ORCHARD LAKE, MICHIGAN — Orchard Lake Schools and The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools will celebrate the highly anticipated and first-ever double canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII April 26-27.
An open all-night vigil will take place at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes prior to the real-time transmission of the canonization ceremony from the Vatican on a 14-foot screen in the Shrine Chapel of Our Lady of Orchard Lake. The vigil begins at 9 p.m. with a Eucharistic procession through the campus on a candlelit path. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place at the Lourdes Grotto until 3 a.m., weather permitting. The canonization will be transmitted live at 4 a.m. . . .
The canonization of John Paul II, who is from Wadowice, Poland, is near and dear to the hearts of the Polish community and Orchard Lake Schools. During his lifetime, John Paul II visited the schools twice as Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła. The first visit was in 1969 and the second in 1976, two years before his election to the papacy.
The campus is definitely worth a visit; there’s a “museum” building on campus jammed with World War II (and even some WWI stuff) artifacts from Poland, though I highly doubt they would be open during this event. And the collection isn’t particularly well organized or displayed however.
Maybe if you called ahead and went there during the early afternoon, they might let you in the museums; then again, maybe not.
Originally the school was the Michigan Military Academy and was founded in 1877; its most famous alumnus while a military school was Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the Tarzan stories; it is said that General William Tecumseh Sherman first made his famous remark, “War is Hell,” during his address to the 1879 graduating class; the military academy closed in 1909, and the land and buildings were sold to a Catholic seminary in Detroit.
Orchard Lake Schools (St. Mary’s; St. Cyril and St. Methodius Seminary) are located around 15 miles or so northwest of Detroit. It’s located in a really nice area.