Local church will be site of first Detroit Mass Mob in Macomb County

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 6, 2016

 St. Veronica Catholic Church is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its founding this year.

St. Veronica Catholic Church is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its founding this year.

Photo by Bria Brown


EASTPOINTE — The Detroit Mass Mob will go beyond Eight Mile Road for its next event at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at St. Veronica Catholic Church, 21440 Universal Ave., to show solidarity in its Catholic faith through respect for the historic churches in the Detroit Archdiocese.

There are two Mass Mobs that operate in Detroit: the original Detroit Mass Mob and the Traveling Mass Mob, which is a smaller group, according to Jeff Kirkman, chairman of the St. Veronica committee for the Detroit Mass Mob.

“The Detroit Mass Mob is concentrated over the past three years on just getting churches in Detroit, all the historic churches. This will be the first time they’ve gone outside the city of Detroit, and the first time in Macomb County is for St. Veronica,” Kirkman said.

According to the Detroit Mass Mob website, the Detroit Mass Mob was inspired by the Buffalo Mass Mob movement. On a chosen Sunday, Mass Mob participants attend Mass at a specific parish. Prior Detroit Mass Mobs have drawn as many as 2,000 people, filling the churches and providing them with support, according to the website.

Kirkman petitioned the Detroit Mass Mob to have its next mob at St. Veronica.

“About two years ago, I petitioned to the Mass Mob people to come to St. Veronica, because it was our 90th anniversary we would be celebrating and the fact that we’re one of the last traditional churches that was built in the archdiocese,” said Kirkman.

St. Veronica is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its founding and the 60th anniversary of the construction and dedication of the current church.

The Rev. Stanley L. Pachla, pastor of St. Veronica, is excited for the alumni to come back and describes St. Veronica as “the stronghold of Detroit.”

“Sometimes they refer to us as the stronghold of the southern part of Macomb County. The neighborhood has changed quite a bit, but many people who even live in the suburbs come back to get married, to have their babies baptized or for a funeral,” Pachla said. 

While the parish isn’t as big as it used to be, Pachla doesn’t focus on the numbers.

“We don’t look at numbers; we look at the people that we serve,” said Pachla.  

During the special Mass, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron will officiate the service, which will last about an hour and a half, according to Kirkman.

After Mass, lunch will be available in the gymnasium. There will also be tours of the church, school and convent, which is the new home to Gianna House — an organization designed to help young pregnant women who have no place to go.

For more information on the Detroit Mass Mob, visit www.detroitmassmob.com.