Class from About 1917-1919

Brief History and Parish Archives
of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

Blessed Sacrament was first established by the Dioceses of Grand Rapids in 1946 to provide northeast-side families a place to worship. Bishop Haas appointed Father John Collins as pastor of the fledgling parish, and the first mass was celebrated at the veteran’s facility March 5, 1946. During this first year of operation the parish contracted with the Roxy Theatre on Plainfield NE to hold weekend services. The first parishioners had to show up early for mass and clean up popcorn before mass began. By April of 1946 the parish purchased the theatre for 33,000 dollars and dubbed the building "Saint Roxy’s". This building was remodeled and fixed to fit the needs of the parish it would serve until 1952.

In 1949 the cornerstone of the future Blessed Sacrament School was laid in its present location on Diamond Ave. NE. At this point in time Blessed Sacrament students were attending nearby parish schools. By 1950 the school was complete enough to hold class for several grades, and two homes were purchased behind the school to accommodate the Dominican Sisters who taught the first official Blessed Sacrament students. In 1952 the first mass was held in the school auditorium and services began to move from St. Roxy to the Plainfield location. Building and fundraising continued, and a kitchen was added to the school in 1954.

By 1957 St. Roxy was no longer being used as a church, so the parish rented the building out as a roller rink. In 1960 the Plainfield property was sold, and the proceeds were used by the parish to reduce debts incurred through the building process. During this time the Blessed Sacrament parish was undergoing major changes as a result of Vatican II reforms. The altar was moved forward and communion rails were removed; a mass was said in English for the first time in 1964.

During this historic time in Catholic Church history Blessed Sacrament continued to add on to the Diamond Ave. location. A second wing and rectory were both added to increase the capacity of the school.

Now that the school could at last accommodate all students the building did not stop. An updated rectory across from the school was completed in 1980, and a preschool program and teacher’s lounge took over the space vacated by the priests in the move. In 1988 groundbreaking began for a formal church. Construction lasted until July of 1989, when the current church was dedicated. The school auditorium, originally meant as a temporary church, finally became a true school auditorium. The next great project involved remodeling the school. The basement gymnasium was filled in and the first rectory knocked down, bringing the school down to one level. In 1995 the current incarnation of the school building was finished, linking both east and west wings to a new one level entrance, media center, and updated kitchen.

Currently there are no building projects in the works. However, the rectory and the parish offices are due for remodeling. Over the course of its history Blessed Sacrament parish has continued to build in order to meet the needs of the community. Now the parish is facing a new challenge.

With declining Catholic School enrollment and an impending priest shortage, this community is now planning for a much different future than previous generations have dealt with. Hopefully, the one constant in this time of change will be a well put together archive waiting to preserve the past and to record the future.

Parish Archives

Blessed Sacrament Parish Archives

The archives consist of eight boxes the contents are listed below.

Contents Year
   
Box 1 ~ Directories/Yearbooks  
BSS yearbook 1969/70
BSS yearbook 1973
BSS yearbook 1974
BSS yearbook 1990/91
Parish directory 1971
Parish directory 1974
Parish directory 1990
Parish directory 1996
Directory creation information 1996
   
Box 2 ~ Photos  
Parish Life 1940’s
Parish Life 1950’s
Spielmaker school photo collection (damaged) 1951?
Spielmaker Muskegon CC groundbreaking (damaged) 1951
Parish Festival Scrapbook 1953
Parish Life 1960’s
Framed Bishop Babcock drawing 1966
Parish Life 1970’s
BSS Kindergarten photo album with labels 1978-1979
Parish Life 1980’s
New Church Ground Breking 1988
New Church Construction 1988-1989
New Chruch Dedication 1989
Fr. Hennry Donzila mounted photo 1989
Parish Life 1990’s
Parish life photo album  
50th Anniversary photos 1996
   
Box 2B ~ Photos  
New Church Dedication Album 1989
Parish Life Album and 50th anniversary 1990’s
   
Box 3 ~ Building  
BSS building fund drive 1949
Parish building fund drive 1955
Church building fund drive 1987
Church ground breaking 1988
Cornerstone ceremony 1989
Rite of church dedication 1989
Booklets explaining new church architecture 1989
BSS building data – preliminary plans 1994
BSS building campaign 1995
Church roof repair information 1995
Church mortgage burning 1997
Church building committee binder 1987-89
   
Box 4 ~ Parish Groups  
Holy Name society register 1946-57
Growth and planning council binder 1985-90
Growth and planning council binder 1987-90
Ushers club meeting minutes 1946-54
Ushers club constitution 1954
Ushers club schedule 1950-55
Holy Name society officer election ballot 1956
Parish committee goals 1987
Rosary alter society register (ladies guild) 1948
   
Box 5 ~ Miscellaneous  
Financial records 1946
Parish roster 1946
Parish history journal 1946-61
Parish history journal 1961-70
Priest’s Funeral Mass info 1964-89
Community awards  
Newspaper clippings  
Brief parish history time lines 1946-89
Parish Financial summary 1946 ,1952
Certificate for stations of the cross 1946
Certificate for stations of the cross 1952
Parish booklet – parish life 1962
Cananical visit 1964
Bishop Brietenbeck’s Installation 1969
Happenings Parish History 1975
The Parishioner parish paper 1976
Silver Jubilee 1979
8th grade graduation diploma 1950
50th anniversary 1996
   
Box 6A ~ Parish Bulletins 1946 - 1968
Box 6B ~ Parish Bulletins 1969 - 1989

Transcriber: Jaymie Perry
Created: 14 February 2006
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/churches/catholic/blessedsachistory.html