Can It Be True? Can St. Josaphat’s Steeple Be Saved?

Last month, a storm passed through Metropolitan Detroit—downing power lines, ripping branches off of trees, and causing serious damage to the iconic steeple at Detroit’s historic St. Josaphat Catholic Church.

I wrote about it then, assuming the worst:  that although shingles could be replaced, the spire had sustained such critical damage that the lurching, twisted steeple would be torn down, sounding a death knell for the aging parish.


A campaign has been launched to save and restore the steeples at St. Josaphat and its near-neighbor, Sweetest Heart of Mary.  (I told the story of both of these grand churches, plus some other notable houses of worship, last year when I reviewed Detroit’s Historic Places of Worship.)

According to the SOS (Save Our Steeple) campaign literature, St. Josaphat’s steeple was severely damaged in the recent windstorm on November 17 and requires immediate attention.

The twin steeples of Sweetest Heart of Mary, in my view one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen, have taken a hit, too—not just from the recent storm, but from decades of storms and extreme weather.  I hadn’t noticed, but yep!  I see from the recent photo that they’re listing and twisting, too.

Honestly, I don’t know whether the steeple can be saved—but I’m excited to see that someone’s taken up the challenge.

If you’d like to be part of the solution, you can make a donation on-line at this link.

Donations can also be mailed directly to the parish at:

 Mother of Divine Mercy Parish
4440 Russell St
Detroit, MI 48207


  • Christian LeBlanc

    If the intent is to fix existing, I wonder if the idea is to put some bracing cables inside the steeples and by gently tightening them restore the steeples to correct shape while also giving them some flexible strength.

    • kathyschiffer

      You should know, Christian! Someone who works in the area told me there’s a lot of wood outside–maybe for the reinforcement?

  • Dale

    This link to the donation page worked for me.

    • kathyschiffer

      Dale, you’re my hero. I think that’s twice this week you’ve gone and fixed my faulty leaks! Thank you.

      • Dale

        Kathy, I appreciate the thanks. I can be a pest at times, so am glad that it isn’t always the case. :-/

        I hope the funds are raised. Losing these architectural landmarks would be a shame.

  • Leonard St. Pierre

    Can someone tell me the campaign is going. Any word on what the insurance is paying.
    Thanks and God Blessing this Advent