Transfiguration Parish was founded in 1925. The current church building dates from 1949 and is located at 5830 Simon K. Street, Detroit, MI 48212. Simon K. Street is named after Father Simon Kilar, the parish founder and first pastor, who saw the need for a parish to serve the needs of a relatively large Polish community forming in Detroit and Hamtramck areas near East McNichols/Mound Rd/Caniff and Conant, in spite of the fact that the Archdiocese had set up St. Augustine as the area’s local parish. Though facing resistance from the Archdiocese, he forged ahead. Fr. Kilar knew that St Augustine was not familiar with the Polish language nor its customs and so, without the expressed permission of the Archbishop, the parish began.
Transfiguration had a grade school, staffed by Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, which graduated its first class of 16 eighth graders in 1929 (see photo below).
Five short years later (during the height of the Depression), the Class of 1934 had more than tripled to 50.
The Polish heritage and tradition of the parish and school remained strong for many years. The elementary school, sadly, closed in 2005. In 2006 the parish merged with Our Lady Help of Christians. In 2012, that combined parish merged with St. Ladislaus and St. Louis the King to form Blessed John Paul II parish. Masses in Polish are still celebrated at the merged parishes, and the parish website features a "Polish Page"(currently under construction).
Transfiguration parish also features the beautiful Our Lady of Czestochowa Grotto, pictured below, and located across the street from the church. I hope to both visit and see the inside of the Grotto some day soon.
Thanks to Transfiguration alum Tom Pozniak for the material featured in the long delayed post.