St. Michael Parish in Flint Closes After More Than 170 Years
Bishop Earl Boyea presided at the June 3 farewell Mass officially closing St. Michael Parish of Flint. With several priests of the diocese joining him to concelebrate, the congregation followed the bishop out the doors at the conclusion of Mass and he symbolically sealed the doors.
The first and only parish in Genesee County for 25 years, St. Michael was the Mother Church to parishes in Lapeer, Shiawassee, Livingston and Saginaw counties, as Catholics settled in Michigan in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was the only parish in the city of Flint for 67 years.
Catholic Charities of Genesee and Shiawassee Counties will now use the building for community services and programs, expanding the ministries they provide from the Center for Hope, which is adjacent to St. Michael’s.
Consolidation of St. Michael and St. John Vianney parishes became official in 2017 after attendance at St. Michael had declined to about 100 people a week and donations were not covering operating costs.
St. Michael was established in 1843 when the bishop of Detroit assigned a priest at the request of five Irish Catholic families who had been gathering for prayer in the pioneer settlement since 1834. The first church, built in 1844, was too small for the congregation by 1880, when a larger building was erected and served the parish for 81 years. The current building was built in 1966.