Browsing News Entries

Reverend Ronald Babich

Reverend Ronald Babich granted a personal leave of absence, effective October 11, 2019.  Fr. Babich currently serves as the Pastor of St. Daniel Parish, Clarkston.

Reverend John Maksym

Reverend John Maksym appointed Temporary Administrator of St. Daniel Parish, Clarkston, effective October 11, 2019, in addition to his continuing responsibilities as Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Lake Orion.

Catholics in Detroit, Windsor to unite in prayer for international Rosary Coast to Coast event

Metro Detroit Catholics plan to gather at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13 along the Riverwalk at the Detroit Renaissance Center to pray the Rosary while their Canadian neighbors pray within eyesight at the Bert Weeks Memorial Gardens in Windsor. 

The twin prayer gatherings are part of the second annual Rosary Coast to Coast, a series of Rosary prayer rallies happening simultaneously across North America and in 50 countries worldwide. 

“Prayer changes things for the positive and we’re excited to help our nation through the power of the Rosary,” said Leonard St. Pierre, president of the World Apostolate of Fatima’s Detroit Archdiocesan Division, which co-sponsors Detroit’s event. “Uniting with people from across America and around the world to pray at exactly the same time will be an amazing and impactful experience.” 

The Detroit and Windsor coordinators have exchanged large national flags, which will be visible from either side of the river during the rally. Both country’s participants plan to wave the flags in a sign of unity before they begin praying the Rosary. The event will kick-off with the U.S. side singing “God Bless America” as their Canadian friends sing “O Canada.” 

In addition to the Detroit and Windsor locations, Rosary Rallies will take place along U.S. coasts and borders, in front of state capitols and other public buildings, in parks, on beaches, along busy streets as well as inside and outside churches and shrines. In 2018, the first annual Rosary Coast to Coast resulted in more than 1,200 simultaneous rallies held across the U.S., in addition to rallies in more than 50 participating countries worldwide.  

Catholic groups from across America are registered to participate, with a large-scale event scheduled in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.  

“Praying the Rosary is a tremendous way for families to pray together and for people to gather in prayer as a public witness to our faith,” said Father Stephen Pullis, director of the Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit. “The Rosary Rally brings together many faithful Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit, reminding our Church and community that Jesus is at the center of our lives and his Mother, Mary, is a powerful intercessor, guide and friend to all the faithful.”

John Azzopardi, Windsor’s event captain, echoed Father Pullis’ prayer.

“We’re blessed to live on a peaceful border between our two countries and to share such a strong friendship between our nations,” Azzopardi said. “We’re happy to be joining our American neighbors in Detroit, and it will be exciting to physically see them as we pray for continued peace on our border and for peace throughout the world.”

The second annual Rosary Rally falls on the feast of Our Lady of the Fatima, who in 1917 appeared to three shepherd children in Portugal and encouraged them to pray the Rosary daily for world peace.  

Rosaries and miniature American flags will be offered free to the first 300 people to arrive at the Detroit event. Those who cannot attend a rally are encouraged to unite in spirit with participants worldwide, by praying the Rosary at 4 p.m. wherever they can. For more information on how to participate in Rosary Coast to Coast, please call (313) 320-7887.

Reverend James Kean

Reverend James Kean appointed Temporary Administrator of St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford, with the assistance of Deacon Robert Gajda, appointed Deacon Coordinator.  Deacon Gajda, under the auspices of Father Kean, will manage the day-to-day operations of the parish, being attentive to the needs of the parish, and report those to Father Kean.  These assignments are effective September 30, 2019, in addition to Father Kean’s continuing responsibilities as Pastor of St. Damien of Molokai Parish, Pontiac; and Deacon Gajda’s continuing responsibilities as Deacon of St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford.

Monsignor John Zenz

Reverend Monsignor John Zenz appointed Temporary Administrator of St. Lucy (Croatian-American) Parish, Troy, effective October 3, 2019, in addition to his continuing responsibilities as Pastor of Holy Name Parish, Birmingham. 

Reverend John Bustamante

Reverend John Bustamante appointed Administrator of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish, Detroit, effective September 15, 2019.  Fr. Bustamante is currently serving as the Parochial Vicar of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grotto) Parish, Detroit.

Reverend Scott Thibodeau

Reverend Scott Thibodeau appointed Administrator of St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford, effective September 9, 2019, in addition to his continuing responsibilities as Pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, Waterford. 

Regarding Court Appearance by Former Priest, Neal Kalina

The individual whose preliminary exam began today, August 27, in 41-A District Court in Shelby Township, Neil Kalina, was ordained in 1981 for the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), a religious order that operates separately from the Archdiocese of Detroit. Close to 30 religious orders currently serve in the Detroit archdiocese – the PIMEs, the Jesuits, the Capuchins, etc. – ministering in schools, institutions and organizations, and, in some cases, are assigned to parish ministry.  Kalina was assisting at at parishes – not as a pastor – in Shelby Township and Sterling Heights in the mid-1980s. He left the Detroit archdiocese in 1986; he abandoned active ministry in 1993.

