Parishioners attend final mass at St. Ladislaus Church in Hamtramck as church closes for good

Parishioners attend final mass at St. Ladislaus Church in Hamtramck as church closes for good
Posted at 11:42 AM, Jun 30, 2024

HAMTRAMCK, Mich (WXYZ) — On Saturday, parishioners of St. Ladislaus Parish in Hamtramck walked the aisles of the church for the last time.

After over a century of serving the community, the church is closing its doors for good.

“Our family has been going to this parish since the 1930’s,” said Betty Kolinksi, a former parishioner of St. Ladislaus.

Kolinski is one of the many people who packed into the church for final mass on Saturday.

“Born and raised in Hamtramck lived here until I got married until 1969 at St. Ladislaus Church,” Kolinksi said.

Betty Kolinski

St. Ladislaus was founded in 1920 and has been the church home for generations of catholic Hamtramck residents.

The parish had two schools attached to up until the 1980’s.

“This is where my family and my dad’s family went to church, went to the school from 1st grade to 12th grade,” said Grace Velchansky, a former parishioner.

Grace Velchansky

Current and former parishioners of St. Lads came to the final mass to say their last goodbyes to the church.

“When Hamtramck was a very large community, the churches were always full… and I think my best memories always been midnight mass, there was something about coming here at Christmas or for the shepherds mass which was after midnight mass,” Velchansky said.

Monsignor Charles Kosanke with the Archdiocese of Detroit say St. Ladislaus is closing due to financial reasons.

“The community which is down to a very small number of people could not financially support all the capital expenditures that an old building gives you,” Monsignor Kosanke said.

Monsignor Charles Kosanke

As far as what’s next for the church building itself, that has not been decided.

Even with the church doors closed for good, the community built around it will last forever.

“I think just celebrate it more than mourn and just remember the good times and the people who built this community.” Grace Velchansky said.

“The church will continue because the church is the people, it may not be the building, but the church will continue,” said Joseph Sobota, lifelong parishioner.

“It’s bittersweet as things always are, but we have to move forward,” Kolinski said.