Friday, September 18, 2009

Flint Photos: St. Leo's For Sale

A little piece of heaven for the right price. (Photo courtesy of Rich Frost)

Flint Expatriate Rich Frost recently returned home to discover the church he grew up with was for sale. Read about Rich's experience here.


  1. Lived in the neighborhood when the church was being built. We used to cut through that field to walk to Yankee Store at Center and Richfield. Later moved into a new house on Dexter just south of Craig Drive.

    You Catholic folk could sure clog up Dexter on Sunday mornings.

  2. Cooley:

    I think it was the anticipation of sitting through an hour or so of a church service spoken in Latin that caused us to "clog up Dexter".

  3. Cooley...
    That was an AWESOME post!

  4. My family was one of the ones that clogged Dexter on the way to Mass bright and early each Sunday morning. Then once a month we would stop by a little house (more like an ice cream stand) that housed the church credit union and deposit the silver dollars our grandparents would give us (I always thought I would get the same coins back. Boy, was I disappointed). Although I was pretty darn little, maybe 5 years old, I can remember attending Mass before sunrise at Potter Elementary's auditorium while the church was being built. We had to knee on the sloping floor during parts of Mass. My parents still attended St. Leo's until it was closed. What a change from a large church population to a small one. Father DeRose was certainly a visionary leader and priest. He had a profound effect on our lives.

  5. Anyone know if Sister Claudia is still alive?

  6. Rich,
    I grieve with you over St. Leo's. My former church and school was closed last year and it was too sad to think about.
    I went to St. Agnes and it is boarded up and strewn with trash and weeds the last time I was visiting Flint.
    I think in a few years, there won't be much Catholic churches left in Flint. Michigan is being abandoned by everyone.


  7. Seeing the church like this is terrible. To those of us that attended St. Leo, the preparation for the closing, the last mass, and dealing with the "Holier than thou" bishop was a memory none of us want to carry.

  8. I too attended St Agnes and taught at St. Leo's in it's last year. It is a sad state of affairs for the people of Flint and the Catholics especially. I don't know what this Bishop's vision for Flint is but it definitely does not include neighborhood parishes and that close community feeling we all benefitted from the past.

    Those of us that moved in the early 80's because of the economy were not thrilled to move. We had to. But the one sure thing was we could always go "home" to church and the old neighborhood. Neither are there now. It breaks my heart.

  9. You were right about our neighborhood churches. I knew that when I went to St. Leo, if my grandaugter ran ahead of me, everyone knew she belonged to me, and she felt comfortable around all the people there, and even knew when someone was missing from Mass. That does not happen in the larger churches, and I think the Bisop should remember that he serves God; he is NOT God. THe Diosese should be ashamed of themselves.

  10. I fear St. Mike's is heading that way. I usually go to the 5:30 pm Mass on Saturdays and there is usually only about 50 people there, with maybe 5 people under the age of 60 there. Sunday Mass gets about double that but that's still not a lot.

  11. I went there from 1st grade til the 8th grade father derose was there. siste amelda was the principle.

  12. Michelle..
    If I'm not mistaken...we were once neighbors...I lived in the house
    next to you going north. I have some great memories of Term Street --
    and especially the merry-go-round that you Dad built in your back

  13. I grew up as a second gen St Leo kid (1985-1997). My moms family all grew up at this church/school. My happiest memories are attending mass on Sunday mornings, donuts in the annex, potlucks in the hall, and going to catechism in the evenings during the school year. I would love to see this church operating and serving the community again. If Jesus can raise Lazarus, I’m holding out some hope He will raise this church if it is His will. 🙏🏻 Nice reading that there are still people that have a heart for St. Leo’s parish!


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at