Welcome to Mary Queen of Apostles Parish
We, the people of the Roman Catholic Parish of Mary Queen of Apostles dedicate ourselves to proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We strive to build a community of faith where each person is valued as a child of God. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and strengthened by our participation in prayer and the sacraments, we endeavor to continue the saving work of Jesus in our community.
History of Mary Queen of Apostles
Originally known as St. Mary Parish in Sand Lake, it began with the early settlers of this area in the 1860’s. They were affiliated with others of common faith from St. Mary in Grand Rapids, St. Patrick in Parnell, St. Mary in Carson City, and, as their mother church, St. Mary in Big Rapids.
Before the first church was built, Mass and other services were held in homes of the families. The priest would come by train from Big Rapids about once a month. He would stay at the home of one of the parishioners, hold Mass, and return by train on Monday morning.
A schoolhouse was converted into the first church and used until 1923 when a basement was built and used for religious services on the property purchased in 1917. Also, in 1923, Father Sebastian VanGessel, who previously served the parish from Big Rapids, became the first pastor. When the first Mass was celebrated in the new church on August 6, 1933, there were 45 families registered at that time.
During the pastorate of Father Edward A. Hankiewicz, in order not to be confused with many other parishes in the Diocese of Grand Rapids with the same name, St. Mary Parish in Sand Lake was officially changed to Mary Queen of Apostles Parish. Furthermore, this name change is for the honor of the Mother of God who remained in the Upper Room with the Apostles in Prayers, offered them a mother’s presence, and with them received the fullness of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1: 12-14 and 2:1-4).
On July 1, 2012, Santa Clara, which was established many years ago as a mission of St. Mary Parish in Sand Lake, was completely merged with Mary Queen of Apostles and now remains as its seasonal chapel. Today, Mary Queen of Apostles is a community of approximately 300 families.