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Baraga Days

  • Dates:  September 2, 2017
  • Times:  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Host:  Diocese of Grand Rapids and the Bishop Baraga Association
    Location:  Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Cathedral Square Center
    360 Division Ave. S., Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Phone:  (616) 551-5629
  • Category:  Historical
  • Price Per Person:  Free

The Diocese of Grand Rapids will host the annual Baraga Days celebration this year, September 2 and 3.
Baraga Days is an annual commemoration and celebration of Bishop Frederic Baraga, a legendary figure in the history of northern Michigan and pioneer of the American Catholic Church. Father Baraga came to the United States in 1830 as a missionary to the Odawa and Ojibwa tribes in the upper Great Lakes region. Father Baraga became known as the “snowshoe priest” for his many travels throughout the Upper Peninsula.

In 1833, Father Baraga established the beginnings of Saint Andrew Church in Grand Rapids, when he built the first church, St. Mary’s Mission, amid Indian cornfields on the west bank of the Grand River. Around the same time, he chose a site which the Catholic Odawa wished to have as their center for prayer near the Lakeshore. The bluff is thought to be Pigeon Hill in present-day Muskegon, overlooking Muskegon Lake.

He was the first bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, comprising the entire Upper Peninsula of northern Michigan.

Key celebrations throughout the weekend include:
•3 p.m. - Native American Presentation and Drum Circle at Cathedral Square Center (360 Division Ave. S., Grand Rapids, MI)
•6:30 p.m. - Mass in Slovenian at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew (301 Sheldon Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI)
•8 p.m. – Dinner and Fellowship at Cathedral Square Center (registration and pre-payment required)

•11 a.m. - Presentation on “the Life and Times of Bishop Baraga – A Historical Review” by James A. Surrell, MD at the Crowne Plaza hotel (5700 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI)
•1:30 p.m. – Drum Circle at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew
•2 p.m. – Mass in English with Bishop Walkowiak at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew
•4 p.m. – Banquet and Baraga Association Annual meeting at the Crowne Plaza (registration and prepayment required)

The Bishop Baraga Association, headquartered in the Diocese of Marquette, is dedicated to his memory and is the organizer of the annual Baraga Days celebration.

For more information visit the diocesan website:

Baraga Days
  • Times:  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • September 2, 2017 to September 2, 2017
  • Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Cathedral Square Center
  • Free