 Fr. Terrence D. Kerner

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