St. Gerald celebrates 50 years of Christ, community

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published September 24, 2014

 St. Gerald Catholic Church celebrated 50 years in style during a festival Sept. 21 at the parish, 21300 Farmington Road. Jordan Rogers, of the cover band 50 Amp Fuse, sings during the festivities.

St. Gerald Catholic Church celebrated 50 years in style during a festival Sept. 21 at the parish, 21300 Farmington Road. Jordan Rogers, of the cover band 50 Amp Fuse, sings during the festivities.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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FARMINGTON — It has been 50 years since St. Gerald Catholic Church opened its doors to serve the community with compassion, love and kindness. The parish’s values have been pretty much the same since then.

“What hasn’t changed is the loving, caring attitude that people have for each other here,” worship coordinator Peggy Backus said Sept. 17 at the parish, 21300 Farmington Road. “When people come here, they stay here because they feel comfortable. They like the size of the church, like the fact that we are friendly, and that anyone is welcome to come and go as they please.”

The hallways and rooms of St. Gerald are filled with images of Jesus, Mary and Joseph; fliers about upcoming volunteer events; and colorful arts and crafts reminding people to be kind and loving toward one another. Throughout Sept. 20-21 the parish brought its love outdoors with a festival that included dancing, food, fun, a beer tent and more. The event drew dozens of people near and far from the community. A concert, dinner and a magic show for parishioners were also included.

“It takes us away from our building into the community of Farmington,” Backus said. “Not many people know we are here. There are people that live in Farmington that don’t know we are here.”

With 750 registered families that call the parish home, it was founded in 1964 with the Rev. James O’Hagan. A lot of changes — including building expansions and a merger with the soon-closing Farmington Hills-based Servant Church of St. Alexander  — brought about growth within the parish, as well.

Livonia resident the Rev. Festus Ejimadu has led this parish since 2009 and is known as an inclusive, “good preacher,” Backus said.

“People love how he preaches and what he says,” she said.

Festus said that although the parish officially celebrated its anniversary in May, they plan to live it up until next May, but there’s a deeper meaning for him.

“It is not just a celebration of eating and drinking,” he said. “It is a celebration of the 50 years that we have put within this community. We want people to celebrate each other and continue to be the presence of Christ within the community.”

He added that he hopes that the parish will remain for another 50 years and beyond because five decades is a “testament of our faith.”

“Our carrying out the mission of Christ within the people of Farmington — that is also exemplified by the sacrifice of the people who are members,” he said. “This is a community that is here to stay for a long, long time.”

For more information, go to www.stgeraldparish.org/.

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