St. Linus Catholic Church
6466 Evangeline - Dearborn Heights, Michigan 48127
Phone: 313-274-4500 - Fax: 313-562-2821
St. Linus Parish: Founded 1956
On June 22, 1956, Fr. Maurice Veryser visited the site of what was to be St. Linus Parish. He saw a large, open field overgrown with weeds and wildflowers. Below the weeds and flowers flowed water, for the water table was high and when spring rains came, the area could have been descibed as a swamp! Hass and Gulley roads were graded, but unpaved. Homes existed on those two streets, but there was little else. You could see from Telegraph to Beech Daly and from Warren to Ford Rd. There certainly was room for growth.
Two days later, on June 24, the first Mass was offered at Haston Jr. High School (Now Fairlane Christian Academy). 120 parishioners attended the 7 AM Mass and 420 attended the 8:15 AM Mass. The collection totaled $369.00. Fr. Veryser announced that a building committee would be formed to investigate what could be done with the swampy field to make it into a home for the parish. The committee consisted of Fr. Veryser, Charles Greenlaw, the Dearborn Township building inspector, Stanley Patecki, Peter Kennedy, Robert Pastor, and Richard Dunn.
The next years saw rapid growth. The first rectory was built on Hass and work began on designing and planning the church. On October 27, 1957, the church was dedicated. The church was a multi-purpose building with an activities room behind the sanctuary with folding doors that could be opened for an overflow crowd. With the coming of the spring of 1958, ground was broken for the first wing of the new school and was ready for the first classes in September of that year. St. Linus had grown along with the buildings and the neighborhood and Fr. Harold Depp was assigned as the first Associate Pastor to help Fr. Veryser that same year. In 1960, the first part of the Convent was opened for the Bernadine Sisters who were to staff the school.
1961 was a year of change for our parish. Fr. Veryser moved to another assignment in Warren and Fr. Paul Hennes was appointed as Pastor. Fr. Depp was replaced by Fr. George Rozman. In 1962, because of continued rapid growth, another section of the shool was built. Fr. Leo Sabourin came as the Associate replacing Fr. Rozman. In 1963, an addition was built onto the convent. In 1964, the current rectory was built and the final two-story addition to the school was added in 1965.
The parish continued to grow rapidly and the church began to change. The Second Vatican Council began and with it, the involvement on the part of the lay people increased. Little Parish Councils began under Fr. Sabourin's Leadership in October of 1967. There were five week home group study sessions that later became the Speak-Up Sessions for the Archdiocese Synod. The reports of all this study were given at the First Annual Dinner Meeting held January 31, 1968 at Roma Hall. in 1969, Fr. Hennes retired and Fr. Edmund Schwager was appointed as pastor. Fr. Brian Bjorklund arrived as the new Associate replacing Fr. Sabourin. The first St. Linus Parish Council was elected that same year.
The growth of the parish that was symbolized by the building of the parish facilities, and the surrounding subdivisions, was now shown as the parish grew in service to each other. Religious Education, Christian Service, and Worship all took on new importance as the parish joined the whole Church in living out the vision of the Second Vatican Council. Fr. James Kenneally came to St. Linus as Pastor in 1973. Our parish became a training ground for many newly ordained priests who first learned about loving service from us. Frs. Jerome Machlik, Michael Daly, Mike Houle, John Cusmano, James Trent, Albert Hillebrand, Mike Verschaeve, Tony Sulkowski, Andrew McLaughlin, Philip Schaefer, and John Hedges were some of the priests who served here over the years.
In 1977, Fr. Kenneally formed a committee of 13 parishioners who met at home of Tony and Gay Vitale to plan the renovation of St. Linus Church. Their work, and that of many others over the years, under the leadership of Fr. Kenneally and later Fr. Joseph Romano, who came in 1979, reached completion on October 26, 1980 with the rededication of our church and the solemn blessing of the Eucharistic Chapel and Bell Tower by Bishop Schoenherr.
Under Fr. Romano’s leadership, St. Linus grew as the Body of Christ. Many people entered into different forms of ministry as the sick and imprisoned are visited, and nursing homes served. The TV ministry grew and our parish’s outreach soared under this new technology. Fr. Timothy Murray joined Fr. Romano as Co-pastor. In 1991, Fr. Lawrence Delonnay succeeded Fr. Romano as pastor. During Fr. Delonnay’s tenure, the Parish Offices were relocated to the south wing of the school building.
In January 1995, Rev. Randall Phillips became the seventh pastor of St. Linus Parish, continuing to guide the parish community to an active living of the faith in our ever-changing world and church. By our baptism, we enter the arena of the world commissioned to bring gospel values to fruition despite the realities of the world in which we live. Motivated by this commitment, Father Randy reinstituted the practice of regular Bible Study sessions and parish missions. He engaged formational speakers simulating and challenging the parish to grow in their understanding of the faith. His commitment to the Church’s mission of providing Christian Service and Social Justice to all was reflected in his support and encouragement in the outward expression of the gospel through the many roles of our lay ministers. Morning Prayer, seasonal Vespers, Wake and Funeral ministries offered parishioners the opportunity to share their gifts. Father Randy also supported outreach to our neighbors at Freedom House, St. Leo Soup Kitchen, Franklin AIDS Hospice and Manna House. It was his practice to dedicate all of October to the broad spectrum of life issues allowing us to fully embrace the Gospel of Life.
Fr. Bob LaCroix became the eighth pastor of St. Linus Parish in July 2003. Under Fr. Bob's leadership, both the Parish and the School saw an increase in registered families Fr. Bob also is responsible for the drastic remodel of the Church, as it appears today.
In July 2011, Fr. Paul Ballien became the ninth pastor of St. Linus Parish. For over 50 years, St. Linus has proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ. With over 1300 registered families, we have now entered the third millennium of Christianity and continue to bear witness to the Reign of God.