1980 - The Decade of the Family
The 1980's would see many changes in the structure of parish life: more involvement by the whole parish, new ideas for parish programs and development of the liturgy. The first development was the restructuring of the Parish Council into a unifying structure of the parish community. It was divided into commissions: Administration, Christian Education, Christian Service and Worship. Their goal was to promote full participation by the whole parish and establish a stronger sense of unity.

Each commission acted upon their tasks at once, setting up programs and projects. Christian Service introduced the "Giving Tree". Parishioners were asked to select a card hanging from its branches, containing a gift idea. The items needed by the poor would be purchased through the generosity of our St. Lawrence members. Also, a Laotian family who had been held in a holding camp in Thailand for two yeas was adopted by the parish. The Education Commission planned a family campout at Four Seasons Campground in Midland. The Administration Commission discussed ways best to utilize parish resources and church support. Mr. G. F. Lenzi conducted a renewal of the Sacrificial Offertory Program, which increased the weekly collection from $7,500 to $11,000.

In honor of the Decade of the Family, many special programs and seminars developed. Dedication to the American Family was promoted, and the parish was asked to set aside time to say a prayer of thanks for all our blessings and spend time together as a family. Issues such as "Right to Life", "Human Development" and "Family Prayer" became topics for meetings and presentations.

A renovation program began in 1981 to remodel the church building, entrance to the gymnasium and meetings. The church received repairs to the roof, doors, steps and stained glass windows. Landscaping was improved around the church and school. In June of 1982 the renovations were complete, and the parish held a dedication of the new entrance of the Monsignor DeKeyser Activities Building.

Mrs. Fran Bickford retired in 1981 as director of the Religious Education Program after 10 years of dedicated service. She was succeeded by Mr. Paul Gielow who remained in the position until 1987, when he became principal of St. Lawrence Elementary School. Mrs. Linda Sheets then replaced him as director of the department.

On September 19, 1987, in honor of Pope John Paul II visiting the United States, the St. Lawrence Church was represented in the Papal Choir by Lorna Brock, Evie Nowalski, Sue Boulay, Lee Nowalski and Ed Leland. They were selected to participate with more than one thousand other singers during the Papal Mass held at the Pontiac Silverdome. St. Lawrence Parish received 800 tickets for parishioners interested in attending. This historic visit was memorable for everyone who attended.