Area Churches, St. Dominic, Metz

Area Churches, St. Dominic, Metz

In 1873, the first Catholic parishioners made their way to Metz and settled in the western end of the township. Most of the new residents were of Polish origin and came from the motherland to carve farms and homes in newly opened lands. Among the first arrivals were John Nowicki, Andrew Burzych, Valentine Sytek, Nicholas Centla, Stanley Konieczny, Anthony Makowski, John Haske and Frank Konieczny.

In Order to practice their faith, the Poles joined the parishioners of the Posen church and often walked five to twelve miles to attend Mass. The thought of establishing a parish in Metz was began by Reverend Godfy Lenzen some time in 1898, after he offered the first Mass in Metz at the home of Nicholas Centala. Great enthusiasm was shown by those of the Catholic faith and they began plans for a parish and church of their own. In 1902, a site was selected and a fine frame church was erected on property donated by the Metz Township. Father Lewandowski, the pastor of Posen, Father Krakowski and Father Banasiewcz held services for a period of three years at the Metz church.

In 1906, Father Francis Kaczmarek was appointed the first resident pastor of the church which had been blessed under the patronage of St. Dominic. Tragedy struck the township in 1908, when the Metz fire swept through the township and the church, rectory and the Burzych home alone remained. A new parish school was begun and was completed in 1910. Father Piaskowski, then pastor, taught the students himself.

In 1915, Father James Czachorski became pastor. He engaged two school teachers since his mission at Rogers City consumed much of his time and he was unable to teach. Father Skowronski arrived in Metz in April of 1916 and remained until September of 1919, when he moved to Rogers City, freeing the Metz parish of the Mission. During his pastorship, the Mercy Sisters assumed charge of the school with an enrollment of 70 children. Due to financial difficulties the school had to be closed during the years 1919 to 1921, when the Reverend Casimir Szyper was appointed and a new building fund was begun. In Novembef of 1926 fire destroyed the rectory and the pastor resided first in the parish school, and later in the John Witulski home, until the new rectory was built. On Thanskgiving Day, 1931, the parish rejoiced in the completion of the new church, a most attractive brick structure. Much of the actual labor on both th new church and the rectory was done by members of the parish. In 1932, a new cemetery was purchased. In 1939, Father Gorski became pastor, and in that year new pews were installed and a pipe organ purchased. New windows were added and other improvements were made to the building and grounds.

In 1946-47 the church was redecorated and three new marble alters, a marble communion rail and other new installations were made. In 1949, the parish celebrated its 50th anniversary. On January 15, 1970, Father Lawrence Boks came from St. Mary's in Alpena and is servig the parish.