The early History reports that Fr. (Camillus) Maes was appointed pastor of St. John Church in 1872. On September 12th, 1872, Fr. Maes purchased a 100 X 150 feet log "at the corner of Fifth and Monroe Sts. for church purposes" paying $900. The church foundation was begun in April of 1873 and Bishop Borgess blessed and placed the cornerstone on June 24, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, patron of the new church...
Contents of the cornerstone laid on that day included -in addition to coins and currency- newspapers, medals, Lourdes holy water, a portrait of Pope Pius IX and a document noting that Ulysses S. Grant was president...
"The new church was enclosed and put under roof before winter set in, by Messre. Phelan and Bodell." The new church's plastering began in April of 1874 and the interior woodwork started in May. Stained-glass windows were put in place in August and September, including a circular shape above the altar which pictured St. John the Baptist with Jesus on the banks of the River Jordan. Individuals donated most of these windows. Meantime, the parish purchased a house on the southwest corner of Fifth St. and Washington St. to be "a pastoral residence."
The church, 52 X 113 feet, was ready for dedication in September of 1874...In April of the next year, Fr. Maes purchased a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary from an art institute in Munich, Germany, and had this shipped to St. John Church...
Bit by bit, the new church was getting its finishing touches. In September, 1875 the pulpit was installed, and in April 1876, a parishioner build and donated the communion railings. Stations of the Cross were donated in February, 1878, and another parishioner's gift, a statue of the Sacred Heart, was installed and blessed.
Fr. Maes, during this time, was called to Detroit to be temporary secretary for the Bishop. While he was away, Fr. Frank A. O'Brien, a Monroe native, was appointed pastor pro tempore. In the summer of 1878, remodeling of the pastoral residence began, and that autumn Pastor Maes was able to move in.
In April, 1879, parishioners added a bell to their church steeple. (This comes with a story that will have to wait for a later date or go to the original book written by parishioner, Dr. Annetta Kelley.)
A History of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church,
Dr. Annetta M. F. Kelley, pg 8-10
© 2018 St. John the Baptist Catholic Church,
Monroe, Michigan 48161.
All rights reserved.
Rev. David Burgard, Pastor
511 S. Monroe Street, Monroe MI 48161
Interim Office Hours
Monday | 9 am-4 pm (closed for lunch from Noon to 1 pm
Tuesday | 9 am-3 pm
Thursday | 9 am-3 pm
The office is closed on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday