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History of St. Matthew Church

1911 - St. Matthew parish's first two masses were celebrated in an empty store on S. Saginaw St.

1911 - Rev. Father Michael J. Comerford was sent to St. Matthew as the first pastor.

1911 - The new parish purchased property on West Third and Beach street for $12,000. 

1913 - Additional land was purchased and a school building was built.

1916 - Fr. Comerford became ill and died. Father Thomas G, Hennessey came to St. Matthews.


1916 - City of Flint seized and eventually purchased the church property. The parish purchased the present site of the Church through another transaction with the city.

1919 - Ground broke for a new church. The cornerstone was laid on November 2. 

1920 - First mass celebrated in the new church basement for Ash Wednesday.

1920 - Father Francis W. McQueen became St. Matthew's third pastor.

1920 to 1926 - A school building was built, building of the church was completed, and additions to the church rectory and convent were made. 

1926 - Fr. McQueen resigned. The parish was in debt for half-million dollars, and the Augustinian order was asked to take charge of the parish.

1926 - The Augustinians sent Father Mortimer A Sullivan, O.S.A., to be St. Matthew's fourth pastor.

1927 - The present church pews were installed.

1928 - Marble altars were added just prior to Holy Week. Organ was first used on Christmas.

1929 - The Augustinian Provincial Chapter transferred Father Sullivan to Long Island and later elected him Provincial of the Augustinian Order.

1929 - St. Matthew had a new Augustinian pastor, Father Luke M. Powers, O.S.A..

1930 - Stained glass windows, donated by parishioners and societies, were installed.

1941 - St. Matthew's celebrated the 30th anniversary of the parish.

1950 - Fr. Powers eliminated the debt of a half-million and spent an additional $75,000 to redecorate the church, giving it majesty. 

1955 to 1960 - Fr. Powers acquired additional property on Fourth and Church streets and had 3 buildings built: convent (1955), a field house (1958), and a rectory (1960).


1962 - Fr. Powers purchased a wooden altar so priests could celebrate mass facing the congregation. 

1966 - Fr. Powers retires due to decline in his health. Father Ambrose J. Godsil became the new pastor.

1966 to 1980 - Fr. Godsil guided the parish in liturgical renewal. 

1980 - Father Joseph F. Hartman, O.S.A., assumed the pastorate. 


 Information was obtained from "St. Matthew Church History, 1911-1986" 

Father Michael J. Comerford, first pastor
St. Matthew Parish
Father Mortimer A. Sullivan, O.S.A.
Fr. Luke M. Powers, O.S.A.
Interior St. Matthew, new altar
Fr. Ambrose J. Godsil, O.S.A.
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