An allegation of child abuse against him was brought to the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2017. Per our agreement with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, we turned over the complaint to the Shelby Township Police Department. In addition, we turned over the complaint to the PIME religious order. The allegation was included in the material collected by the Attorney General’s Office in the fall of 2018.

Catholic priests are broadly grouped into two categories: diocesan priests and religious order priests. A diocesan priest is someone ordained for a specific arch/diocese to exercise ministry within the geographic boundaries of that arch/diocese. A religious order priest, in contrast, is ordained for his religious order to minister wherever the religious order operates.

Neil Kalina is not – and was not – an archdiocesan priest.  He would accurately be described as a former religious order priest who briefly served in the Detroit archdiocese. 

Regarding abuse claims against a Detroit priest and others who served in southeast Michigan

The Archdiocese of Detroit Communications Department shares the following statement in response to abuse claims made against a Detroit priest, other clergy members and a lay person who served in southeast Michigan:

Fr. Lawrence Tannous Fares

The Archdiocese of Detroit was made aware Tuesday, July 30 of an allegation of child sexual abuse against Fr. Lawrence Tannous Fares, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit. We have no prior record of any allegation having been made against him.

We are always deeply grieved to learn about any allegations of clergy abuse, especially involving minors or vulnerable adults, and we do everything in our power to provide assistance to victims. Had this allegation been shared with the archdiocese in 2010, it would have been examined by our Review Board, and if deemed a substantive allegation (that is, having a semblance of truth), Fr. Fares’ ministry would have been restricted at that time. At this point, we will adhere to our practice of looking to local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Office as to how to proceed.

Individuals with knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy or other Church representatives are urged to contact local law enforcement and/or the Attorney General’s Office at (844) 324-3374 or [email protected]. Individuals may also share the report with the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Victim Assistance Coordinator at (866) 343-8055 or [email protected].

Fr. William Cahill, S.J.

Fr. William B. Cahill was a religious order priest with the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) religious order who served as chaplain of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mount Clemens from 1972 to 1977. He died in 1986. His name was added to the Archdiocese of Detroit’s list of clergy credibly accused of abuse on January 16, 2019, following the Society’s release of names of their clergy credibly accused of abuse. As with all religious order priests, Fr. Cahill’s case was received, investigated and deemed a substantive allegation (that is, having a semblance of truth), by his religious order.

Fr. Dennis Mitchell, C.S.P.

Fr. John Dennis Mitchell was ordained in 1938 for the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle (Paulist Fathers) and served from 1942-43 in campus ministry at Wayne State University in Detroit. He died in 1996. According to the Paulist Fathers, the abuse was alleged to have occurred in 1968 in Los Angeles and was reported in 1994. As with all religious order priests, Fr. Mitchell’s case was received, investigated and deemed a substantive allegation (that is, having a semblance of truth), by his religious order. The Archdiocese of Detroit has no record of any local allegations against him.

The Archdiocese of Detroit is working with the various religious orders in the area to ensure our list of clergy accused of abuse is as complete and accurate as possible. As this process continues, we will move to add Fr. Dennis Mitchell’s name to our list. Our list is continually updated as we receive new information from law enforcement, religious orders and members of the public.

Patricia Kulwicki

Ms. Patricia Kulwicki was a lay employee of Mercy High School in Farmington Hills for 19 years. She was not a Sister of Mercy, but left another religious order in 1973. She died in 1994. Allegations brought to the Archdiocese of Detroit involving religious order schools are turned over to the religious order for review.

Opus Bono Sacerdotii

The Archdiocese of Detroit reaffirms what previously was shared with the Associated Press: Opus Bono Sacerdotii has never been affiliated with or supported by the Archdiocese of Detroit. What follows is the full statement we provided the reporter in June:

Archbishop Vigneron and his predecessor, Cardinal Adam Maida, understood the initiative to be an independent group of Catholic faithful laypersons committed to working with priests accused of clerical sexual abuse, principally by offering financial assistance. From its inception, the Archdiocese of Detroit considered OBS a de facto association; it did not manage, review, or financially support its operations. And anyone affiliated with OBS would do so of their own choosing and on their own time.

Like they might do for any other autonomous Catholic organizations based in southeast Michigan, Church leadership and other members of the clergy did, on occasion, acknowledge the group’s work and appear in photos with members of OBS.

In 2018, Michigan’s Attorney General cited OBS for “… a lack of board governance, no controls over expenses, unauthorized and excessive compensation, diversion of assets, breach of fiduciary duties, and deceptive solicitations.” As reported at that time, the Archdiocese had no oversight or official connection to OBS or its board. Members on that board were never appointed or approved by the Archdiocese.


Regarding Reverend Robert Spangenberg, C.S.Sp

A religious order priest with the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Fr. Robert Spangenberg served briefly at Old St. Mary’s Parish in Greektown from July 1975 until December of 1975, when he was reassigned to a parish in Pittsburgh diocese. No allegations against him were brought to the Archdiocese of Detroit. Born in 1947, he died in 2006. He is listed on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on page 769.