The parishioners practice what they preach at St. Aloysius. With the St. Al’s Block Party after Sunday Mass earlier today, the teaching of Isiah 58:7, “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?” was not forgotten. Several parishioners volunteered to cook and serve a barbecue for everyone who came to the temporarily closed-off stretch of Washington Boulevard, including several homeless people.
“It’s not just for the church, it’s for the people of the neighborhood,” explained Jennifer Brunner, a registered nurse who measured blood pressure at the health screening tent that was set up near State Street, across the way from the grill. Opposite the hot dog serving tent, young Ciara McClimet served ice cream. “It’s good for our kids,” Meghan McClimet said of the parish. The McClimets live in Novi now, but drive to St. Aloysius for Mass every Sunday.
A little further north on Washington Boulevard, a keyboard and drums were set up in another tent as several bands from the Detroit School of Pop and Rock played. “I was walking my dog,” Jade Mauricio recalled when she noticed the music tent. Mauricio took her dog home and came back with her friends, and grooved to the music of the band Happy Hour, among others.
The church is named after St. Aloysius, the patron saint of the young. St. Aloysius was born to a wealthy family, but, taking to heart the biblical mandate to serve the poor, gave up his wealth and title to devote himself to the church. When a plague broke out in Italy in 1597, he tended to the poor and hungry despite his own delicate health, leading to his death, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.