“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past and the present will surely miss the future.”……John F. Kennedy
The formation of St. John Vianney Parish began in 1979 to accommodate the Disco, Michigan farm community that developed into a budding Shelby Township residential area. Starting as a satellite of St. Lawrence parish, Mass celebrations began at Shelby Jr. High School at 23 Mile Road and Van Dyke for approximately 20 families. John Cardinal Dearden of the Archdiocese of Detroit recognized the need for a new worship community as the area blossomed with young families. The Parish was formed in the spring of that year and with the boundaries from 23 to 26 Mile Road and from Van Dyke to Hayes Road. Services then moved from Shelby Jr High to Crissman Elementary. The Church was constructed in the fall of 1984 on a farm owned by the Diegel family. lronically, Mr. Earl Diegel's dream was that someday a church would be constructed on his property. Presently, the Diegel family remains among the faithful here.
Rev. Jerome Machlik, a young priest who grew up in the Detroit/Hamtramck area, was named founding Pastor and quickly became friend, shepherd and counselor to all. The Parish House, which is situated adjacent to the new Church building, was constructed in 1980 and served as Rectory, Church, offices, and multipurpose area. The original Church, which is now the Parish Hall, was completed in 1984. The house with many purposes became the official Parish Center and Father Jerry moved into new living quarters. The Building Committee began to deal with the obvious need to expand our Parish facilities.
Change was inevitable as our Parish continued to grow. In 1996, our beautiful award winning church was completed. Growth continued, from without and within. Macomb County, the farming community, was rapidly growing into a highly populated area with many young families. Our Parish Mission statement: We Welcome, We Serve, We Celebrate now had the invitation to live it each day. Our numbers from 1996 to the present continue to grow and our new challenge was to grow in vision and outreach. “Welcoming” comes in the form of new parishioners, new ideas, and ultimately a new pastor. In 2010, upon the death of our founding pastor, Fr. Jerry Machlik, we were a Christian community who welcomed Fr. Tim Mazur to lead us in our journey to be the presence of Christ here on earth.
Many service opportunities took shape as our congregation grew, and more outreach became possible. The completion of our kitchen area in 2000 allowed us the chance to “Serve” as host of the McRest Program, Funeral luncheons and other parish hospitality ministry. Our Giving Tree outreach has expanded from serving 500 to now serving 2000. Ongoing Christian Service projects are a large part of our ministry as opposed to being connected to specific events. Our Youth Ministry has become a strong and active part of our parish. Their continued involvement in Group Workcamps, allows our teens to come together to serve individuals and communities while building strong, long-lasting friendships and their faith. The Evening of Remembrance in November gives comfort to those who have lost loved ones, knowing that our Christian Community shares their grief. Red Cross Blood Drives, support of the Agape Center in Romeo, and our active Health Ministry, serves to remind us of how important it is to serve our fellow man.
Most important to our Parish is the “Celebrate”. We serve many families through our Religious Education Classes. Since the beginning, our Catholic Faith carries on through our families. Reception of the Sacraments have increased annually from our early days until the present, Baptisms (14 to 133), First Eucharist (33 to 229), Confirmations (36 to 190), and Marriages (9 to 26) and continue to be the most important part of our Church life today. The Spirit lives on through the people at St. John Vianney, as Fr. Tim leads us into our new and ever changing world.
As we move into 2015, we continue to be open to the future and where it leads us. God calls us to come to know Him in reaching out to others.