Church of the Resurrection / Monsignor John A. Gabriels
Church of the Resurrection
On June 15 1922, the Most Reverend Michael J. Gallagher, bishop of Detroit, sent Father John A. Gabriels to Lansing to establish a Catholic parish east of the Pere Marquette railroad tracks that would include East Lansing, Okemos and Haslett. Father Gabriels named the parish Resurrection because he believed this was the most important event in Christian life and the cornerstone of Christianity. He celebrated the first Mass on Christmas morning 1922 in the basement church, which would become a school. In 1926 two stories were added with classrooms for eight grades. Five Dominican sisters were the first teachers. Parishioners worshipped in the basement church until the present church was built in 1952.
Monsignor John A. Gabriels
In 1906 John A. Gabriels (1881-1960) was ordained a Catholic priest. In 1922 he came from Detroit to establish a new parish and become chaplain of the Boys Vocational School. He became a highly respected citizen of Lansing. He was chaplain of the Michigan State Police, a member of the Knights of Columbus, Chamber of Commerce, a popular Old Newsboy, and established Father John's Fund for Needy Children. In 1934 he delivered Lansing's first radio-broadcasted Mass. The programs became weekly in 1937. Father Gabriels was bestowed the title Right Reverend Monsignor in 1944. In 1956 he was honored at a testimonial banquet by many civic leaders including the governor of Michigan. Father John loved and served all people. He was well-known as a leader, story teller, radio preacher and convert maker.