On July 1, 2012, Our Lady of Fatima and St. James became cluster parishes. On January 1, 2014, our two churches officially merged and became Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish. We celebrated the first Mass of our new parish at the Our Lady of Fatima Church on January 1, 2014 - The Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God. We are one family that has a rich history. We are grateful to have Fr. Paul’s leadership and clear vision as we journey forward together into the future.
Our Lady of Fatima – Oak Park
Our Past, Present and Future
Cardinal Mooney appointed Rev. Parzych – “Fr. George” – to be the founding Pastor on June 15, 1950. Fr. George and many dedicated people worked with great efforts to build our faith community.
With about 200 families Masses were originally held at the little wooden Clinton School House. Fr. George worked out of his Army trunk where he kept the articles used for Sunday liturgies. The first parish building, built in 1950, was the rectory (the former convent).
In 1954 the Sisters of St. Joseph from Garfield Heights, Ohio arrived to teach our youth in the grade school. These loyal group of Sisters along with lay teachers instructed our youth for almost 20 years.
Tragedy struck on February 17, 1956 when a fire gutted the two story church building. Under Fr. Parzych’s leadership plans for the present church were initiated. On Christmas Eve 1957 we celebrated the first Mass in the present church. The current rectory was constructed in 1962.
Msgr. John Bradley loyally served us from 1968 until his untimely death in 1971. After Msgr. Bradley’s tragic passing we were blessed with the arrival of Fr. Tom Flynn and Fr. Paul Chateau who became our Co-Pastors in 1972. Since 1977 Fr. Paul has been Pastor of our loving family and faith community. Throughout our history and presently we have had many faith filled priests, sisters and lay leaders who have guided us on our journey to Christ. They include Fr. William Smith, Fr. William Davidson, Fr. Richard Bonin, Fr. Joseph Ferens, Fr. Michael Donovan and Sr. Jane Zolteck.
St. James – Ferndale
St. James Parish was established in October 1919 by Bishop Michael James Gallagher.
The parish’s first pastor was Rev. James E. O’Brien, who served as pastor until 1957. The first Mass was celebrated in a classroom at Central School on Woodward Avenue. Other buildings were used as temporary churches, including:A district school building on Withington, west of Woodward. The building later became an annex of Lincoln High School Arthur Porter’s chicken coop. The chicken coop from Mr. Porter’s farm was purchased and moved to the present parish site. With an attached garage serving as a Sanctuary, the temporary church could accommodate 150 worshippers. The former chicken coop was used until December 1920.A new chapel was built in 1920; the first Mass was celebrated on December 25, 1920. The chapel later became the basement foundation of the future St. James Elementary School. St. James Elementary School was established in the fall of 1923.Construction began on the first school building in 1923. The building was completed in 1925. For the first several weeks, fifth and six graders used the chicken coop while forth graders held class in the back of the chapel. With the completion of the school building in 1925, a new grade was added each year and the high school was established in 1928. Both schools were cared for by the Sisters of St. Joseph. The cornerstone of the new church was laid in August 1949. The first Mass in the current St. James Church was celebrated on April 09, 1950. The Holy Name Society and Usher’s Club donated $5,000 for the communion rail. The League of Catholic Women donated $4,000 for the main altar. St. James Elementary School closed in June 1969. The following September, St. James Junior High School opened and operated in conjunction with St. James High School under the care of the Sisters of St. Joseph. St. James Junior High School and St. James High School closed in June 1971