Свята Покрова

Saint Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral


Painting by Lydia Kytasta

A Short History

St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox church was founded in 1948 by six families, and the first service was on the
holy day of Pokrova.  The church services were initially held in a home, but the parish grew and they soon purchased an old synagogue (El Moshe) on 29th Street and Michigan. (left: a photo of the school children taken in front to St. Mary’s circa 1964-5)

The 29th street church was used by the parish for over twenty years.  Many masses were served, classes taught, and Christmas pageants performed. But soon the parish outgrew their church.  In the late 1960s it was decided to build a newer, bigger facility to accommodate the growing parish and Ukrainian school. Money was collected, a site selected, and ground was broken in 1970. The building was completed in and the parish moved in 1972.

The new church was located in Southfield, a suburb of Detroit.  The church itself was more open and airy, and there was a capacious church hall and rooms for a school.  Over the years improvements were made – frescoes, a new ikonostais, a golden panikadylo (chandelier), and even air conditioning! Among the planned changes, only new stained glass windows remain!

Times have changed, and the church continues to evolve.  The new (fourth) wave of immigrants has come, and many have joined the church.  Their children are going to school with second generation grandchildren of the original families. 


With luck, and continued efforts on the part of the congregation, the church will continue to thrive and preserve its Ukrainian character.

Copper-domed Pokrova

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