All Saints Catholic Church

All Saints Catholic Church was founded in 1896 at the corner of South and Crossley in Delray. Sometime before 1910 the church moved to a new location on Fort Street, building a combined school and church building in 1916. The cornerstone of the present church was laid in 1925.

Over the middle part of the 20th century southwest Detroit became an increasingly Hispanic enclave of the city, and All Saints evolved with it. Services in Spanish were offered, and for many years All Saints was a popular Sunday destination. But the construction of I-75 in the 1960’s cut through the heart of the parish, displacing many residents. The church narrowly avoided closing in the 1980’s due to low enrollment.

In 2012, the Archdiocese of Detroit asked All Saints and St. Gabriel’s to start developing a plan to possibly merge the two parishes. St. Gabriel was the larger of the two churches, and in better financial shape. In 2017 the merger was authorized by the Archdiocese, and the final service at All Saints took place on Sunday, December 31, 2017.

There were several factors contributing to the decision to close All Saints: Membership had been dwindling for years. The building required substantial repairs that the congregation could not afford. Construction of the new bridge to Canada closed several streets in the vicinity of the church for long stretches of time, preventing parishioners from attending. And an increase in raids on undocumented immigrants by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement left many afraid to appear in public.

Still, the loss of the church was a blow to the community that had kept it going for so many years. The soup kitchen and food pantry remained open until around 2020, when it was relocated. The church was demolished in March of 2022.