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About St. Dominic Parish

A Brief History

Humble Beginnings

In July of 1950, Most Reverend Stephen S. Woznicki, D.D., Bishop of Saginaw, directed that a new parish, called Saint Stephen the Martyr, be established in the Malzahn-Mackinaw area of Saginaw. Father Charles A. Mahoney was appointed Pastor. Until the first parish building was completed in 1951, Mass was celebrated at the Court Theater. That first building provided eight classrooms on the second floor with the first floor being used as a church-parish hall facility. St. Stephen elementary school opened in September of 1952 and was staffed by seven Adrian Dominican Sisters. A House on Malzahn was purchased and remodeled to serve as a temporary convent. Building additions in 1954 and 1958 added 10 classrooms to serve the growing St. Stephen Parish. A permanent convent was constructed in 1959 to better serve the increasing staff of teaching nuns. The temporary convent was converted to a rectory. A large building addition, providing for a gymnasium and parish hall was constructed in 1962. The parish hall space was to be used as a temporary worship space until a church could be built. The former worship space was remodeled into classrooms establishing St. Stephen High School. In 1965, an elementary school building was constructed, which is now used as the Child Care Center. The convent was remodeled into a rectory and parish offices in 1987. The school underwent an extensive remodeling in 1989-91 which including new windows, new lighting and extensive insulation.

Growing Through Change

Over the years, St. Stephen parishioners gathered in worship in a movie theater, in a school building, in a "temporary" church and finally, in July of 1996, with the dedication of the new church, some sense of completion to a journey was found. Fr. Tom Sutton, then pastor, wrote "Each of the years and each of the members who have joined in the journey of St. Stephen Parish has contributed as 'living stones' to the parish that exists today. In truth, the contributions of those who started the parish, those who nurtured its growth and those who keep it alive today are no different. The challenges may have differed and the persons involved in leadership may have varied but a similar quality and spirit in response has prevailed. We do what we do today because of all the good work that has preceded us. St. Paul helps us to keep the proper perspective by reminding us 'that neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is of any special account, only God, who gives the growth.'(1 Cor. 3:7) Parish leadership has been moved by a desire to fulfill the Lord's directive to the prophet Haggai: 'Build the house that I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory.' The house of the Lord has now been built. May glory be given to God through it for generations to come."

 

SS. Peter and Paul:  A Brief History

SS. Peter and Paul began as a parish in the days of the booming timber industry in the Saginaw Valley.  In 1886, Bishop Henry J. Richter appointed Fr. Joseph Banning to begin the task of forming the new parish, and a meeting was held in McPhillips Grocery Store.  SS. Peter and Paul Parish was born.  The construction of the original church began in 1887 and was dedicated on October 21, 1888.  The old church had additions in 1941 and renovations in 1948.  Space was added to the back of the building, lower front doors and large sacristies off the sanctuary.  This is how the building remained until it was demolished in October 1976.

A series of school buildings were added to the property in 1889, 1911, 1914 and a convent was built in 1920.  In 1955 a high school was added to the property and therefore the parish facilities filled an entire city block.

The ground was broken by Bishop Reh for a new church complex located on West Michigan Avenue on September 14, 1975.  The cornerstone was placed on the new building on November 30, 1975.  Construction continued through the dead of winter.  In the spring of 1976 the building began to take shape.  By the time the warm weather arrived, the new rectory was well along.  The parish began to use the new church, even though it was not complete on October 2, 1976.  In August of 1976 the decision to construct a school building on the property at West Michigan Avenue.  The building was completed in the spring of 1977.

In March of 2010, due to the shrinking numbers of students in the Catholic School System of Saginaw, the parish school had to be closed.  The building still exists today, but it is used for a variety of parish activities and outreach in the Saginaw community.

Until and through today, the community of SS. Peter and Paul is vibrant and still holds true to the statement which was written about the parish in 1934, "SS. Peter and Paul Parish has earned for itself a reputation as being of the most progressive nature."  The parishioners of SS. Peter and Paul look forward to joining and growing together as we create, form and become St. Dominic Parish.

 

Looking to the Future

On July 1, 2015, history was made when St. Stephen Church merged with SS. Peter and Paul Church to become St. Dominic Parish. To God be the glory!