History of Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church


PARISH HISTORY

1917 - Sometime in the early months of 1917 a group of devout Catholics set out on a journey to build a church in their community. These humble people were mostly Slavs, Croatians, and of Bohemian descent. There was one Irishman; and while she was not Catholic she donated the most money. July 7, 1917 a completed church named SS. Cyril & Methodius was blessed by Rev. A. J. Janicek. Mass was celebrated once a month by pastors of St. Stanislaus, Hillards, who were brought to church by horse and buggy. The priest was given a stipend of $5.00 per Sunday.

1938 - SS. Cyril & Methodius became and affiliate parish of the Grand Rapids Diocese. Weekly Sunday Masses were initiated.

1942 - Additional half acre purchased, and expansion of the church completed. (west wing and basement)

1946 - A sixty-nine acre tract including the rectory, garage, and barn was purchased from the Wingate family. Rev. Stephen Kolenic became the first resident pastor.

1950 - The exterior of the church was refinished, interior seating capacity increased, a new vestibule was built. A large crucifix was erected in the cemetery. 

1957 - The parish barn was re-roofed. The renovated barn was christened Catalpa Hall and was used for social and recreation events.

1971 - SS. Cyril & Methodius annexed to the newly founded Diocese of Kalamazoo under Bishop Paul V. Donovan. The church continued to be refurbished and liturgically updated well into the 80's. The 70’s and 80’s saw new pews and the west entrance was made into a ramp entrance. Two stained glass windows were donated by parishioners. (It is believed the first Catholic Cemetery in the area was founded with the transfer of records from St. Rose, Hastings to our parish.)

1976 - The main church was carpeted, the basement was paneled and a new kitchen was built.

1989 - Sister Marie Beaulac was appointed by the Bishop to be the first Pastoral Minister. The pastor from St. Therese, Wayland, became the Canonical Pastor.

1990 - Feasibility Study Group formed to request a new building.

1992 - Celebration of SS. Cyril and Methodius 75th Anniversary.

1995 - Catalpa Hall was razed. Plans to build a new worship space began to unfold.

1999 - August 26, 1999 permission received from Bishop Murray to proceed with a study of potential renovation or new construction by Schemata Architects.

2000 - July 11, 2000 a letter was received granting permission to proceed with a capital campaign to raise funds for the building program.

2002 - Ground was broken for the new worship space on August 24, 2002. Bishop James Murray of the Diocese of Kalamazoo presided and blessed the undertaking.

2003 - New church is complete. The church now seats almost 400 and has well over 200 parish families registered.

2016 - August 30, 2016 - Rev. Fr. Alphonse Savarimuthu installed as Pastor of SS. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church, Gun Lake, and St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, Wayland, MI.

2016 - September, 2016, Construction begins on the new Parish Hall!

2017 - Centennial Year CELEBRATING 100 years with lots of activities throughout the year.

2017 - June, 2017 Parish Hall is COMPLETED.   Our building committee has been meeting to put together a Rules and Regulations Contract for parishioners interested in renting the hall.  Please call the Parish Office if interested.