Annual devotion at Detroit's newest basilica highlights the many ways faith is lived in southeast Michigan

DETROIT — From July 17 to July 26, the Basilica of Ste. Anne in southwest Detroit celebrated one of Metro Detroit’s oldest Catholic devotions: its 130-year-old annual novena to Ste. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and patroness of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Each night of the novena, which consists of nine days of Masses leading up to the July 26 feast of Ste. Anne, celebrates a different culture present in Metro Detroit. 

Detroit Catholic photographer Valaurian Waller documented each night of the novena, with photos of each of the nine Masses and feast day celebration below.

Day 1 (Friday, July 17): Celebrating Asian Culture

Fr. Hoang Lam, pastor of Our Lady of Grace (Vietnamese) Parish in Warren, celebrated Mass for the first night of the novena, which celebrated Asian cultures present in Metro Detroit, including Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese and Korean.

Day 2 (Saturday, July 18): Celebrating African Culture

Fr. Ted Parker, pastor of St. Charles Lwanga Parish in Detroit, celebrated the Mass, and Fr. John McKenzie, associate pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, gave the homily during the novena’s second night, which celebrated African cultures, including African-American, Benin, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda.

Day 3 (Sunday, July 19): Celebrating French and French-Canadian Culture

Fr. Patrick Gonyeau, administrator of Corpus Christi Parish in Detroit, celebrated the Mass during the novena’s third night, which celebrated French and French-Canadian culture, with special recognition to the founders of Ste. Anne Parish in 1701 and alumni of Ste. Anne School.

Day 4 (Monday, July 20): Celebrating Chaldean Culture

Fr. Andrew Seba, associate pastor of Holy Martyrs Chaldean Catholic Church in Sterling Heights, celebrated the Mass during the novena’s fourth night, which celebrated Chaldean culture.

Day 5 (Tuesday, July 21): Celebrating Latino Culture

Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon celebrated the Mass and Fr. Bernardo Cruz, pastor of St. Francis D’Assisi-St. Hedwig Parish in Detroit, gave the homily during the novena’s fifth night, which celebrated Latino cultures, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Day 6 (Wednesday, July 22): Celebrating Albanian Culture

Fr. Frederik Kalaj, pastor of St. Paul Albanian Parish in Rochester Hills, celebrated the Mass on the novena’s sixth night, which celebrated Albanian culture.

Day 7 (Thursday, July 23): Celebrating Western European Culture

Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda celebrated the Mass on the novena’s seventh night, which celebrated Western European culture, including Austria, Germany, Italy and Malta.

Day 8 (Friday, July 24): Celebrating Eastern European Culture

Auxiliary Bishop Robert Fisher celebrated the Mass and Fr. Barnabas Kiss, pastor of Holy Cross (Hungarian) Parish in Detroit, gave the homily on the novena’s eighth night, which celebrated Eastern European culture, including Croatia, Czech, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Day 9 (Saturday, July 25): Celebrating Celtic and British Culture

Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Battersby celebrated the Mass and Msgr. Timothy Hogan, pastor of St. Fabian Parish in Farmington Hills, gave the homily on the novena’s ninth night, which celebrated Celtic and British culture.

Day 10 (Sunday, July 26): Feast of Ste. Anne and St. Joachim

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron celebrated the Mass at the Basilica of Ste. Anne on the feast of Ste. Anne and St. Joachim, culminating the novena in prayer and devotion to the grandmother of Christ and the patroness of the Archdiocese of Detroit. 

As part of the Mass, a special 19th century Breton hymn to Ste. Anne, “O Anna Mamm Mari,” was sung for the first time in English. Read the story.

(All photos by Detroit Catholic photographer Valaurian Waller)