Hall of Tribute
Honoring Servitude
On June 2, 1982, Father Burns dedicated the Hall of Tribute. Its purpose was to honor those parishioners known for their service, dedication and contribution to St. Lawrence Parish. The first to be pictured on the parish honor roll were Mr. Jiggs Lenzi, Mrs. Fran Bickford, Mrs. Hilda DeSmet and Mr. Dick Duncan. Three years later, several other parishioners were honored for their service: Frank Boehmer, Tillie DuRussell, Alice McKay, Loretta Okoniewski and Florence VanDenBrouck. The most recent parishioners selected to the Hall of Tribute include Clara Dutkiewicz, Rita Hennessey, Stella Witulski, Ray LaPratt, Ann Oleski, Douglas McKay, Richard Kean, Al Ludeman, Bert Lozen, Mike Adragna, Evelyn Olden, Gust Sucaet, Tom Dixon, Cheryl Moceri, Lorna Brock, and Evelyn Nowalski. All of these parishioners have volunteered endless hours for their church and school, and we deeply appreciate their efforts and accomplishments.

Fr. Burns continued to lead his parish through the decade. He sponsored countless seminars, programs and educational series. Traditional events continued: Christmas Party, Millionaire's Party, music programs, potluck dinners. A Youth Rally was held, with three sessions on moral questions being conducted by our parish priests. As pastor, Fr. Burns always welcomed the new assistant priests by writing a brief article about their educational and religious background and publishing it in The Forum.

In 1984 extensive repairs were made on the church roof, tower and walls. New church doors were added. The rectory was expanded to include a larger reception area. With the improvements and additions also came demolition; the decision was made to tear down the old church/school building on Greeley to allow for a parking lot extension.

The Religious Education Department added several people to the staff in 1988. Sister Janet Sullivan, I.H.M., became the Adult Education Coordinator, and Mrs. Cheryl Moceri became the High School Section Head for Youth Ministry. These additions reinforced the strength of the ever-growing religious education program at St. Lawrence. Also this year Fr. Burns celebrated his fortieth anniversary with a Mass followed by a reception in the parish hall. A dinner dance was held that evening, and many parishioners attended to congratulate him. In his honor the school children presented a portrait of Fr. Burns at a special Mass; it now hangs in the entrance hall of the school.

The year 1989 saw the closing of 30 Catholic churches in the city of Detroit. One in particular was the St. Lawrence Church. The pastor, Fr. Stanley Kasprzyk, wanted to carry on the spirit of St. Lawrence, so he donated several items to St. Lawrence in Utica. Beautiful vestments were given to Fr. Burns as well as two statues of our patron saint, a banner and other church furnishings -- a beautiful way to pass on tradition and history!