St. Bonaventure Monastery
The St. Bonaventure Monastery is a complex of religious buildings, built for the Capuchin Order of Franciscan monks, located at 1740 Mt. Elliot Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

History
St. Bonaventure Monastery was established in 1882, one of a number of late 19th century Roman Catholic institutions established in Detroit. At the time, the Capuchins wrote to then-Bishop Caspar Borgess, offering to become chaplains to Eastside Historic Cemetery District and build a monastery in the city. Borgess accepted, and the friars moved into a small house on the cemetery grounds until the monastery, sited across the street, was habitable. The monastery was originally intended to serve the area's Catholic clergy and churches, but also provided emergency aid to the poor. During the Great Depression, the monastery was a major source of relief for poor east-side workers. By 1931 the monastery was providing as many as 3,500 free meals per day through its soup kitchen.

Solanus Casey
The monastery is also significant because of its association with Father Solanus Casey. Father Casey was a Capuchin friar who acted as a porter, meeting visitors at the friary door. He also helped out at the Soup Kitchen, comforting the hungry, and was instrumental in obtaining food and supplies for the kitchen during the Great Depression. In 1966 Casey was introduced as a candidate for sainthood. On July 8, 1987, Father Solanus Casey's incorrupt body was exhumed. His body was clothed in a new habit, placed in a steel casket, and reinterred beneath the north transept at St. Bonaventure's, where prayers are offered for the intercession of Fr. Solanus.

Description
St. Bonaventure Monastery consists of three buildings: the 1883 Gothic-influenced monastery (completed in 1913), the 1908 Soup Kitchen, and the 1939 Third Order Hall. All three buildings are constructed of red brick on a hand-dressed limestone foundation with extensive limestone trim. The monastery complex also contains a tiny cemetery and a 1960 mission building.

Building Activity

  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov activity.buildings_person.create
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com