Move to St. Gemma’s Parish, Detroit-1976



St. Gemma 1

 For more than 50 years the Sisters served the people of the Archdiocese of Detroit in spiritual ministry.  In 1975 having come to a decision that the demands of three large retreat houses, one in New York City, one in Cincinnati and one in Detroit were more than their personnel could meet, the Sisters took the steps to sell the building on Quincy Avenue near the University of Detroit campus.


For the Community the buildings which they owned served not only as a place of ministry but also as their own homes.  It was a double sorrow to leave a place where so much personal living and years of ministry had taken place. 


Not wanting to leave the Detroit area completely, the Sisters looked for a smaller place to relocate.  The convent of St. Gemma parish in Detroit became available and after negotiations with the pastor the Sisters leased the Convent for the next twelve years.


St. Gemma 2Many of the Sisters took part in the activities of the parish, visiting the sick and elderly, participating in parish committees and as Eucharistic/liturgical ministers.  They continued their directed retreats and spiritual direction ministry along with offering periodic workshops and days of prayer.  The altar bread ministry was moved to St. Gemma’s and became another source of ministry for the Sisters. Also, some of the Sisters served in other parishes or engaged in professional ministries outside of St. Gemma’s.  They continued to maintain relationships with many of the individuals and groups who supported them while they were in the large retreat house.  The Auxiliaries of Mary Reparatrix were one of these groups.


As the Sisters aged and became fewer it was decided in 1988 not to renew the lease with St. Gemma’s parish but to move to a smaller house in Plymouth, Michigan which would better serve their needs. One chapter concluded and another chapter began in the lives of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix.


Wherever the Sisters moved they always carried with them the call to manifest God’s tender love for all creation. As stated in the documents from the 24th General Chapter of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix:

The Sisters live in an “attitude of hope from the very heart of their fragility and in the reality of diminishment.”


Ann Kasparek