TIMELINE OF HOLY CROSS HUNGARIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PARISH
8423 South Street – Detroit, Michigan
1905 – Holy Cross Hungarian Parish was established on May 8, 1905. Its founding pastor, Fr. Hubert Klenner (born in Kolozvar, Transylvania) built the first church, school and rectory.
1906 – The cornerstone for the first Church was laid on the Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross on May 3rd.
1907 – The first students were enrolled in the school.
1921 – Fr. Erno Rickert became his successor and was the pastor for 9 months. He built additions to the school.
1921 – Fr. Lajos Kovacs took over as pastor and is credited for building the present Church. Henry Kohner, a Hungarian of German descent designed the Neo-Gothic Church.
1924 – The cornerstone was laid on November 26, 1924 for the new Church. The main altar, side altars, pulpit, baptismal font and many statues were fashioned by the Pontifical Institute of Arts in Chicago.
1925 – Bishop Gallagher consecrated the new Church on September 20, 1925.
1927 – Fr. Kovacs passed away suddenly on July 22 and Msgr. Dezso Nagy was assigned to the parish. He established a Soup Kitchen for the hungry during the Great Depression.
1931 – The Pipe Organ was installed. The Hitteler Holtcamp Aperling Co., Cleveland, Ohio, made the Organ.
1932 – The Daughter’s of Divine Charity, a Hungarian Order of Nuns took charge of Holy Cross School. The St. Elizabeth Orphanage and the St. Elizabeth Home for the aged was established.
1936 – The stained glass windows were installed. The Schroeder Glass Company of Detroit is responsible for the five windows of the sanctuary, which represent the five great Hungarian saints: Stephen, Emery, Ladislaus, Elizabeth and Margaret. The windows of the nave and transepts, depicting thirty-two saints are the work of the Von Gerichten Studios of Columbus, Ohio, giving to the Church its most artificial value.
1941 – Msgr. Nagy passed away on April 14, 1941. Cardinal Mooney, Archbishop of Detroit appointed the then Associate Pastor, Andrew Jacobs to take over the pastoral duties of the parish.
1948 – The interior of the Church was painted by Paul Daubner, an artist of Hungarian descent.
1950‘s – A new rectory was built in 1951. The bronze “Pieta” statue was erected in the front yard of the rectory as a tribute to the many soldiers who served their country during WW II.
1960’s – Due to seen or unforeseen circumstances, Detroit began its sad decline. As the situation gradually worsened, Delray was forcefully and sadly transformed. Urban sprawl took its toll on the “old neighborhood”.
1970‘s – Due to declining enrollment, the school was closed. Fr. Jacobs entered into eternal rest in 1974. Cardinal Dearden appointed fr. Dominic Csorba, OFM to take over the parish. During his time at Holy Cross he purchased twelve lots around the Church and built a park and established paved parking lots. For the 75th anniversary, the church was renovated and repainted.
1980‘s – A Hungarian school for adults and children was organized. A new altar was placed in the Sanctuary and consecrated on February 14th by Bishop Schoenherr. Fr. Csorba resigned as pastor and Fr. Vendel Pocsai, OFM was appointed pastor for the next 8 years until he returned to his home in Hungary.
1993 – Fr. Daniel Trapp was assigned to the parish for a short time.
1994 – The parish was appointed two Hungarian Franciscan Friars, fr. Barnabas G. Kiss, OFM, pastor and fr. Angelus Ligeti, OFM, Praeses/Associate Pastor. They took on the task of much needed work in the Church and attached buildings.
1995 – Holy Cross celebrated the Ninetieth Anniversary of the founding of Holy Cross Parish and the Seventieth Anniversary of the present Church with a gala event.
Late 1990‘s to 2004 – Renovations continued. The paintings in the Church and the statues were repaired/renovated. The church doors were replaced along with the outside steps leading to the church. Three of the old school rooms were remodeled and turned into a Parish Office, Chapel and Meeting Room. New bathrooms were installed. The stained glass windows were cleaned/repaired. A new heating system and air-conditioning was installed in the Church.
2005 – Today, Holy Cross remains as the only Hungarian Roman Catholic Church in the State of Michigan. May 8th is the official date of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the parish. For this milestone in the history of the parish the Sanctuary flooring in the Church was reinforced and new carpet was laid. Sanctuary furniture, fashioned after the original main altar, has been put into place. In process is restoration of the original pews and new carpeting for the remainder of the Church.
2006 – Holy Cross continues to celebrate their 100th anniversary.