Blessed Sacrament was a name selected by Monsignor Joseph Illeg and for parishioners who strive to live as one in the Body of Christ.
In the early 1940’s, the Catholic Bishop of Saginaw purchased property at the corner of East Ashman and Swede as the future site of a new Catholic Church in Midland, MI. In 1951 Fr. Camill Klos was appointed Pastor and the first Mass was held in the Northeast Intermediate school gym in November of that year. With the placing of a cornerstone on July 18, 1955, we saw the beginning of our first home where we would worship, learn and socialize. This place is our present social hall and gym, and it is the home of our present administrative/office areas as well as our former school. Our present gym was at that time a more formal worship space with a permanent altar, side altars and regular pews. A curtain between the social hall and gym could be opened so worshippers in the social hall could also participate.
The parish broke ground for the new church in 1966. The church was designed in a circular shape so that no one in the church is more than 70 feet from the main altar. Parishioner Jim Hopfensperger helped in the design of the church with the faceted colored glass walls. He also designed several art pieces in the church. When construction was completed, the Church was dedicated in a special ceremony on Oct. 7, 1967 by Bishop Stephen Woznicki.
Trouble came to the church when there was a fire in the sanctuary area in November of 1993. Mass was moved back to the parish center for about 6 months and the church was rededicated in 1994. During the reconstruction the church had some other changes made, most notably a small pool for baptisms was added.
We were also blessed to have a Catholic school for 65 years that undoubtedly formed the faith of many disciples along the way. Our parish community continues to go on with a sense of unity and belonging. We have a strong community that values the Catholic faith and seeks to deepen that faith through bible studies, small groups, elementary faith formation, middle and high school faith formation, sacramental preparation and other groups!
Shape: The round shape of the Church took form due to the area of property not being suitable for the original cruciform design. The round shape has contributed to the unity of the parish as we see one another as we gather for the Mass! Capacity is around 1,000 persons and no one is more than 70 feet from the altar.
The Altars: Sculpted out of travertine marble from Italy, our altar is 7 feet long and weighs 10,000 lbs. It represents Christ the cornerstone, Christ the rock, the gate where Heaven and earth meet, the supper table around which we gather, where we become the body of Christ. The Main Altar contains the bodily relics of Sts. Timothy, Irenaeus, and Aurelia. Saints in the Chapel Altar include Eutropius, Lucretius, and Theophilus. We are ever present to the early Church at Blessed Sacrament!
The Ambo: Also sculpted of travertine marble, the ambo is 4 feet across and weighs 5,000 lbs. Just as Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament, his is present in the WORD. Here is the table where the WORD of God is proclaimed.
The Font: Here, in baptism, we are plunged into the death of Christ as to rise with him in new life! Here we become members of the body of Christ, new creations in God’s image, where we become Catholic Christians. This is the living water that flows with new life, as we bless ourselves week after week, as a reminder of our identity in Christ. This font of living water greets us at our funeral when our baptism is recalled by sprinkling the casket with baptismal water as we are sent forth to be greeted by the angels into paradise. Baptized into Christ’s death, risen to his new life, we will live with him forever.
The Chapel: The Second Vatican Council calls the Eucharist, “The Source and Summit of the Christian Life.” Beyond the celebration of the Eucharist, the Church has had a most ancient tradition of reserving the Eucharist. The purpose of this reservation is to bring communion to the sick and to be the object of private devotion. Our beautiful tabernacle was created to bear the resemblance of the entire Church.
Original wooden statues of the Holy Family rest above a devotional area featuring candles for private prayer. Across the chapel resides a beautiful mosaic of the Mother of Perpetual Help that is original to the Parish.
The Organ: Our Organ has 32 ranks of pipes ranging from 10 inches to 30 feet. It forms the backdrop of the altar and side walls of the chapel.
Reconciliation Room: Our reconciliation room was built to offer a hospitable space for the sacrament of healing. It is furnished with chairs and a screen with kneeler.
Architecture: 16 wooden arches support the roof of the Church, furnished with cedar wood. The stone is North Carolina Green Rebel stone. Most weigh between 100 to 150 lbs. The stained glass windows show a spectacular spectrum of color and are housed within cast aluminum.