Reuters

Insight: Dark holiday in Detroit as Church downsizes

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A woman walks by the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church...more

A woman walks by the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A man sits as he waits for Sunday mass to start at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage...more

A man sits as he waits for Sunday mass to start at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Chris Mitchell walks up the stairs at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has...more

Chris Mitchell walks up the stairs at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A woman walks down the stairs to the soup kitchen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner...more

A woman walks down the stairs to the soup kitchen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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People wait for the soup kitchen to open in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner...more

People wait for the soup kitchen to open in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A painted portrait of the Virgin Mary hangs on the wall as a man walks through the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches...more

A painted portrait of the Virgin Mary hangs on the wall as a man walks through the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Larry Finklea eats his lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and...more

Larry Finklea eats his lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A woman eats her lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner...more

A woman eats her lunch at the soup kitchen in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A man eats his lunch in the soup kitchen at St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has...more

A man eats his lunch in the soup kitchen at St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Children sit with Santa Claus in a series of photos placed on the table in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches...more

Children sit with Santa Claus in a series of photos placed on the table in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Calvin Lockridge Jr. looks on in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and...more

Calvin Lockridge Jr. looks on in the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A man looks through second hand clothing at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that...more

A man looks through second hand clothing at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A decal reading "God Bless America" is seen on the wall of the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have...more

A decal reading "God Bless America" is seen on the wall of the soup kitchen in the basement of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Books are seen on a table at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the...more

Books are seen on a table at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Father Theodore K. Parker leads the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage...more

Father Theodore K. Parker leads the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Timothy Ward kisses his sister Arym at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has...more

Timothy Ward kisses his sister Arym at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A man stands in front of a cross during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011.St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner...more

A man stands in front of a cross during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011.St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A woman prays during the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has...more

A woman prays during the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Arym Ward kneels as she takes part in a re-enactment of the birth of Jesus following the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to...more

Arym Ward kneels as she takes part in a re-enactment of the birth of Jesus following the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has...more

A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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People stand as they take part in the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner...more

People stand as they take part in the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A man collects money from donations during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner...more

A man collects money from donations during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A woman cries during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has...more

A woman cries during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Charlene Ward and her daughter Arym sing in the choir during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest...more

Charlene Ward and her daughter Arym sing in the choir during Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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People wash the floors of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the...more

People wash the floors of the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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A man lights a candle before the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage...more

A man lights a candle before the Sunday mass at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 18, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A sign is posted at the health clinic at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has...more

A sign is posted at the health clinic at the St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 17, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was...more

Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was...more

Jerry McCullough gets a check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo's Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Don Paterson gets a rash looked at by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing...more

Don Paterson gets a rash looked at by Dr. Ed Jelonek (L), working on his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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A nurse prepares free medication beside a cross on a necklace at a pharmacy at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a...more

A nurse prepares free medication beside a cross on a necklace at a pharmacy at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Close
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Jerry McCullough leaves after getting his check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as...more

Jerry McCullough leaves after getting his check up by Dr. Ed Jelonek (R), working in his own free time, at the Order of Malta Medical and Dental Clinic for low income Michigan residents in the basement of St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit, December 21, 2011. St. Leo Catholic Church, located in one of the most abandoned pockets of the nation's most depressed city, is operating on life support. Built more than 120 years ago as Detroit was developing into a manufacturing powerhouse, St. Leo is one of the many area churches to have succumbed to a same priest and parishioner shortage that has plagued the Catholic Church in America. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighbouring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in...more

The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighbouring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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The inside of the abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of...more

The inside of the abandoned Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay. P REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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The inside of the abandoned "Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of...more

The inside of the abandoned "Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church is seen in Detroit December 18, 2011. When a Catholic church closes, the land and buildings go back to the archdiocese. The neighboring parishes can come and take their pick of relics or ecclesiastical equipment. If a new tenant doesn't materialize, criminals sometimes do. Thieves often strip the building of copper or pluck out stained glass. The abandoned Martyrs of Uganda church in Detroit, closed by the Archdiocese in 2006, is an example of this decay. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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