Our Lady of Hope
History & Facilities
Our Lady of Hope Cemetery is located in Brownstown Township, Michigan, and was begun in 1962 by Rev. Robert F. Allen, then-director of Catholic Cemeteries for the Archdiocese of Detroit. It comprises 320 acres, of which 60 acres have been developed for burial purposes. It was blessed and dedicated on September 16, 1962 by Archbishop (later Cardinal) John Francis Dearden. The first interment took place on November 5, 1962, and since that date over 26,400 people have found their rest here. The land here at the time, was mostly farmland, and Brownstown Township was still in its developmental stages.
As Brownstown grew, so did the need of the Downriver Catholic Community and Southwest Detroit grow for a Cemetery to service the Catholics of that area. This is what drew Fr. Allen towards this area of the Archdiocese.
In the over fifty years Our Lady of Hope has been here, it has become the resting place of many Christians. Some noted people here include politicians such as State Representatives Alfred Sheridan, Robert DeMars and Edward Mahalak; Downriver Mayors Tom Coogan, Eugene Mierz, Frank Sall and Arthur Valade. Other civic officials as City Treasurers, Clerks, Attorneys and Judges also are represented. Many priests who have served the Archdiocese of Detroit are here including Msgr. Hubert A. Mano, Msgr. John Eppenbrock, Frs. William Swift, Walter Bracken, Emil Dussia, Seamus Ryan, Alexander Kuras, Carlson Robideau, and others. Some Priests of various Orders are here in family lots such As Fr. John Tupper, Fr. Robert Hirsch, C.SS.R. and some even from other dioceses. Marie Desneiges (Mother Marie) Anctil is interred here. She was the co-founder, with her husband, Wilfred, of the Little Rose Chapel in Taylor, Michigan.
The sports world is represented by Dante Leo Cristante, who pitched for the Detroit Tigers in the mid 1950’s; Steve Morris, the noted “Iron Man” of Bowling who bowled a number of “300” games; and two highly-celebrated High School Coaches, Jack Castignola of Trenton (who coached with Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler at Miami College of Ohio), and Don Lessner of Riverview. Veterans of every American conflict from the Spanish-American War to the current conflicts rest here in blessed memory. Noted funeral directors like Ray Aleks of Lincoln Park and Don Burd of Wyandotte are also interred or entombed at Our Lady of Hope.
The first Mausoleum at Our Lady of Hope was dedicated in 1994 and the second mausoleum in 1997. Free-standing and attached columbaria were also included at the same times.
As people visit or stroll through the grounds of Our Lady of Hope Cemetery, they are greeted with many symbols of our shared Christian Faith, from the welcoming statue of Our Lady of Hope at the entranceway to the shrines in various sections dedicated to many saints, some with downriver connections, such as St. Frances Cabrini, St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi, Our Lady of Czestochowa, St. Hedwig, St. Anthony, the Holy Family, the Immaculate Conception, St. Anne, St. Elizabeth and others.
At the various seasons of the year, the cemetery takes on it’s own colors of fall, to the white of winter, to the freshness of spring colors. The wooded areas promote a peace all to their own, and even the birds and wildlife give of themselves to give comfort and solace to those who visit these sacred grounds to remember their loved ones and to offer a thought or a prayer for their souls.
The Archdiocesan Catholic Cemeteries, Our Lady of Hope is a ministry within the Catholic Church that reaches out to the faithful at times of personal loss. A bereaved family looks to their faith for religious support. The comforting presence of the Church is such a blessing throughout the grieving period.
- Our Lady of Hope is on 60 acres
- Indoor Mausoleum
- Niches available with glass or marble fronts
- Outdoor Garden Mausoleum
- Family estates available with a variety of options
- Flush and upright granite memorials
- Bench memorials