St. Agnes Church
History of St. Agnes will be added soon.
St. Mary Church
The next major renovation was in 1980 while Fr. Haremski was pastor. A new entrance to the church was constructed to make access easier for the physically challenged. The wall of the church was extended making room for 14 more pews. A new tabernacle and hand-crafted statues of the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph, imported from Italy, wer purchased. During Fr. Haremski’s tenure the Diamond Jubilee of he parish was celebrated.
St. Michael Church
In the 1870’s settlers and homesteaders began to arrive in the land of swamps, brush and forests to work in the woods and mills of Bay County. The early settlers for the most part were French, German and Irish and many of these were Catholic. Churches and schools were 20 miles away.
Their spiritual needs were met by the missionaries who infrequently visited the Pinconning area. The most known of these was a Jesuit, Father F.X. Shulak, whose records show four baptisms in Pinconning in 1886 and ten in 1887. He prepared the children for First Holy Communion, blessed marriages, and blessed the graves of the deceased.
In 1887 Pinconning became a mission of St. Mary, Bay City. Visiting priests offered Masses in private homes until McCormick Hall was acquired for use. In 1888 a group of men erected a small church in an old fashioned “building bee”. Pews were not installed until 1892. The first Sunday Mass was celebrated by Father J.G. Sanson in April 1889. St. Michael Parish was established with Father Charles Dequoy as pastor in 1891. He began building a rectory. Several missions that had been attached to St. Mary, Bay City, were placed under the care of the pastor of St. Michael until they became parishes.
Father Dequoy’s successor, Father Edward Lefebvre, purchased land for a cemetery.
At the direction of Father Edward Racette in 1914, plans were drawn for a school which opened in 1917. Five eighth grade students graduated in 1922.
Father Thomas Albin’s pastorate was brief and he was succeeded by Father Flajole in 1921. A convent was built for the Sisters of Mercy and a display of the Crucifixion group was erected in the cemetery. Father Flajole is buried on the west side of the altar in St. Michael’s Cemetery.
Father George Gougeon was appointed pastor in 1929. Father began an addition to the school and composed the music for a school song, “All Hail, St. Michael School”.
Father Albert Baumann assumed the duties of the parish in 1937 and retired in 1967. During his pastorate, the addition of the school was completed, the sanctuary of the church was enlarged, and improvements were made to the buildings. In June 1957 the parishioners began a drive to acquire money to build a new church. Ground was broken in 1960, and on Holy Saturday, April 1, 1961, the first services were held in the new church building. St. Michael Parish celebrated its diamond jubilee and Father Baumann’s golden jubilee as a priest in 1966. The K through eighth grade school continued after the high school closed in l966. Father Baumann retired Pastor Emeritus and resided in Pinconning until his death in 1969. It was his wish to be buried in St. Michael Cemetery at the foot of the shrine.
With the ending of Vatican II, there was a liturgical renewal throughout the Catholic Church. A great effort was made to involve the laity in the working decisions of the parish. In 1969 Father Henry Eickholt, Father Baumann’s successor, began the implementation of the guidelines for renewal in St. Michael Parish. Father began renovating the worship space, working with the laity, establishing parish committees, and involving the parishioners in religious celebrations.
Father George Garmyn was assigned pastor in l973. The school was old and the fire marshal condemned parts of the school for student use. Student classrooms were moved into the gym. Father finalized the plans for the construction of an addition of five classrooms, bathrooms, principal’s office, a teacher’s room and storage space. Stained glass windows, depicting Biblical scenes, replaced the windows in the church. The footing and the foundation for the school were in place when Father was transferred.
A new pastor, Father Richard Jozwiak, arrived in the summer of 1979. The addition of the school was finished and following the recommendations of the Education and Finance Commissions of the Parish Council, a new kitchen and the remodeling of the first floor classrooms were completed, the old convent was demolished and parking areas were resurfaced.
Msgr. Francis Murray, Father Ramon Matuszewski, and Father Steve Killey continued God’s work in the parish. Remodeling projects and improvements were made to the rectory and school as needed. Liturgies and prayer became more meaningful in the development of spiritual life.
The cultural changes in society, the lack of priests, and the lack of church attendance, became a turning point in the Diocese. There were changes in church personnel and the merging of churches became a reality. New parishes were being established throughout the diocese.
In 2006 Father Joseph Miller, pastor of St. Mary Nine Mile, was appointed Sacramental Minister of St. Michael and Deacon Ralph Brisson was appointed Pastoral Administrator. With their commissions and councils they were to care for the spiritual and material needs of their parish families. After Deacon Ralph’s death in 2010, Gary Patelski was named Parish Administrator. He was ordained a Deacon in 2011 and continued to work with Father Miller. They were given a mission to join the parishioners of St. Mary and the parishioners of St. Michael to establish a new parish on the site of St. Michael Church. St. Michael Parish will close with a final liturgy Saturday, June 27, 2015.
We thank God for the many blessings He has given us, our former pastors and religious, and the many parishioners, who have sacrificed so much and worked so diligently to establish St. Michael Parish.
We pray that “With the Divine Guidance of the Holy Trinity, we continue Christ’s ministry of welcoming, teaching, caring, and supporting each other through prayer and action”. (Mission statement of Holy Trinity Parish)